As he was prone to do throughout his career, Brian Clough caused a ruckus in November of 1973 when he fell out without absolutely everybody, resigned from his post after six good years with league champions Derby County and subsequently took over at Brighton & Hove Albion down in the Third Division just six weeks later.
Clough’s south coast sojourn proved to be largely unsuccessful, with Brighton washing up in 19th place at the culmination of his one and only season in charge.
The brief reign, which lasted less than a calendar year, was perhaps typified roughly one month in when Bristol Rovers came to the Goldstone Ground and proceeded to paste Brighton to the tune of 8-2 on a bleak but bright afternoon in early December, 1973.
Just to rub it in, Clough appeared as a pundit on the Big Match after the game and was forced to watch on uncharacteristically chastened as affable host Brian Moore discussed the result with his son, seven-year-old Nigel, who seemed thoroughly amused by the whole escapade…
Bristol Rovers went on to secure promotion by finishing second, thanks largely to the 40-goal ‘Smash and Grab’ strike partnership of Alan Warboys and Bruce Bannister.
Warboys suffered a laceration on his face during the Brighton drubbing, leading Clough to speculate that the injury must have been self-inflicted as “none of his defenders got anywhere near” the rampaging Rovers forward, who scored four goals that afternoon.
Bannister had to make do with a mere hat-trick.