Will Brighton miss their uber fan Steve?...They should do but perhaps they won't

For all Albion fans of a certain age, Steve ‘Bomber’ Besant will be a familiar face both home and away - he’s been following the Seagulls since 1969.

The Premier League continues...minus the fans
The Premier League continues...minus the fans

They were actually called The Dolphins back then. Since 1973 he’s been to every away ground the Albion have played at, at least once, the only exception was Southport, 47 years ago, and the following away trip marked the start of this amazing feat.

He’s been a season ticket holder since 1982/83, with the exception of 1996/97, where on principal, and like many others, including myself, he refused to give a lump sum to the Archer regime.

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Since the Albion returned to Sussex in July 1999 and played at the Withdean Stadium, ‘Bomber’ has not missed an Albion competitive game, home and away, for 21 years, until the Arsenal game behind closed doors the Saturday before last.

Brighton recorded a 2-1 win against Arsenal at an empty Amex Stadium

But after 50 years and 260 days he’s decided to turn his back on the Albion and football in general. Why?

In a letter to Albion chief executive Paul Barber, he states: “ You need to be in no doubt that restarting the 2019/20 season without fans is a total betrayal to every true supporter and that there is simply no worse case scenario than this, as a solution to a clear and obvious problem.

“For so many years we as supporters have suffered an ever diminishing level of importance (now reduced to zero) not only in favour of TV broadcasters but also through an endless stream of punitive new measures and ever more stringent security.

"I have no doubt that the current trend towards cashless stadia is the first step towards the banning of coins being taken into matches.”

Powerful stuff - emotive, heartfelt statements.

Project Restart has proved that football is nothing without the fans, the completion of the season is a means to an end, Liverpool got the silverware legitimately and the 20 EPL clubs didn’t face having to returning over a reported £1 billion pounds to broadcasters around the globe.

But on the flip side, and to reiterate football is nothing without the fans, and how many other ‘Steve Besant’s’ are there the length and breadth of the country?

I’ve no doubt Steve will miss the Albion, but will the Albion miss Steve? They should do, but I fear they won’t.

Returning the pitch, and staying on the Bomber theme, I’m sure in his 51 years he saw the Albion get their ‘backsides smacked’ many times, so just as well he missed the game against Manchester United on Tuesday.

But that’s gone, it onwards to Norwich on Saturday, whilst in some ways difficult to play a team ‘all but relegated’, this is a game the Albion must get something from.

Despite the emphatic United win, there were some encouraging signs, the Albion after being blitzed in the first half, played some decent stuff at times on Tuesday, more of the same is required at Carrow Road.

Prediction time: Norwich 0 Albion 2.