Goldstone Ground Remembered
As Brighton & Hove Albion move into their new American Express Community Stadium, the club's supporters are looking to remember their former home.
Albion played at the Goldstone Ground in Old Shoreham Road, Hove, for 95 years from 1902 until 1997. After its controversial sale, the ground was demolished and redeveloped while the club went on to play in temporary accommodation for fourteen years.
A retail park stands on the site, but there is no reminder that it was once occupied by a major sporting venue - an arena of entertainment that admitted around 23 million spectators in its lifetime.
Now, in conjunction with Brighton & Hove City Council, Albion supporters are looking to install a "Heritage Board" nearby.
Tim Carder, chairman of the Albion Collectors' and Historians' Society which is dedicated to promoting and preserving the history of the club, is overseeing the project. He explained:
"When the Goldstone Ground was taken from us fourteen years ago there was no ceremony - just the sound of supporters dismantling the ground for souvenirs and protesting against those that sold it.
"Now, as we move on to the magnificent Amex Stadium, it's finally time to come to terms with the loss of the old ground and remember it in a formal and appropriate manner.
"A generation of fans that never knew the Goldstone Ground has grown up. A Heritage Board will allow us to tell our younger supporters and those not yet born something of the story of that well-loved venue."
Standing in the south-west corner of Hove Park opposite the retail park, the Heritage Board will be close to the Goldstone itself - that is the large rock which gave its name to the valley, Goldstone Bottom, and ultimately to the football ground. One side will display a history of the Goldstone Ground, the other will have an account of Goldstone Bottom and Hove Park.
"At the bottom of the board it will say 'Sponsored by supporters of Brighton & Hove Albion FC'.
"The cost of the Heritage Board is being generously underwritten by the Albion Supporters' Club, but I invite fans to make a small personal donation towards this tribute to what was, for many of us, a second home."
Anyone wishing to contribute to the project can do so via Barclays Bank account 60937320, sort code 20-20-62, in the name of "Goldstone Heritage Fund". Cheques or postal orders should sent to John Kirkland, 32 Buchans Lawn, Crawley RH15 9NZ.
Any excess income will be donated to Albion's award-winning charity arm, Albion in the Community.
Details of the unveiling will be announced at a later date.