Starting at the age of 17, Tony Nicholas had 19 years as a pro.

He recalled that his Brighton career was a particularly happy time as his first son Tony was born when he and Darlene lived in Southwick.

After a period on Chelsea's ground staff with Bobby Laverick, whom Albion signed in the summer of 1960 from Everton, Tony made the England Youth side and was playing for Chelsea's first team at 18.

His 21 goals in 63 games spoke volumes but Ted Drake, who had been a great centre-forward, was a hard man to please.

Sometimes when the tea cups flew around the dressing-room, not a few were hurled in the direction of Nicholas.

Goaded after a narrow defeat at Burnley, Tony kicked a hole in the manager's office door.

"Eventually I accepted the chance to join Brighton just to get away from Ted, but two weeks later he got the sack and after I went Tommy Docherty was appointed and I think that would have suited me as he liked a runner."

Tony's sporting priority these days is playing golf although he watches matches on TV and is mildly critical of the England set-up.

"They are lacking a wide left-footed player. They all seem to be right-footed. In fact England is a right-footed team.

"And when you take Ryan Giggs out of Manchester United, they are not the same side.

"I remember Peter Brabrook at Chelsea. What a player he was. Sadly, he is now an invalid."

Author Chris Westcott and Eric Parsons, the former Chelsea and West Ham winger, will be at Methvens, South Street, Worthing from 11-12 noon next Saturday for a session signing Upfront with Chelsea.