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Get Leon Knight off the Legends Wall?

Leon Knight has always been a somewhat controversial character. He scored 27 goals including the play-off final penalty that got Brighton and Hove Albion promoted in 2004, but since then he wished relegation on the club after being sold following countless fallings out with Mark McGhee and has sunk so low as to find himself released by a club in the footballing hotbed of Northern Ireland following posting homophobic comments on Twitter.

Indeed, it is now Twitter that little Leon is more well known for than his footballing career. He's been kicked off the site for his latest stunt, #SAP in which blokes send revealing pictures of their ex-girlfriends to him and he reposts them (You can read about the whole sordid affair here)

Which begs the question - is he really a suitable player to have on the legends parade at the back of the West Stand of The Amex? The overwhelming answer to the question on both NSC and Twitter (#GetLeonKnightOffTheLegendsWall) has been no, with many people going so far as to contact the club and request that his banner is taken down immediately. This has sparked a debate about who should take Leon's place.

We've put together a poll of nine of the options being banded about - who would you like to see on the Amex Legends Parade, or do you think that despite the fact he is clearly a complete tosser, what he did on the pitch is enough to keep Leon's place on the wall?

While the club have tried to claim that the portraits actually recreate iconic moments from the clubs history, we're not buying that for the simple fact that as much of a rarity as a Kerry Mayo dribble may have been, it is not an iconic moment? Therefore, the poll reflects simply on who you would like to see on the wall for their achievements with the Albion

 

Alan Mullery 1976-1981, 1986-1987
Remains the only man in Albion history to lead the club into the top flight of English football when he won promotion in 1979, adding to the one he gained in 1977 from Division Three to Division Two. Kept the Seagulls in the top flight until his departure for Charlton Athletic in 1982. Gets extra points for infuriating Palace fans with his "you're not worth that Palace" rant as he threw 5 on the floor and began flicking the V signs at the Eagles supporters at Selhurst Park during a particularly heated match. Returned for a less glorious spell as manager, lasting one season in 1986-87
Jimmy Melia 1982-1983
Responsible for one of the most remarkable and famous events in Albion history - the run to the 1983 FA Cup Final. Not only did he mastermind victory over an all-conquering Liverpool side at Anfield, but had it not have been for that miss from Gordon Smith then he might have secured an FA Cup for the cabinet and etched the Seagull's name onto the most famous trophy in the world. It was not only the FA Cup run that gained Melia notoriety - his young and glamorous girlfriend and his disco style of dress, particularly his dancing shoes, endeared him to football fans.
Ian Chapman 1987-1996, 2006-2008
Promised a testimonial many years ago but still yet to receive one, he became the youngest player in the clubs history when making his debut at 16 away at Birmingham in 1987. 281 appearances followed over the next nine years, including one promotion and two relegations and an appearance at Wembley in the 1991 Division Two play-off final defeat to Notts County. Despite winning the player of the season award for 1995-1996, he was released after apparently telling David Bellotti exactly what he thought about the way the club was being run.
Steve Gritt 1996-1998
When "Gritt believes Bellotti's bulls**t" was scrawled on the wall of the West Stand upon his arrival as manager in 1996, the Albion were a club that were dead and buried. 12 points adrift at the bottom of the Football League with no home ground at the end of the season, oblivion was well and truly on the cards. Yet somehow he turned things around, never losing at the Goldstone culminating in the 1-0 win over Doncaster before the most unlikeliest of Great Escape's was secured with a 1-1 draw at Hereford on the final day of the season, condemning the Bulls to non-league.
Stuart Storer 1995-1999
"Delivery at the second time deep towards the back post, up go the heads, headed back across the face of goal, Storer's header punched off the line by O'Connor, Morris heads off the bar STORRRRREEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR, STTTTUUUUAAAAAAAARRRRTTTTTTTTTTTTT STTTOOORRRRRRRREEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRRR has got the goal that could lift Brighton off the bottom of the table, and keep their Football League hopes alive." Don't think we really need to say anything else about this one
Gary Hart 1998-2011
Spending five years at one football club is rare these days, so to do 13 is some achievement - especially when they are spread across three divisions from a player who it's fair to say had limited ability. What he lacked in talent he made up for in hard work and he remains one of the most decorated players in Albion history - four promotions, three of them with championship medals having played as a striker, right midfielder, right back, left back and even in goal during one particular light-hearted friendly at Leatherhead. 373 appearances and 45 goals makes him a true Seagulls legend.
Michel Kuipers 2000-2010
Popularity among Albion fans remains high as was evident with the turn out at his long-awaited appearance at The Amex in a Brighton shirt in a testimonial match with Reading. Things looked ominous when he was hauled off at half-time on his debut but 285 further appearances between the posts followed as he established himself as one of the greatest goalkeepers in the clubs history. As much a reason for back-to-back titles as Bobby Zamora was, he survived a near-career ending leg injury, a near-career ending shoulder injury and a near-career ending car crash.
Leon Knight 2003-2006
Scored 27 goals in 2003-2004 including the penalty that secured promotion in the play-off final against Bristol City. A ridiculously talented player, he is the classic example of how a bad attitude can cost you everything as since leaving Withdean he has represented Swansea, Barnsley, MK Dons, Wycombe, Rushden, Thrasivoulos Fylis, Hamilton Academicals, Queen of the South, Coleraine and finally Glentoran from whom he was released for posting homophobic comments on Twitter. His football career may be over, but that still won't take away his place in Albion history.
Russell Slade 2009
Without Russell Slade, Brighton and Hove Albion would have been relegated to League Two for the 2009-10 season. No Slade would conceivably had led to no Gus Poyet, which would mean no League One title and no Championship football at The Amex. He may have only been in charge for six months, but his contribution to where the Seagulls are today is absolutely huge when you think about what playing football in the basement division until at least 2010 would have meant - and that looked nailed on when eight points adrift with just seven games to go.




Who do you think should be on the Amex Legends Wall? Someone from our list or somebody we have missed off altogether? You can tell us below.

 


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