Monday 20 June 2011

R.I.P Clarence Clemons

E Street Band saxophonist Clarence Clemons passed away over the weekend due to complications from a stroke. I bet heaven is being treated to an awesome sax solo right about now. His sax was the signature sound of Bruce Springteens E Street Band and he will be sadly missed not only by the band but by all that ever saw or heard him play. His sound was unique and instantly recognizable. I think Bruce Springsteen's touching and heartfelt tribute to Clarence Clemons just about says it all:
"Clarence lived a wonderful life. He carried within him a love of people that made them love him. He created a wondrous and extended family. He loved the saxophone, loved our fans and gave everything he had every night he stepped on stage. His loss is immeasurable and we are honored and thankful to have known him and had the opportunity to stand beside him for nearly forty years. He was my great friend, my partner and with Clarence at my side, my band and I were able to tell a story far deeper than those simply contained in our music. His life, his memory, and his love will live on in that story and in our band".
Clarence Clemons was a big man with a huge talent. Without him Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band wouldn't have been the force in rock music that they became. We'll miss him.

Friday 10 June 2011

The 'Wow' Factor

What a stadium! Roll on August 6th and the start of the new football season. It's time to throw your poncho's away; we have a roof, padded seats and real ale at the Amex. The wow factor has arrived.

Buckley arrives, is Lua Lua next?

Kezenga Lua Lua and that Champions trophy

Will Buckley became Albion's first ever million pound signing when he joined the club earlier this week. This looks like a promising signing and a like for like replacement with the departing Elliott Bennett who is on his way to Premiership new boys Norwich City. To end the week on a high there are strong rumours that the lightening quick Kezenga Lua Lua may be returning to Brighton for another £1 million plus fee. A real fans favourite after his loan period at the club last season Lua Lua would definitely be an asset, as long as Newcastle are prepared to let him go. He showed what he could do last season with his destructive pace that left defenders chasing shadows in his wake. It looks like the Gus bus is on it's way and exciting times lay ahead.

Monday 6 June 2011

Benno on his way?

It looks as if Elliott Bennett is on his way to the Premiership with Norwich City who have come back for the man they were chasing in the January transfer window. Albion held firm then and didn't let Bennett go but with a rumoured £1,500,000 offer on the table and the player clearly wanting Premiership football it looks like a done deal. With the departure of Glenn Murray to Crystal Palace the Albion will have lost two of their best players before the club move into their new stadium at Falmer. Bennett particularly will be missed and it will be hard to find another player of his quality. However Brighton have already moved to replace the prolific Murray with new signing Will Hoskins from Bristol Rovers, a promising player who has had Championship experience with Watford. If he's anywhere near as good as the last signing the club made from Bristol Rovers (Bobby Zamora) then we will have no problems. Albion are also rumoured to have put in a substantial bid for Watford's Will Buckley who would seem an ideal replacement for Bennett.

Although disappointing to lose two quality players let's not panic, in Gus we trust and expect more new signings very soon. The club do need to strengthen the team for the forthcoming season in the Championship and I have a feeling that the next year will bring fresh challenges for Gus and his team. Brighton's style of football is attractive, effective and shows the way the beautiful game should be played, I'm sure that the club are ready for the next level of football in the Championship. Clubs like Norwich and Swansea have shown that playing the game the right way can bring rewards. Don't fret if we lose players along the way, it's the way it is in today's modern game. With the exception of a few players there is no club loyalty these days, money talks I'm afraid. Players and managers inevitably move on but us fans stay with our club for life, always and forever.

Thursday 2 June 2011

North West Sussex Seagulls

Tuesday 31st May 2011: It was a good inaugural meeting at the Star in Roffey tonight for the North West Sussex Seagulls, the newly formed independent Brighton & Hove Albion supporters club. Many thanks to Andy and Paul for arranging the meet up and setting up the club. Around 30 fans attended on the evening and here in a nutshell are the proposals and costs for coach travel via the new North West Sussex Seagulls supporters club:

Route: Start at Roffey Corner, Horsham BR Station, Hop Oast park & ride, Southwater, Cowfold, Henfield, Amex Stadium.

Journey time: Anticipated journey time is 1 hour from Roffey to Amex. Departure time on Saturdays from Horsham was set provisionally as 1pm with a view to arriving at the Amex at around 2pm. However, some supporters at the meeting felt that initially the Club should consider setting off earlier at 12.30pm as we don’t know what to expect in terms of traffic delays for the first few matches. Things will eventually settle down and a more definite departure time can be set based on experience of previous journey times. Anticipated departure time from the Amex is around 5.30pm with a projected 6.30pm arrival time in Horsham. These times are subject to change and amendment as necessary dependent upon experience and demand. For evening kick offs it is anticipated that coaches will leave Horsham around 6.15pm, possibly a bit earlier. Again, trial and error for the first couple of evening matches will establish the best departure time. The problem with evening kick offs is that fans may have problems getting to the coach pick-up points if it leaves too early.

Note: For the inaugural pre-season friendly game against Spurs on 30th July the coach will leave an hour earlier than the normal departure time, so expect a noon pick up from Horsham for that game so fans can get a good first time look around the Amex before the 3pm kick off.  

Coach season ticket cost for 23 league games = £138.00 = £6.00 per game (juniors & over 60’s: £92.00 = £4 per game)
Ad hoc coach travel = £8 per match (£5 for juniors and over 60’s)
Any Cup games would be charged extra at the same per match costs as above.

The North West Sussex Seagulls Club have made their own independent arrangement with Arun Coaches who can supply 49 or 59 seater coaches, and coach travel with NWSS is considerably cheaper than other advertised  offerings. NWSS have made their own fans collective arrangement with Arun Coaches and as the club is a non profit making organisation they are not looking to make any profit at fans expense. Any funds that may be left over at season’s end will likely be donated to Albion In The Community and similar charitable schemes.

I think £6 for transport to and from the Amex is very reasonable, the proposed coach travel arrangements look promising and the pricing structure is certainly competitive and realistic. With the increase in season ticket numbers to 16,000 I am wondering how easy the park and ride is going to be for the forthcoming season. If fans are waiting around for park and ride buses then it may well be a more viable and efficient means of travel to use the NWSS coach, apart from anything else it's a more 'greener' and sustainable way to travel

Membership to the NWSS is free for this coming season but the club will more than likely introduce a modest subscription fee for the following season, which is not unreasonable. They hope to hold social events and gatherings with other Seagull fan clubs such as Mid Sussex Seagulls and Seagulls Over Burwash. The club have now found a treasurer to sit alongside Andy and Paul on the committee and NWSS will eventually have a full nominated committee as voted for by all club members. The committee should evolve and establish itself over the coming season with further meetings planned for the future.

The club will also be looking to run a coach to the Sussex Senior Cup Final if there is enough interest and enough fans are able to get tickets and they also intend to run coaches to away games, again where there is enough interest. Full payment details on how to book and secure your seat on the club coach can be found at the NWSS website and another supporters club meeting is planned for early July (date to be finalised).

For more information on this newly formed Brighton & Hove supporters club for fans based in North West Sussex visit their website at