PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : AUGUST

The season finally started in August and it was a wet Mourneview Park for me on the opening day to see Linfield take on Glenavon.

The following week, I was on a week long break in Edinburgh, so I took the opportunity to see a local game, Hearts v Aberdeen.

As luck would have it, Hearts were also at home in the following midweek, against Tottenham Hotspur in the UEFA Cup, and I managed to blag a ticket for this.

The following weekend, I was in Brighton for a short break. I was unable to get a ticket for the match at The Amex, but I did get some shots of the exterior of the stadium.

Glenavon v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Faroe Islands

Northern Ireland v Faroe Islands Photo Album

Hearts v Aberdeen

Hearts v Aberdeen Photo Album

Hearts v Tottenham Hotspur

Hearts v Tottenham Hotspur Photo Album

The Amex

The Amex Photo Album

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MAGAZINE ARCHIVE : MATCH – 27th JULY 1996

It’s the summer of 1996 and Stan Collymore is the cover star of Match, proclaiming that Liverpool will be champions in 1997.

For some reason, they have a “Single Of The Week”, which is “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” by Deep Blue Something. Sound judgement.

Three pages are dedicated to an interview with Collymore, with most of the pictures of him wearing Diadora gear. Hmmmm.

Meanwhile, John Salako is branching out into a new career, guest presenting a show on Sky One called “Boiled Egg And Soldiers”, where Spice Girls are the guests.

Going by the photos, they appear to big fans of him. Just think, Posh and Salaks could have been our Royal Family.

In rumours that look silly now : Arsenal want to sign Atillo Lombardo and Tim Sherwood, and Barcelona want to sign David Ginola.

Meanwhile, Brighton could be homeless in 1997 after Hove Council rejected plans for a new stadium at Toads Hall Valley.

As it turned out, Brighton had to play in Gillingham from 1997 to 1999, and then to an athletics stadium in the city before finally moving to The Amex in 2011.

2011 IN PICTURES – AUGUST

A busy month full of travel began in the most glamourous of settings of a rainstorm in Lurgan, as Linfield travelled to Glenavon on the opening day of the 2011-2012 Irish League season.

It literally rained throughout the whole match, and I wasn’t in a brave enough mood to move from my seat to get photos.

I did get a nice portrait shot of Mourneview Park at the end of the game though.

The following Saturday, I was in Edinburgh. The weather wasn’t much better though.

I was over for the festival, but with Edinburgh having two SPL teams, I decided to take in a match as well.

That day, Hearts were playing Aberdeen, and I managed to get into a good shooting position.

The following Thursday, as a bonus, Hearts played Tottenham Hotspur in a UEFA Cup tie, and I managed to blag a ticket, and get some good shots.

I also managed to get a lovely shot of Princes Street Gardens on the Sunday teatime between the two games.

Managed to stumble across some excellent graffiti in the University area of the city.

There are no pictures from the festival, but a full write up can be found here

From Edinburgh, I headed to Brighton for the weekend, and loved it, a fantastic city.

Managed to get some fantastic sunset shots and some street art pictures as well.

I’d hoped to get to a match at The Amex but couldn’t get a ticket unfortunately, but I did manage to get some nice shots of the exterior of the ground.


Glenavon v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Faroe Islands

Hearts v Aberdeen

Hearts v Aberdeen Photo Album

Edinburgh Street Art

Hearts v Tottenham Hotspur

Hearts v Tottenham Hotspur Photo Album

Brighton Sunsets

Brighton Sunsets Photo Album

Brighton Street Art

The Amex

The Amex Photo Album

THE LONG ROAD TO THE AMEX

In just over five months time, Brighton and Hove Albion will have a home ground for the first time since 1997 as The Amex nears completion.

I’ve always quite liked Brighton and Hove Albion, possibly because they reached the FA Cup Final in the year I was born although this fact has annoyed me in recent years when commentators say “Albion reached the FA Cup Final a long time ago” during FA Cup matches, which makes me feel old.

I remembered the departure from The Goldstone Ground mostly for how messy it was, with endless protests against the clubs board and vigilante behaviour from supporters.

I remember the protest that forced the abandonment of a match against York City in 1996, which was actually on of the lead stories on the main BBC news that night.

Youtube has news clips from this era and is well worth checking out, a fascinating look at a club’s struggle to keep up with their peers off the pitch.

The first clip, from Saint and Greavsie in 1991 is almost prophetic, as it states that a future of lower league football awaits Brighton if they are unable to find a new stadium within the next couple of years.

In 1991, Brighton were challenging for promotion to what was then the First Division, but lost in the Play-Off Final to Notts County.

The following year, they were relegated to the third tier, before relegation to the bottom division of the Football League in 1996.

In 1997, Brighton were one defeat away from Non-League football. The club recovered, and made it back to The Championship in 2002, but were immediately relegated, then promoted back, before being relegated again in 2006 to League One, where they have been since, but currently lead.

Unless there is a major collapse, the new Amex Stadium will host Championship football when it opens in August 2011.

Brighton is a city I have on places I hope to visit within the next couple of years, so I might even get to visit this stadium in the next couple of years.

So sit back, and look at the evolution of a stadium that has taken 20 years to be realised.

Hopefully one day Ards, in a similar situation to Brighton, will have something similar.

Amex Picture Gallery

Amex Website