Dean Hammond admits the best moment of his career came during his time at Albion.

The 37-year-old has had some great times in his career which included getting promoted to the Premier League with both Southampton and Leicester.

However, his favourite moment of his career came during his first spell at Albion.

It came under Dean Wilkins who in charge at the start of the 2006-07 season after Mark McGhee was sacked and Hammond was given a huge responsibility.

He said: “Being made captain was the best moment of my career.

“That season didn’t start too great for me under Mark and he then got sacked and Dean became the manager.

“He made me captain and that was really the start of my career if I am being honest.

“The extra responsibility of being captain made me a better player and then my performances led to me getting player of the year while scoring 11 goals as well.

“So I think that was the first season where I felt like a professional footballer and where I really belonged in the first team.

“Even though I had a decent run in the team under Mark I felt like I was in and out of the side and wasn’t an established player.

“So, being made captain by Dean was an honour and a privilege to captain the club, especially having been there I was 11 and I am always very grateful to Dean.”

Hammond left Albion to head down the South Coast to Southampton, where he played with Adam Lallana, who is now at the Seagulls.

Lallana made his name at Southampton and secured a move to Liverpool where he went on to win the Champions League and then the Premier League last season.

However, Hammond was not surprised by what Lallana went on to achieve in his career.

Speaking to a podcast for, He said: “It has not surprised me at all because when I arrived at Southampton I knew Adam was a talented player.

“When I signed all the coaches and managers spoke very highly of him, but he was a talented individual.

“As soon as he understood football in terms of it didn’t just mean being an individual and he learnt about the game, then his career just thrived.

“I have been lucky to play with some good players during my career and I would still say he is if not the best, he is in the top two or three players I have played with.

“He is so talented, his balance on the ball, his awareness, his ability to play off both feet. He also very intelligent as a footballer and he has just gone on to have a great career.

“It was just really unfortunate he had so many injuries at Liverpool because I do believe he would have played a bigger part for them.

“He won the Champions League, the Premier League but he could have become more established players without the injuries.”

Hammond rejoined Albion on loan in 2012-13 and he revealed why he turned down other offers to re-join them.

He said: “I always wanted to write the wrongs, it was always in my vision or plan to go back to Brighton if I could.

“One because of the way I left, not because I knew the truth but more I knew the reasons I left and I wanted to put that right.

“Secondly, I wanted to play in the stadium as a Brighton player because I had seen the stadium since the age of 14.

“The offices are now at the Amex, but they used to be in the centre of town.

“In the tower block, it would have pictures and a model of the stadium and I always had the vision I wanted to play in that. I wanted to walk out at the Amex in the Championship as a Brighton player.

"I had a few other offers to go elsewhere, but as soon as I got the phone call from Charlie Oatway, who said would you be interested in coming back and that Gus would want to speak to me.

“As soon as I knew I wasn’t going to play much at Southampton I jumped at the chance. I am not going to lie to you it wasn’t easy as the clubs did not like each other.

“It was only a loan move but that took some negotiation.

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