Brighton fan documents Albion's historic season with book of poems - Here's how you can buy one

A poetic review of Brighton & Hove Albion’s historic 2022/23 season has been compiled into a book.
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The book, entitled ‘Wins, Grins & Limbs’, is by Jonathan Bradshaw – also known as The Brighton Bard.

A light-hearted journey through the highs and lows of the club’s 2022-2023 Premier League season – which ended with Europa League qualification – Jonathan’s first book is a compilation of poems he shared on X (formerly Twitter) or composed especially for the book.

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“Last season was so momentous in the history of the club, I wanted to be able to capture it in some way,” Jonathan said.

The book, entitled ‘Wins, Grins & Limbs’, is by Jonathan Bradshaw – also known as The Brighton Bard. (Photo contributed)The book, entitled ‘Wins, Grins & Limbs’, is by Jonathan Bradshaw – also known as The Brighton Bard. (Photo contributed)
The book, entitled ‘Wins, Grins & Limbs’, is by Jonathan Bradshaw – also known as The Brighton Bard. (Photo contributed)

"Collecting together some of the short rhymes and reflections I’d written throughout the season seemed a good way of documenting the emotions that came with each match, and the overwhelming joy as we achieved a top six finish and the dream of Europe became a reality.”

With an initial limited print run of 250 copies (retailing at £30) Wins, Grins & Limbs was put up for sale from Wednesday (October 25), in the club’s superstore at the American Express Stadium, Brighton (and online), and pop up shop in Brighton’s Churchill Square shopping centre.

The book is self-funded and published, with £5 of every sale going to Brighton & Hove Albion Foundation (formerly Albion in the Community), official charity of Brighton & Hove Albion.

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In addition to comprehensive match details, each game of the 2022-2023 Season (including League and FA Cups) is documented with a pre and post-match rhyme as well as 15 in- match rhymes giving a minute-by-minute account of the action. Complementing Jonathan’s words are over 270 full colour photographs from the season provided by the club’s senior photographer Paul Hazlewood, with permission from the club.

Most recently, Jonathan made a half-time pitch-side appearance at the Amex during the West Ham game, interviewed by Richard Reynolds and reciting a specially composed poem. (Photo contributed)Most recently, Jonathan made a half-time pitch-side appearance at the Amex during the West Ham game, interviewed by Richard Reynolds and reciting a specially composed poem. (Photo contributed)
Most recently, Jonathan made a half-time pitch-side appearance at the Amex during the West Ham game, interviewed by Richard Reynolds and reciting a specially composed poem. (Photo contributed)

Jonathan added: “Creating the book involved analysing every match in detail and has been a labour of love, but I hope the result is a book that helps take fans back to some of the most momentous games in our club’s history.

"I’m also hoping that by directing some of the book’s proceeds to the club’s official charity, Brighton & Hove Albion Foundation, it will contribute in a small way to support the amazing work they do in communities across Sussex.

“As remarkable as it sounds, this season might be even better, anything is possible the way Brighton are playing and being run. Although I’m not committing to a ‘Wins, Grins & Limbs’ just yet!”

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As an ex-BHAFC season ticket holder – and having lived in Brighton and Hove for more than 30 years – Jonathan is now based in Oklahoma USA, travelling back to Brighton as often as possible to watch matches at the Amex and meet up with fellow Albion fans.

The book is self-funded and published, with £5 of every sale going to Brighton & Hove Albion Foundation (formerly Albion in the Community), official charity of Brighton & Hove Albion. (Photo contributed)The book is self-funded and published, with £5 of every sale going to Brighton & Hove Albion Foundation (formerly Albion in the Community), official charity of Brighton & Hove Albion. (Photo contributed)
The book is self-funded and published, with £5 of every sale going to Brighton & Hove Albion Foundation (formerly Albion in the Community), official charity of Brighton & Hove Albion. (Photo contributed)

His ‘proper’ job is as a professional speaker and he has spoken in over 30 countries on the behavioural science powering human interaction.

Using the name @TheBrightonBard on social media, Jonathan started posting about football as a hobby just over four years ago. With 14,000 X followers he now regularly writes about Brighton and Hove, Sussex, football, and life as a Brit living in Tornado Alley.

He has become well known across Sussex appearing on matchdays reciting verses on BBC Breakfast, Sky Sports News, BBC South East, BBC Radio Sussex. Most recently, Jonathan made a half-time pitch-side appearance at the Amex during the West Ham game, interviewed by Richard Reynolds and reciting a specially composed poem.

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Jonathan explained: “I wasn’t on social media until I moved to the USA and posting the poems originally started as a fun way to keep in touch with other Albion fans in the run up to, during and post matches.

"Having lived in Poet’s Corner the social media name ‘The Brighton Bard’ seemed an appropriate one and it has been an enjoyable (but unexpected) journey that has helped me stay connected with the club, the city and the county.”

Matt Dorn, Chief Executive of Brighton & Hove Albion Foundation said: “We’re delighted that, through the purchase of Wins, Grins & Limbs, you’ll be directly supporting the work that we do. Reaching more than 5,000 people every week, and around 20,000 people a year, the Foundation brings the Albion badge directly into local communities in 35 towns and cities across Sussex.

“Our work focuses on three main areas: getting people active and playing football, helping people learn new skills and improve their employability, and improving the health and wellbeing of local communities. Our work really is a group effort; a concerted attempt from so many organisations to use football’s massive appeal to change lives.”

For more information about how to support the work of the Foundation, or participate in activities visit: bhafcfoundation.org.uk.