Stripes On The Brain…..A Double-Header

Memories Of Tackling The Other Albion

Look quickly at the newspaper page on the right and it appears to be previewing a Wolves visit to The Hawthorns, especially as it comes from the Argus.

But it relates instead to a trip to Brighton in the third round of the League Cup in the autumn of 1969.

As we stand here in the countdown to successive away games against two different blue-and-white-striped Albions, it’s time for reflection on what, for the time, was a novelty fixture.

Wolves’ night out at the Goldstone Ground 55 years ago heralded their first ever meeting with these opponents and the entertaining 3-2 win they achieved was matched when they went back there in the 1978-79 FA Cup.

The clubs still hadn’t clashed then with any points at stake and it’s sobering to think how troublesome Brighton have since become in these parts over the years.

In the League, Wolves have suffered more than three times as many defeats against them as they have beaten them (19 against six), so, let’s be honest, they are now about to face two fixtures that have been causing them great difficulty for many years.

Gary O’Neil’s first home match in charge in August was a 4-1 defeat against the Seagulls, who have won their last four clashes against Wolves, with the emphatic goal difference of 16-3.

So there is plenty in Monday’s televised showdown at the Amex Stadium to keep Wolves occupied and busy before they turn their thoughts to the FA Cup tie across the patch.

Brighton were in the Third Division in 1969 and managed by ex-Birmingham boss Freddie Goodwin but still seriously stretched a side adapting to the ways of Bill McGarry.

Wolves had made a curious start to the season with four straight victories followed by a long win-less run that would stretch to ten League matches.

That fallow spell, which included the retirement of Peter Knowles, was brightened only by the League Cup win over the Tottenham team containing the inside-forward’s brother, Cyril, that brought about the visit to Sussex on September 24.

Derek Parkin moves in as Brighton’s Kit Napier shoots at the Goldstone Ground in 1969, watched by Frank Munro.

But Wolves got the job done, just, as two goals by Hugh Curran and one by emergency centre-forward Dave Woodfield saw them through 3-2.

The page from the Brighton Evening Argus above and the action photo on the left were sent to us by Sussex-based Chris Westcott, who remembered attending as a young Wolves fan and who later became sufficiently friendly with Derek Dougan as to have he and his partner, Merlyn, as stop-over guests.

He will be there on Monday as a regular Brighton watcher and ghost-wrote Ernie Hunt’s autobiogaphy, as well as several other books. “I well remember the quality of Hugh Curran that night and a goal for Dave Woodfield in front of a huge crowd at the Goldstone (33,859),” he said.

“To mark the occasion, the Evening Argus brought out a colour souvenir edition beforehand, which I still have.”



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