Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Plymouth in trouble - time for Brighton fans to pay it back

TONIGHT Brighton and Hove Albion entertain Plymouth Argyle in a League One match-up between two teams heading in vastly different directions.

The Albion, with the finishing touches being made to their £93million new stadium and a squad on the brink of the Championship, will be looking for three points against a Plymouth team staring relegation in the face and on the cusp of financial oblivion.

However, it was not always so. Back in 1996, it was the Albion facing extinction and an uncertain future. With asset-stripping money-grabbers at the helm the club was facing up to the prospect of losing its home ground and heading to Gillingham's Priestfields stadium - the battered fridge in the Garden of England.

It was a lonely and frustrating time to be a Seagull.

That was until a teenage Plymouth fan found his way onto a fledgling Brighton internet forum and had an idea.

At shortly before midnight on Wednesday, December 11, Richard Vaughan made the following post: "I see the scum FA have now taken 2 points who do they think they are they wouldn't do this to Man United.

"It makes me sick what is happening to your club and it's an insult to your fans.

"I'm a Plymouth fan and I think that one week when we're away I`m going to come up and support your protest.

"I think it would be a good idea if LOADS of fans from different clubs turned up at Brighton (with their shirts on) and joined in it would show that we're all behind you 100 per cent."

The rest, as they say, is history. Hundreds of fellow supporters made the trip to The Goldstone Ground for a Fans United day. The indomitable spirit of togetherness which football is so capable of generating but so rarely does, shone through.

Things snowballed, fans banded together and the long road to recovery was underway.

Now, more than a decade later, the future looks bright for the Albion. Were it not for the support showed by one young Plymouth fan who had no reason to offer it other than a shared love of football, things may not look so rosey.

Now it is Plymouth in need of support. And it is support which every Brighton fan should feel obliged to give.

For more information on the club's plight and what you can do to help CLICK HERE.

But, perhaps more important than financial help (although I am sure any money will be put to good use) make sure any fan visiting Withdean tonight leaves knowing the Seagulls are standing shoulder to shoulder with them.

It is time to start paying back the help we were so grateful to receive.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent entry. We must never forget where we've come from or the debt we owe to other clubs' fans.