Brighton and Hove Albion’s 10 Best Footballers of All Time

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Top 10 Players of Brighton and Hove Albion
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Brighton and Hove Albion have had some wonderful players over the years, but who are the best?

Brighton and Hove Albion are not among the top Premier League clubs. Indeed, they have been struggling in the past decade to promote to the Premier League; what they actually afforded to do in 2017. But who are Brighton’s best footballers of all time really? Well, we have got you covered on this, here’s the list of the best Brighton players of all time.

Top 10 Players of Brighton and Hove Albion

10. Bobby Zamora (2000-2003, 2015-2016)

Bobby Zamora served Brighton in two time periods, once from 2000 to 2003 and another time in the 2015-16 season. During his first tenure for the seagulls, he quickly established himself as a prolific goalscorer, breaking into the England national under-21 team and attracting interest from several higher-division clubs. He scored 83 times for the club in 136 appearances, helping Brighton win two successive championships as the team won promotion into what became the Championship. 

The Brighton fans had a chant they used to sing in his honour, to the tune of Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore”: “When the ball hits the goal it’s not Shearer or Cole, it’s Zamora. In his return spell, he added a few more to his tally and in his two time periods at the club, he made a total of 162 appearances and scored 90 goals making him 6th joint top scorer in the club’s history with Albert Mundy.

9. Glenn Murray (2008-2011, 2016-2021)

Another striker, like Bobby Zamora, Glenn Murray has also served Brighton in two time periods: once from 2008 to 2011 and another time from 2017 to 2021. And again like Bobby Zamora, Glenn Murray is also one of Brighton’s top scorers of all time. Although with the 111 goals in 287 appearances that Murray has scored for Brighton his ranking on the list of Brighton’s top scorers of all time is better than Zamora. 

Murray has also won a handful of club trophies with Brighton during his career. Although at times Murray has had frustrating seasons, he still is well trusted and remains popular amongst the fans. 

8. Peter Ward (1975-1980, 1982)

Before joining Brighton, Ward worked as an engine fitter in the Rolls-Royce factory and also played for the then non-league club, Burton Albion. Just one season after he joined Brighton, in the 1976-77 season, Ward scored 36 goals across all league matches and by doing so broke the club’s single-season goalscoring record and won the Golden Boot. 

Ward also occupies the fourth place on the list of Brighton’s top scorers of all time with the 95 goals he scored for the English club across all competitions. Ward returned to Brighton on loan in October 1982. The loan lasted four months, during which time he scored three goals, including the only goal in a 1–0 victory over Manchester United. 

7. Kit Napier (1966-1972)

Among the Brighton top scorers of all time with 99 goals scored during his career for the English club, Kit Napier is considered as one of Brighton legends of all time and is Brighton’s third top scorer of all time. He also holds the record for the most number of appearances and most number of goals scored for Brighton at league level with 84 goals in 256 appearances. 

At Brighton, he finally found career stability and earned a legend status by the time he left the club. Of the six seasons he spent with the club, he was their top scorer in all but 1969–70, and helped them to runners-up spot in 1972.

6. Danny Cullip (1999-2004)

In September 1998, Danny initially joined Brighton and Hove Albion on a month’s loan and the four games he played convinced the club to spend £50,000 for securing his services. A no-nonsense defender who left no prisoners, who knew that in the coming years during his time at Brighton, he would become something of a hero and be crowned their Player of the Year on two occasions. 

Cullip played in total 212 games for the Sussex club scoring six times. He later rejected the offer of a new contract at Brighton in December 2004 and joined Sheffield United for a fee of £250,000. Cullip is now working as a coach for Brighton & Hove Albion. 

5. Bert Stephens (1935-1948)

Bert Stephens was an English forward who played for Brighton for the majority of his career; actually for 13 years between 1935 and 1948, and during this time he scored 86 goals in the 180 appearances that he made for them at league level. He was Brighton’s top scorer in the 1936–37 season, with 26 goals in all competitions and again in 1938–39, with 17 goals. 

By the time he retired in 1948, he was Brighton’s second-highest goalscorer and he is in the top 10 scorers for the club till date! Interestingly, including his tally in wartime matches, Stephens scored 174 goals for the Gulls.

4. Michel Kuipers (2000-2010)

The only goalkeeper on the list of best Brighton players of all time, Michel Kuipers guarded Brighton’s goal for 10 years between 2000 and 2010. In June 2000 he joined Brighton & Hove Albion on a free transfer, and quickly established himself as number one and became a firm fans’ favourite because of his quick reactions, shot-stopping abilities and outgoing style. He made an amazing 247 career appearances for the Seagulls in a 10-year long tenure which had 2 two loan spells elsewhere. 

Other than the number of appearances that Kuipers made for Brighton, he also made a number of saves for them two very notable of which are the saves he made in the penalty shootouts against Manchester City and Leyton Orient in 2008 which won Brighton the game.

3. Kerry Mayo (1995-2009)

Kerry Mayo is one of the club’s longest-serving players and during his 14-year career, he has represented The Seagulls in 413 league and cup games and scored 14 goals. He has served Brighton almost for all his career. Despite starting the with era as back-up to Jamie Campbell, it didn’t take long for Mayo to gain his place in the starting line-up and he remained there for the next five years until the emergence of firstly Dan Harding and then Joel Lynch. 

He won three promotions during his time at the club and was a key player in the two title winning seasons of the early 00s with his best campaign coming under Steve Coppell in Division One when he ended up coming second in the player-of-the-season awards.

2. Ernie Wilson (1922-1936)

Ernest Wilson, also known as Ernie Wilson or Tug Wilson, was an English footballer who served Brighton and Hove Albion for quite a time during his career; actually for 14 years between 1922 and 1936. During his service to Brighton, Wilson actually scored 67 goals in the 509 league appearances that he made for the club. 

Although the number of goals Wilson scored is not that much to get him on the list of Brighton’s top scorers of all time, he is a record holder in terms of the overall appearances that he made for Brighton: 566 appearances as a Brighton first-team player. 

1. Tommy Cook (1922-1929)

Not only one of the best Brighton players of all time or better said one of the Brighton legends of all time but also Brighton’s top scorer ever with 123 goals. The interesting fact about Cook is that despite such a long time passed since the time he served Brighton – almost a century – no footballer has ever broken his goal scoring record at Brighton. That’s a big achievement, especially for a footballer who lived almost a century ago. Despite such bright results at Brighton, however, Tommy Cook appeared only once for the English national team in 1925 in a game against Wales where England beat Wales 2-1. 

It is also noteworthy to mention that Tommy Cook was a cricketer too besides being a footballer. In November 2020, a funeral ceremony was held at Cuckfield burial ground – Cook’s burial ground – in Cook’s honor where a memorial tablet was laid on his grave stone for which the funeral directors and Brighton and Hove Albion club had paid for. 

Football is a team sport—the ultimate team sport, in fact—but its fantasy version celebrates only the individual. Fantasy football is fun. It’s amusing.

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