ALBION fans will be starved of football until May due to the coronavirus pandemic.

So what better time to take a look back at the club’s history than now?

These historic photos dug out from The Keep record office in Falmer show just how far football has come.

Below is one of the earliest known pictures of Albion in action, taken in the aftermath of prolific goalscorer Jimmy Smith’s strike against Portsmouth in 1912 at the Goldstone Ground.

Jimmy was the club’s top scorer that season, netting 27 goals in all competitions.

In that same year Bradford Park Avenue paid a whopping £735 for his services, offering forward Bobby Simpson to Albion in return.

But the high-scoring striker’s streak was ended by the First World War’s outbreak in 1914.

Four years later and just a month before the war ended, Jimmy Smith was killed in action on the Western Front.

The photo to the left shows an unknown Albion player posing for a kit picture in the summer of 1936.

It shows just how far football kits have come.

You certainly would not expect to see Alireza Jahanbakhsh in a laced collar and baggy brown shorts.

Meanwhile to the right are some fantastic action shots of Albion’s February 1960 FA Cup tie against Preston North End at their Deepdale ground.

The atmosphere must have been rocking with fans packed on the terraces and even sitting on the pitch.

The Seagulls had sent themselves into the fifth round with an impressive 6-0 home win against Rotherham.

But the trip up to Deepdale must have unsettled the squad as their cup run hopes were dashed in a narrow 2-1 loss.

These photos and many more chronicling Albion’s history are available at The Keep in Falmer.

Unfortunately the record office has closed for six weeks due to the coronavirus epidemic.

But history buffs can order digital or paper copies of these photographs and many more.

“While the public will be unable to visit the centre and view the archives during the closure, the reprographics service will still be available via the website and parts of the collection are already digitised and can be found in the online catalogue,” an East Sussex County Council spokeswoman said.

“Customers can order digital or paper copies of these for a small fee.

“Staff will continue to offer the popular research service and will also respond to phone and email enquiries as quickly as possible.”

To order digital or paper copies of items in The Keep’s collection call 01273 482349 or visit online.

The archive’s website and Facebook and Twitter pages will be updated over the coming weeks.