Ex-England goalie David James makes Brighton & Hove Albion history

David James created Brighton & Hove Albion history on Saturday by becoming the first player to play both at the Amex Stadium and the old Goldstone Ground.

By Liam Dawes

David James selective colour
Image courtesy of mcolairo

The 41-year-old former England goalkeeper played between the sticks for Bristol City in the Robins’ 2-0 defeat to Gus Poyet’s Albion.

The latest appearance in James’ remarkable career comes nearly 21 years to the day since he played for Watford against Albion at the Goldstone – a game which the home side won 3-0.

Since that game on 19th January 1991, James has played for Liverpool, Aston Villa, West Ham United, Manchester City and Portsmouth, and has also won 53 England caps.

The Goldstone Ground was the home of Brighton & Hove Albion for 95 years before its closure in 1997.

The Amex opened in August 2011 following a 14 year planning battle.

There are no Albion players from the Goldstone era still playing in the professional game, but what other opposition players have a chance to join James in this elite club?

Brighton Lite profiles some candidates below:

David Beckham:

The career of the world’s most famous footballer began at the Goldstone Ground when he came on as a substitute for Manchester United against Albion in a League Cup tie on 23rd September 1992.

Beckham signed his first professional contract with United shortly after, before embarking on a glittering career that has included spells at Real Madrid, AC Milan and LA Galaxy.

The midfielder lists six Premier League titles, two FA Cup winners medals and one La Liga title amongst his many accolades.

With 115 caps to his name he is England’s most capped outfield player of all time.

He is currently a free agent after his contract with LA Galaxy expired late last year.

Ryan Giggs:

A noted fan of super-injunctions, 38-year-old Giggs played for Manchester United in the same League Cup tie as Beckham in 1992.

The game finished 1-1, before United beat the Seagulls 1-0 in the second leg at Old Trafford to secure a 2-1 aggregate victory.

Giggs is a one-club man, having been a feature in Sir Alex Ferguson’s sides for nearly 21 years, and has amassed 627 appearances for the Red Devils.

He is the first player to score in every single season since the Premier League began.

The left winger has won 12 Premier Leagues, four FA Cups and four League Cups during a spectacular career.

Frank Lampard:

In the 1995/6 season, West Ham United loaned a teenage Frank Lampard to third tier Swansea City, with whom he made nine appearances.

One of these saw the midfielder score for the Swans in a 2-0 victory over Albion at the Goldstone.

Lampard moved to Chelsea in 2001 for £11m, where he still plays today.

The 33-year-old has 90 England caps to go with three Premier League titles and three FA Cup winners medals.

Scott McGleish:

The very definition of a journeyman footballer, McGleish played for Leyton Orient in an incredible 4-4 draw against Albion on 8th March 1997, just over a month before the Goldstone closed its doors for the final time.

With Albion scrapping to avoid relegation to the Conference, McGleish scored late-on to give Orient a 4-3 lead.

The striker chose to celebrate in front of the home support whilst making some ill-advised gestures – actions which have ensured a hostile reception for the 37-year-old whenever he has faced the Seagulls since.

Nomadic McGleish has represented Charlton Athletic, Peterborough United, Colchester United, Cambridge United, Barnet, Northampton Town and Wycombe Wanderers during an 18-year career.

He joined League 2 Bristol Rovers last summer, where he has scored eight goals so far this season.

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