Ian Hart: Albion fans: Savour these great times

Never mind Easter Weekend, I feel I'm regressing to my formative years in the early 1970s and it's around December 23, I know what's coming and know I'm going to love every minute of it.

Brighton players celebrate during their 3-1 victory over Birmingham City on Tuesday night. Picture by Phil Westlake
Brighton players celebrate during their 3-1 victory over Birmingham City on Tuesday night. Picture by Phil Westlake

Without wishing to get carried away, subject to results, the Albion could get promoted to the Premier League on Monday when they entertain Wigan Athletic at the Amex.

Who am I kidding?

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This is actually happening.

My Albion journey began on Easter Monday, 1973, so it’s somewhat ironic that we will reach the summit on the corresponding day 44 years later.

Having like many others been through more thin than thick with the Albion over the years, I would urge all supporters to really enjoy the next couple of weeks, take every opportunity to savour these great times.

Last weekend, both Sheffield United and Doncaster supporters celebrated their respective promotions with obligatory pitch invasions. At these moments, you get your usual ‘holier than thou’ supporters who decry such actions, we had it from certain quarters at the Albion this week.

If the Albion get promoted on Monday there will be a pitch invasion, closely followed by the pitch being cleared and then the players and management coming out for a lap of honour with their families.

It worked when Manchester City first won the Premier League with virtually the last kick of the game, and with the excellent stewarding network we have at the Amex, I see no reason why it can’t again.

It wasn’t that long ago that we had a farcical situation in the promotion season of 2011. Much was made of no-one going on the pitch at Withdean which sort of killed the moment and by the time the players came out it was to a half-empty stadium.

I also recall when we played Man City in the League Cup in 2008, it went to penalties and just before the spot-kick competition a 13-year-old Harty Junior asked would I be cross if he ran on the pitch if Albion won, I replied “son, I’d be cross if you didn’t run on the pitch!”

The players have earned and deserve their lap of honour but the fans need their moment as well.

We’re not going anywhere Monday night anyway, the bars will be well stocked, we can celebrate till midnight if necessary.

For all we’ve been through, just enjoy it.

n An often-overused phrase in sport “he’s a genuinely nice guy” but in the case of Sussex amateur boxing coach Dave Brown, there has never been a truer word spoken.

On Friday night at the annual Os and B boxing evening at the Hilton Metropole in Brighton, the Lancing legend was honoured by the WBC to commemorate his more than half a century association and dedication to the sport.

The medal, awarded by boxing’s premier governing world body, was presented by former undisputed middleweight champion Alan Minter (back in the good old days when there were eight weights and eight champions) and current IBO middleweight world champion Chris Eubank Junior.

The list of amateur champions he has coached is endless but perhaps far more significant is the number of youngsters he has kept on the straight and narrow through the noble art.

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