WHIRLWIND would be an understatement when describing the life of an Albion supporter in the past 20 years.

As the club gears up to face Premier League title favourites Manchester City, emotions are running high among fans – but they cannot wait to soak up the atmosphere of the big time.

Supporters young and old are bracing themselves for the biggest season in Albion history, and feel everyone involved with the club has earned the right to be in the greatest league in the world.

From the Goldstone to the promised land, whatever happens this season, the past two decades have been nothing short of a miracle.

The Amex will provide one of the fiercest atmospheres in the league, filled with loyal fans who have been through the heartache and joy with the boys in blue and white.

It has been a rollercoaster ride, promotion, relegation, almost dropping out of the Football League, not having a permanent home – and now the Premier League.

The ‘12th man’ will have a big part to play in how Albion’s debut Premier League season pans out, as BT Sport pundit Andy Townsend recently told us, and after all these years, the support does not look like fizzling out this campaign.

We spoke to a handful of fans to explore what this year means to them.


DAVE has seen it all with Albion as a fan of 45 years.

He appeared with other fans on Soccer AM in 2007 when they were in League One.

He said: “It’s like a dream at the moment. We would not be here if we hadn’t beaten Hereford 20 years ago, and Dick Knight saved us. Liam Brady is also an unsung hero – he got Knight involved.

“We just paid £13 million for our new signing and 20 years ago we signed Gary Hart for £1,000.

“It shows how far we’ve come. Hughton and Bloom are doing things right.

“I think we’ll stay up this year and then we can build on it from there.”


ALEX has been a regular since his childhood, and will be at today’s showpiece.

He said: “From the moment Martin Perry and his team achieved and obtained planning permission for our new stadium, I knew we had the potential to get to the top flight and always dreamt of playing the big guns.

“It’s unbelievable where we’ve come from, nearly being extinct, to the Priestfield where I spent many a Saturday standing on the terraces, to the Withdean and now to the Amex.

“It feels surreal.

“It has been a very long journey with so many people involved. So much credit has to go to Bloom and the infrastructure he’s set up.”


PAUL fought for six years to push through the move to the Amex’s Falmer base.

The feeling today will be one to savour for him in particular.

He said: “The whole journey has been exhausting, but now we’ve reached the top of the mountain. Everyone played a part.

“It’s been extraordinary – my heart still races thinking about it. Being in the Premier League is going to be so exciting and a great challenge.

“I’m going to get to the stadium early to soak up the atmosphere. These days don’t happen too often.”


LIAM was one of the many who protested against selling the Goldstone, taking part in the sit-downs in Old Shoreham Road.

A regular before he moved to Spain, he has retained his season ticket for whenever he gets back. He will be watching today’s match at a British pub near his home.

Liam, who used to live in Kemp town, said: “Realistically, City is a tough game for anyone. It’s good to get the harder matches first. It would be great to get a point and a goal to start building some confidence. The Amex is an incredible ground and we deserve this.”


DOT, 83, is a devout Seagull who decorated her house to show her support for the club.

A regular most her life, she had to give up her season ticket this year for health reasons.

She said: “It’s unbelievable to be in the Premier League and I think we can beat City.

“We’ve had some really bad times and some really good ones.

“That’s why everyone deserves this.

“My first game at the Amex nearly took my breath away.

“The crowd is great and I think they’ll help carry Albion through the season.”