Norwich City and Brighton preparing for rare top-flight encounter

PUBLISHED: 19:27 30 October 2019 | UPDATED: 21:04 30 October 2019

NCFC v Brighton on Saturday 14th May 1983 - John Deehan in action Picture: Archant Library

NCFC v Brighton on Saturday 14th May 1983 - John Deehan in action Picture: Archant Library

Archant Library

This weekend will see Norwich City take on Brighton & Hove Albion in the top flight of English football for the first time in over 36 years.

You have to go back to the 1982-83 season in the old First Division for the last meeting of the clubs in the top tier, a campaign in which the Seagulls finished bottom and were relegated - beginning a 34-season stint away from the top table.

Despite that, Brighton won their home game in December 1982 at the club's traditional home, the Goldstone Ground, in front of just short of 10,000 spectators.

That 3-0 league win was followed by a 1-0 home triumph over the Canaries three months later, in the FA Cup sixth round.

NCFC v Brighton on Saturday 14th May 1983 - Dave Watson withwas presented with the Barry Butler Memorial Trophy by Geoffrey Watling Picture: Archant LibraryNCFC v Brighton on Saturday 14th May 1983 - Dave Watson withwas presented with the Barry Butler Memorial Trophy by Geoffrey Watling Picture: Archant Library

However, by the time Norwich had won 2-1 at Carrow Road on the final day of the campaign - thanks to goals from John Deehan and Mike Channon - City were safe in 14th and Albion's time in the top flight was over after a four-season stay.

Since then the Canaries have spent 17 seasons in the top tier, including three finishes in the top five in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

It was a very different story for Brighton though, dicing with relegation from the Football League during the late 1990s amid financial trouble, sharing Gillingham's Priestfield Stadium between 1997 and 1999, before spending 12 years at the tiny Withdean Stadium.

NCFC v Brighton on Saturday 14th May 1983. Picture: Archant LibraryNCFC v Brighton on Saturday 14th May 1983. Picture: Archant Library

The turning point came in 2009 when Brighton-born gambling mogul Tony Bloom took control of the club and began investing heavily, including in the construction of the impressive 30,000 capacity Amex Stadium which became the Seagulls' home in 2011.

After making the Championship play-offs in 2013, 2014 and 2016, former Norwich boss Chris Hughton finally steered Brighton to the Premier League in 2017 and secured survival for two seasons, before being replaced by Swansea manager Graham Potter this summer.

With Bloom spending a reported £200million of his personal fortune - estimated to be worth over £1billion - the future looks bright for Brighton, with big reported transfers fees this summer of £16m to Brentford for striker Neal Maupay and £20m to Bristol City for Adam Webster.

NCFC v Brighton on Saturday 14th May 1983. Picture: Archant LibraryNCFC v Brighton on Saturday 14th May 1983. Picture: Archant Library

Norwich have faced Albion just 13 times since that 1982-83 season, with 10 of those in the second tier, two during the League One season of 2009-10 and the other in the FA Cup third round in 2003.

Nine of those meeting ended in victory for the Canaries, however the last visit to the Amex did not go well, being thumped 5-0 as Alex Neil's reign started to turn sour.

The clubs first clashed in Division Three in 1921, with Norwich winning 33 of the 87 meetings overall, Brighton 30 and the remaining 24 draws - but Saturday's 88th game will be just the seventh in the top flight.

NCFC v Brighton on Saturday 14th May 1983. Picture: Archant LibraryNCFC v Brighton on Saturday 14th May 1983. Picture: Archant Library

- The photos featured in this article are from the previous top-flight match between City and the Seagulls, which Norwich won 2-1 at Carrow Road, in May 1983.

NCFC v Brighton on Saturday 14th May 1983. Picture: Archant LibraryNCFC v Brighton on Saturday 14th May 1983. Picture: Archant Library

NCFC v Brighton on Saturday 14th May 1983. Picture: Archant LibraryNCFC v Brighton on Saturday 14th May 1983. Picture: Archant Library

NCFC v Brighton on Saturday 14th May 1983. Picture: Archant LibraryNCFC v Brighton on Saturday 14th May 1983. Picture: Archant Library

NCFC v Brighton on Saturday 14th May 1983. Picture: Archant LibraryNCFC v Brighton on Saturday 14th May 1983. Picture: Archant Library

NCFC v Brighton on Saturday 14th May 1983. Picture: Archant LibraryNCFC v Brighton on Saturday 14th May 1983. Picture: Archant Library

NCFC v Brighton on Saturday 14th May 1983. Picture: Archant LibraryNCFC v Brighton on Saturday 14th May 1983. Picture: Archant Library

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