Brighton & Hove Albion v Aston Villa: A trip down memory lane

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What’s significant about March 26, 1983? Yep, that’s right, it’s was Diana Ross’ 39th birthday. But, perhaps more significantly in the footballing world, it’s the last time Brighton & Hove Albion and Aston Villa met in the league.

And after a 33-year wait, the pair will lock horns again on Friday night, so Ladbrokes News thought we’d take a trip down memory lane to see what was going on in that glorious early-80s spring.

What else were we going to do during the international break?

Not many of Brighton or Villa’s current players were around to witness the 0-0 draw that year between the two teams. In fact, only three of them were born, although we doubt a three-year-old Casper Ankergren, a two-year-old Bruno and a newborn Steve Sidwell will have caught the fixture.

A then-41-year-old Alex Ferguson was some 38 titles away from becoming the greatest manager of all-time, while his Premier League rival Arsene Wenger was preparing to take the role of assistant boss role at Ligue 2 outfit Cannes.

The top-flight stalemate between fourth-placed Aston Villa and bottom side Brighton meant the Seagulls had gathered some momentum heading into a vital stage of the season. It was their third draw in a row before they ended that run with victory over Tottenham Hotspur seven days later.

And there was a familiar name on the teamsheet that day for the north London outfit – Brighton manager Chris Hughton.

And, coincidentally, Hughton’s Spurs had defeated Villa just two days before the Midlands outfit travelled to the south east.

So Hughton played against both Villa and Brighton in the space of just over a week around March 26, but where was Steve Bruce?

He was knocking about in the third tier of English football with Gillingham. Amazing to think he’d go on and blow Hughton out of the water in terms of trophies won as a player…

We’re offering odds of 15/2 for a repeat of that 0-0 draw, while 7/2 says Bruce picks up his fourth win in six games as Villa boss.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Alex Apati

Having graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in Creative Writing with English, Alex joined the News team following a three year stint working for Ladbrokes behind the counter. When he's not watching darts, he's throwing them. Failing that you'll find him YouTubeing Thierry Henry's greatest Arsenal goals.