Albion's most successful season since 1965 could not have been better timed for long-serving physiotherapist Malcolm Stuart.

The Seagulls reward the loyalty of Stuart and retired kit man Jock Riddell with a benefit match against Charlton at Withdean on Tuesday at 7.45pm.

It is Albion's final home game of a memorable campaign and the pair are set to benefit handsomely from one last celebration of the team's achievements.

During a dozen years as Albion's full-time physio Stuart has witnessed injuries ranging from the serious to the ridiculous, a Wembley play-off final appearance and a couple of relegations.

Until now though he had never experienced the joy of being closely associated with a promotion and title-winning squad.

Stuart went full-time the season after Albion's previous promotion in 1987-88.

He joined the Seagulls from Southwick in 1977, working part-time with the youth team and reserves before eventually replacing Liverpool-bound Mark Leather.

A wet sponge was a familiar form of treatment in those days, while the players would tuck into a plate full of red meat before matches. How times have changed.

"I have worked under a lot of managers since I first came to the club," Stuart said.

"They are now very up on things like diet, nutrition and fitness and this has come to a peak with Micky (Adams).

"He has a very good understanding of these sort of things after working with Nottingham Forest.

"The days of sitting down to a steak two hours before kick-off have gone out of the window. If you look at our injury record this season it has been absolutely superb. People are far more aware of their fitness now.

"In the last 12 years the development of physiotherapy and surgery has been unbelievable.

"I would have run a mile from something like a cruciate back then, but the last cruciate reconstruction we had was Ben Andrews and he was back in six months."

Another former Albion centre half suffered the worst injury Stuart has ever had to deal with.

"That was when Nicky Bissett broke his leg at Swindon," he said. "It was brought about by an horrendous tackle. Nicky had to go through all sorts of problems in his rehabilitation and for a lad like him to actually have to end up leaving the game was tragic."

Stuart is cheerful by nature and that is the approach he adopts in his work.

"I always try to be light-hearted," he said. "When a player is out injured it is very difficult for them and you need to work with them. I always find a sense of humour helps."

Bissett's bad break was no laughing matter, but another ex-stopper with the Seagulls was responsible for the most comical moment of Stuart's career.

"The funniest injury goes back to a young Irish centre half we had, Jim Heggarty.

"He went down in a reserve game and when I ran on to the pitch he said 'it's my calf'. I went to treat it and he said 'no, it's my calf.'

"So I tried the other calf and he still said no, then pointed to his thigh! Myself and the ref were in stitches.

"There have been other strange ones as well. One of the lads was recovering from injury and had passed a fitness test when he went into the shower.

"He reached for the shampoo, put his back out and was out for another week.

"I won't tell you his name, but he is now on the coaching staff (Dean Wilkins)."

Charlton, managed by former Albion midfielder Alan Curbishley, are fitting opponents for Stuart's big night for a number of reasons.

"Curbs used to be my landlord," Stuart revealed. "He had a flat in Brighton and we got on very well. He was a good player, one you always knew would go into management and be successful.

"He is bringing the first team down and it will be nice for people like Steve Brown, whose dad Gary was the Southwick manager when I was there, and John Robinson coming back to Brighton.

"I couldn't have wished for better than to have a season like this and there are a lot of similarities between us and Charlton.

"They were ground-sharing long before us. Now we are on the up and you look at them and think that could be us.

Seats for Tuesday's game are still available from the ticket office, priced £10 adults and £5 concessions.