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Best Brighton Players of All Time

Monday11 January 2021 | 14:30
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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. Who are Brighton best footballers of all time really?

When we speak of the greatest players in the history of Brighton that also includes Brighton legends of all time, too. In fact, the list of best Brighton players ever we have prepared for you includes legends like Tommy Cook, and Kit Napier, the legendary top Brighton goal scorer.

And the rest of the list? Although they might not be among the legendary Brighton players ever, they are for sure among the best Brighton players of all time, and some of them, indeed, among the Brighton top scorers of all time.

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The List of Best Brighton Players of All Time Starts Here

The list of best Brighton players of all time is composed of 10 top and legendary Brighton players ever. The list starts with the passed footballer, Michel Kuipers, and contains footballers like Tommy Cook and Kit Napier who, as mentioned above, are considered as Brighton legends of all time.

Michel Kuipers

The first non-English - he’s actually Dutch - and the only goalkeeper on the list of best Brighton players of all time, Michel Kuipers is a 46-year-old retired footballer who guarded Brighton’s goal for 10 years between 2000 and 2010. The difference between the number of appearances that Kuipers made for Brighton in comparison with those he made for other clubs is amazing: He actually made 247 appearances for Brighton only at league level, while the second club he made the most number of appearances for during his career was Crawley Town for whom he made only 41 appearances in three years between 2010 and 2013.

And the other clubs Kuipers served during his career? He made hardly 10 appearances for. As you see, the number of appearances Kuipers made for Brighton are at least six times higher than those he made for other clubs if not more. 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.

Kerry Mayo

The first defender on the list of best Brighton players of all time, Kerry Mayo is a 43-year-old retired English footballer who served Brighton almost for all his career. If it was not for a month that he served the low-tier club, Lewes - actually between September and October 2008, and some appearances that he made for his local club, Newhaven, we could say he had served Brighton actually for all his career which lasted for 14 years between 1995 and 2009.

As you see, Mayo’s career did not last for long - indeed in comparison with some other footballers, and it was for a reason: He actually received a groin injury which actually forced him to retire from professional football in July 2009, though he played a few games for his local club, Newhaven, in 2010.

During his time with Brighton and Hove Albion, Mayo made 413 appearances for the English club and scored 12 goals for them which translates to almost one goal in every 35 appearances; not bad for a defender. Also it should be noted that with that number of appearances - we mean 413, Mayo is actually one of the Brighton players with the most number of appearances for the club.

Bobby Zamora

And here comes the first striker and also the first footballer on the list of best Brighton players of all time who has served the English club in two time periods: Bobby Zamora. Although Zamora served Brighton in two time periods, once from 2000 to 2003 and another time in 2015-16 season, Brighton is not the only club he served the most during his career.

He actually served West Ham United for the same number of years he served Brighton - actually for 4 years between 2004 and 2008, however, Zamora’s goal-to-appearance ratio with Brighton is not only better than his with West Ham but better than his with the other clubs he served during his career, namely Fulham, Tottenham Hotspur, Bristol Rovers, Queens Park Rangers, and Bath City.

As mentioned above, Zamora served Brighton in two time periods during which he made 162 appearances and scored 90 goals for them which gets him a goal-to-appearance ratio of 0.55 meaning that the 39-year-old retired English footballer scored a little bit more than one goal (exactly 1.1) in every 2 appearances that he made for the Seagulls.

This is as he scored 40 goals in the 152 appearances that he made for West Ham in the 4 years that he served them. So Zamora’s goal-to-appearance ratio with West Ham is 0.26, and also it should be noted that his goal-to-appearance ratio with the other teams he served during his career is either something around his goal-to-appearance ratio with West Ham or lower.

Zamora is not only one of the greatest players in the history of Brighton but also one of the Brighton’s top scorers of all time - actually 6th jointly with Albert Mundy - with the 90 goals he scored for the English club during his career. Zamora is also the first footballer on the list of Brighton best footballers of all time to have won a handful of club trophies with the clubs he served during his career including one Football League Third Division and one Football League Second Division titles with Brighton.

It is noteworthy to mention here that Zamora was part of the Brighton team - better said a key member of it - who won two successive promotions from Third to Second and from Second to First Division in 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons, respectively. Zamora became Brighton’s top scorer in both seasons with 31 and 32 goals, again respectively.

Glenn Murray

Another striker and also the first footballer on the list of best Brighton players of all time to be still in the business, Glenn Murray is a 37-year-old English footballer who is currently serving Watford on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion. Like Bobby Zamora, Glenn Murray has also served Brighton in two time periods: once from 2008 to 2011 and another time from 2017 to now. It is something around 6 years which is longer than the time he has served other clubs during his career including Crystal Palace whom he has served the most after Brighton - actually for 4 years between 2011 and 2015.

And again like Bobby Zamora, Glenn Murray is also one of Brighton’s top scorers of all time. Although with the 111 goals that Murray has scored for Brighton his ranking on the list of Brighton’s top scorer of all time is better than Zamora - he’s actually Brighton’s second top scorer of all time, his goal-to-appearance ratio is lower than that of Zamora.

Murray has scored his 111 goals for Brighton in 287 appearances which gets him a goal-to-appearance ratio of 0.38 which is 0.17 lower than Zamora’s goal-to-appearance ratio with Brighton and means that he has scored almost 2 goals in 5 appearances that he has made for Brighton or in other words one goal in every 2.5 appearances, while Zamora has scored 1.1 goal in every 2 appearancess he has made for Brighton.

And like Zamora, Murray has also won a handful of club trophies with the two clubs he has served during his career: Brighton and Carlisle United. With Brighton he has actually won one Football League One title in 2010-11 season and has finished runner-up in the Championship in 2016-17 season.

Danny Cullip

Another defender on the list of best Brighton players of all time, Danny Cullip is a 44-year-old retired English footballer who served Brighton more than any other club during his career; actually for 5 years between 1999 and 2004. This is as he played only for a year or two for the other clubs he served during his career. And the number of appearances that he made for Brighton only at league level (217) are four to seven times higher than the number of appearances he made for the other clubs. During these 217 appearances he actually scored 7 goals for Brighton.

The only other club for whom Cullip scored and also the second club after Brighton for whom he made the most number of appearances is Fulham. He actually made 50 appearances for the English club between 1996 and 1998 and scored 2 goals for them. Cullip’s career only lasted for 15 years - actually from 1995 to 2010; what actually forced Cullip to retire maybe sooner than expected was the Hamstring injury he picked up after a season of service to the English low-tier club, Lewes. Cullip is now working as a coach for Brighton.

Kit Napier

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 too. He served Brighton more than any other club during his career - actually for 6 years between 1966 and 1972 - and is actually Brighton’s third top scorer of all time with the number of goals mentioned above.

He also made the most number of appearances and scored the most number of goals for Brighton at league level: 84 goals in 256 appearances which gets him a goal-to-appearance ratio of 0.32 meaning that the passed Scottish footballer scored almost one goal (exactly 0.96) in every three appearances that he made for the Seagulls.

However, despite the fact that Napier scored the most number of his career goals for Brighton, he has the best goal-to-appearance ratio with the low-tier English club, Workington: 0.43 that comes from the 25 goals he scored in the 58 appearances that he made for the English club in 1964-65 season. In fact, such a good results attracted the attention of the then First Division club, Newcastle United, and they finally bought him for a transfer fee of £18,000.

However, Napier could not adopt himself to the top-tier league and only made 8 appearances for Newcastle United during his spell with them. It was actually with Brighton that Napier shined: he actually became their top scorer in all the seasons he served them except for 1969-70 season, but again in 1972 that the club was promoted to Division 2, Napier chose to join the then Division 3 club, Blackburn Rovers. Seems he had a knack to stay in Division 3!

Bert Stephens

Another passed footballer on the list of best Brighton players of all time, 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.

That actually gets him a goal-to-appearance ratio of 0.47 which means the passed English footballer scored almost one goal (exactly 0.94) in every two appearances that he made for the Seagulls. Stephens became Brighton top scorer in 1936-37 and 1938-39 with 26 and 17 goals respectively. Unfortunately there is no photo of Bert Stephens at hand to present you with.

Tommy Cook

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, Tommy Cook is another passed footballer on the list who served Brighton from 1922 and 1929. 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. If you ask us, 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.

Ernie Wilson

Another passed footballer on the list of Brighton best footballers of all time, 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. Wilson also served four other clubs during his career but the length of his service to them is not known; There are little chances that this length is more than 14 years, so, Brighton is by high probability the club Wilson served the most during his career.

And during his service to Brighton, Wilson actually scored 67 goals in the 509 league appearances that he made for the club. That actually gets him a goal-to-appearance ratio of 0.13 which means the passed English footballer who played as an outside left during his career scored a little bit more than one goal (exactly 1.04) in every 8 appearances that he made for the Seagulls. 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.

Peter Ward

The last but not least on the list of Brighton best footballers of all time, Peter Ward is a 65-year-old retired English footballer and the only footballer among the best Brighton players ever to have served 10 clubs, though some of them are only indoor soccer clubs.

Ward actually served Brighton more than any other club during his career; actually for 5 years between 1975 and 1980, and during this time, he scored 79 goals in the 178 appearances that he made for them at league level which gets him a goal-to-appearance ratio of 0.44 meaning that the 65-year-old retired English footballer scored a little bit more than one goal (exactly 1.13) in every 3 appearances that he made for the Seagulls.

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. It might be interesting for you to know that 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, actually in 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. That actually earned him a lot of respect from Brighton’s fans even to this date that they desire a Brighton team with its all members being Ward!

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source: SportMob
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