Trip down memory lane for Seagulls

The Argus: Fans run on to the pitch at the final whisle of the last game at the Goldstone ground Fans run on to the pitch at the final whisle of the last game at the Goldstone ground

Memories of the last day at the Goldstone Ground will come flooding back for thousands of Albion fans when the team runs out to play Doncaster Rovers this weekend.

Doncaster were the Seagulls' final opponents at the Goldstone almost 10 years ago, in a vital match that set the team their way to a miraculous last-day escape from relegation.

At the final whistle thousands of tearful fans ran onto the pitch, hugging each other, singing songs and searching for mementos. As the April 26 anniversary approaches, The Argus is inviting fans to share their memories and pictures of the Goldstone Ground.

Albion supporters across Sussex and beyond can still not quite believe the club has not yet found a permanent home after a decade has passed.

Stuart Ashby, 57, of Shoreham, took dozens of pictures during the emotional last match, which the Seagulls won by a single Stuart Storer goal.

He said: "It's strange but my main memory of the day was the weather, it was teeming down with rain for the most part. I remember the Last Post being played, and a lot of people in tears. It was an emotional time and thankfully we won - I don't think many could have taken losing the Goldstone and being relegated at the same time.

"I'd like to say the time since has flown by, but with all the struggles trying to find a new home we've felt every day of those 10 years. The people of Sussex deserve a stadium at Falmer. The club and the fans have worked so hard to make it happen, and its only when we see the team run out at Falmer the heartache of losing the Goldstone will begin to subside."

After the Goldstone Ground was sold to developers by the Bill Archer and David Bellotti regime, Albion played their home games at Gillingham for two years, before returning to the city at their current temporary home at Withdean stadium.

The club's bid for a new 22,000-seat stadium at Falmer now appears to be in its final stages, with the Government poised to make a decision before July 9.

Meanwhile Albion have slashed prices for Saturday's game at a retro day in honour of the 10 year anniversary of the Doncaster match.

Tickets for the east stand and family stand have been cut to 1997 prices - £12 adults, £7 for under-16s and £1 for under-10s. Match programmes will be half price and fans are also being urged to wear their retro kits on the day, with prizes for the best dressed. For tickets, call the club on 01273 776992.

Fans of the two clubs are also set to meet in a friendly football match at Waterhall at 11am on Saturday. Organiser Kieran Maguire said: "Ever since the final game at the Goldstone, the two clubs have been very close. Both sets of supporters have fought to keep their club alive and we are all pleased to see Doncaster doing so well in their new stadium.

"We played their fans before the away match in November and beat them 4-2, so they are out for revenge. We'll all have a drink together afterwards and anyone who wants to come and watch the football is more than welcome."

Were you at the Goldstone for the historic match against Doncaster Rovers, or the stunning play off victory over Millwall? Did you watch in awe as Peter Ward tore defences apart week after week? You might still have your south stand seat, or a patch of the hallowed turf in the back garden. The Argus wants to hear about your favourite Goldstone Ground memories.

To share your stories and pictures, call Simon Barrett on 01273 544543, email, or add them below.


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