About 9.10pm on the evening of Tuesday, February 2, 1982.

That was when Albion were last better placed in the league than they are now.

The Seagulls went eighth in the top flight with their hard-earned 1-0 win at Swansea.

They will stay there for at least a fortnight after Everton came from 2-0 down and survived a last-gasp penalty to beat Watford 3-2 on Sunday.

The club has not scaled such heights since the 1981-82 season under Mike Bailey.

They were fifth for a day in September, still their best-ever league position during a season.

Albion hovered just above halfway in the 22-team division for several months.

A dip late in the season saw them finish 13th, still their best ever end-of-season placing but actually a little disappointing at the time.

They moved up to sixth place with a 2-0 win at Southampton in early December before winning just one of their next four games.

Then came the day they went back up to seventh by grinding out a 1-0 win over Coventry at Highfield Road.

Like the win at Swansea on Saturday, it was not a classic. Andy Ritchie headed the only goal over Jim Blyth after meeting Don Shanks’ long cross.

Albion, missing defensive kingpin Steve Foster, defended strongly – in fact better than any other team who had been to Highfield Road that season according to home boss Dave Sexton.

But Sexton bemoaned the overall spectacle, saying: “It takes two to tango. The only steps they took were backwards.”

Bailey countered: “I’m in the results business. Entertainment may come later.”

So Albion were up to seventh again.

Ironically, the team just ahead of them were Swansea, who beat Manchester United at the Vetch Field with goals from Alan Curtis and Robbie James.

Eventual champions Liverpool also headed the Seagulls by two points thanks to a 3-0 win at Aston Villa in which Ian Rush struck early and Terry McDermott scored twice.

Arsenal were behind Albion on goal difference but had a re-arranged game at home to Wolves to come in midweek.

It was a 7.30pm kick-off and half-time back then would have only been ten minutes.

After a goalless first half, strikes from Paul Vaessen and Graham Rix sent them to a 2-1 win in front a crowd of just 15,163 at Highbury.

This was the first season of three points for a win and, when the final whistle sounded at about 9.15pm, the Gunners had all three, taking them fifth in the standings.

Albion were down to eighth place and have never been higher.

As for their record-breaking fifth place, that was a fleeting one after winning 1-0 at Wolves on Tuesday, September 22 with Ritchie again on target.

They slipped a place after Wednesday’s results and defeat by Nottingham Forest next time out sent them down to tenth.

Albion historian Tim Carder said: “If people ask me what was the Albion’s highest ever position, which they have been doing, I say fifth after the Wolves game in September, 1981.”