In 2004, Brighton raised a few eyebrows in jettisoning royal blue by launching an Argentina-style home shirt. Four years later, similarly, Derby sported a highly popular third kit, also with sky-blue and white stripes. This echoed a colour scheme the Rams last wore in the 1970s.
Many stars have played for both the Seagulls and the Rams, such as Eric Steele, Graham Moseley, John Gregory and Alan Biley. That’s not even to mention Brian Clough and Peter Taylor’s managerial spells at both clubs.
However, for many readers of Gordon Smith’s autobiography, And Smith Did Score!
, it was a surprise to discover that the maverick striker Charlie George had a month’s trial at Brighton before the 1982/83 season. Charlie had spent three-and-a-half years with Derby from July 1975, and memorably scored a hat-trick against Real Madrid in the European Cup.
In 1997, both Brighton and Derby vacated their long-term homes. The Seagulls left the Goldstone amidst much heartache and uncertainty. Things were brighter for the Rams. Although they left the Baseball Ground, their home for 102 years, they moved to their new home, the 33,597-seater Pride Park Stadium, in time for 1997/98.
1971/72 proved an enjoyable season for both clubs. Derby County, managed by the legendary Clough and Taylor partnership, won the First Division title with a great team including Dave Mackay, Kevin Hector and Roy McFarland. Brighton and Hove Albion also tasted glory, with Pat Saward’s pulsating attacking side winning promotion from Division Three.