A LIFELONG Albion fan and broadcast journalist has described his experiences following the club from the Goldstone to the Amex.

Sky Sports golf presenter James Haddock was born in Hastings and still has fond memories of his first trip to see the Seagulls.

“My first visit to the Goldstone was in 1985,” he said, “when the club was still basking in the glory of its FA Cup Final appearance a couple of years earlier, albeit we were now playing in the Second Division.”

Albion went on to squeeze past Huddersfield in a 4-3 thriller.

James said: “I’d seen a real goal-fest, the singing never stopped and I was instantly addicted.

“I do remember my dad warning me on the journey home in our red Ford Sierra that it wouldn’t always be like this.”

He would watch the Albion every other week, going to see his cousin turn out for Hastings Town when he was not making his way west to see the Seagulls.

James said his heroes were Jimmy Case and Steve Foster.

“That permed haircut, the headband, he was the player who always stood out,” he said.

Pursuing a career in sport, James became a broadcast journalist and covered his first game Albion game in 2001 for TalkSport. But the experience was overshadowed by tragic events elsewhere in the world.

“It was September 11, 2001,” James said, “and driving to the game, listening to what had unfolded in the United States, left my head spinning.

“It felt wrong to be covering football that night, it was meaningless.”

He covered a large number of other Albion games before becoming Sky Sports golf presenter in 2008.

With the obligations of covering the major PGA tournaments in America “it became harder and harder to see the Albion in the flesh”, he admitted.

But he makes sure to always have a club shirt, training top, flag or scarf with him wherever he travels. And he has passed on his passion for Albion, with his eldest daughter Evie already a “fully-fledged Albion fan”.