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The 30 Withdean Goalkeepers

Brighton and Hove Albion must have some sort of record for goalkeepers. The arrival of Tomasz Kusczcak will mean that at least five will have appeared both on the pitch and on the bench at The Amex in two season - yet this pales into comparison to the 30 who were named in a match day squad during the Withdean years - with five of those not making it off the bench.

Struggling to remember all 30? Well, just in case it comes up as a quiz question or appears on North Stand Chat again in the near future, here is the definitive list of the good, the bad, and the Andy Petterson

1) Mark Ormerod
1994-2000, 80 appearances

The goalkeeper for the Great Escape team of 1997. Kept a clean sheet in the 6-0 demolition of Mansfield in Withdean's first ever league match before losing the number one shirt to Mark Walton at the end of August. Released at the end of the 1999-00 season after six years dedicated service.
2) Mark Walton
1998-2000, 58 appearances

Arrived as number one for the last season at Gillingham before losing his place to Ormerod. He regained the shirt just six games into 1999-00 and despite a huge phobia of coming for crosses and a less than subtle waste line kept it until he decided to walk out on a free transfer for Cardiff. Very loud and very Welsh.
3) Michel Kuipers
2000-2010, 247 appearances

Lasted just 45 minutes of his debut at Southend before going onto become an Albion legend. First choice goalkeeper in both the 2001 and 2002 championship winning teams, unused sub in the 2004 play-off final and saved the penalty that knocked Manchester City out the Carling Cup in 2008.
4) Mark Cartwright
2000-2001, 15 appearances

A free signing on the eve of the 2000-01 season, thrown into the deep end at half time at Southend he became number one for the opening months of the season. Injury handed Kuipers his place back and three further appearances occurred after October Released at the end of the season - but with a Division Three title medal.
5) Will Packham
2000-2003, 4 Appearances

Another youth team keeper who kept a clean sheet on his debut at Halifax for the already-crowned Division Three champions and at Port Vale for the already-crowned Division Two champions the next season. Best remembered for his howler against Preston in the FA Cup on one of only two starts.
6) Simon Royce
2001-2002, 6 appearances

Classic case of Peter Taylor loaning one of his old boys when he signed at Christmas 2001 as injury cover. Played six times and conceded 13 goals - just four less than we had let in all season up until that point - and culminated with the annual 4-0 defeat at Brentford. Saved a penalty at Blackpool on the plus side
7) Chris Jones
2002, 0 appearances

Remember him? Signed in March 2002 for the Division Two title run in as back up for Kuipers, the Australian didn't make it off the bench during his brief month at the club - despite his claim to fame being a clean sheet for South Melbourne in the World Club Championship against Manchester United in 2000
8) Andy Petterson
2002, 7 appearances

Can anybody hear his name and not snigger? A free transfer when Kuipers suffered his first injury of 2002-03, he played a part in the 12 game losing streak - including that comical fall over his own leg 30 yards out of his goal as he attempted to run backwards from the half way line, handing Gillingham their fourth goal in a 4-2 rout.
9) John Keeley
2002, 0 appearances

This is not some sort of sick joke. With Petterson gone (only to be re-signed) and Packham injured, Steve Coppell was not going to go into the match at Crystal Palace with no goalkeeping cover on the bench. Step forward the 41 year old coach - 12 years after his last Brighton game. He wasn't needed as we lost 5-0.
10) Ben Roberts
2003-2004, 35 appearances

Perhaps the best of the lot, he would have played far higher were it not for back injuries that forced his retirement. Initially a loan signing, Coppell bought him in permanently as number one for 2003-04 including six straight clean sheets and play-off semi final penalty heroics. Loved a mazy dribble outside his box
11) Dave Beasant
2003, 16 appearances

The 43 year old arrived to play a key part in the battle for Division One survival in 2002-03. Despite his near-pensioner age, he put in a number of superb performances including doing the worm to celebrate a goal against Watford and being seen on the floor of a kebab shop after a 0-0 draw with Palace.
12) Ross Flitney
2003, 3 appearances

Arrived on-loan from Fulham in September 2003 when Kuipers was sent for some first team match action to Hull, he found himself thrown in for a debut against Chesterfield when Roberts got injured the day of the game before returning to play in the Christmas fixtures at home to Wycombe and away at Swindon.
13) Stuart Jones
2004, 3 appearances

With Kuipers recovering from his car crash and Roberts injured, he was thrown into the play-off place battle by Mark McGhee for three games in 2004. Not that it went particularly well - a substitutes appearance in a 1-1 draw at Wycombe followed by defeats 2-0 at Luton and 2-1 at Grimsby. He wasn't seen again after.
14) Chris May
2004-2005, 1 appearance

He spent the entire 2004-05 season bench warming with his award being one appearance - coming off the bench for the final moments of a 0-0 draw at home to Nottingham Forest after Kuipers tore his shoulder to pieces. A 100% clean sheet to games record has to be applauded - even if it was just for five minutes.
15) David Yelldell
2005, 3 appearances

The first man to try and fill Kuipers' boots in 2004-05. He arrived on loan from Blackburn and in his first game performed heroics to secure a 1-1 draw at promotion chasing Leeds which is probably most remembered for his dashing pink shirt. Played two more times and they are probably best forgotten.
16) Rami Shaaban
2005, 6 appearances

Arrived on a free from Arsenal where he had played Champions League football before a serious leg break. His best moments came in an inspired performance as ten men Albion beat Sunderland 2-1 and he is another who looked woeful for us but went onto play international football, representing Sweden at the 2006 World Cup.
17) Alan Blayney
2005, 15 appearances

Had two loan spells from Southampton neither of which made it into permanent deals. Firstly helped Mark McGhee's side escape relegation after taking over from Shaaban for the 2004-05 season run in before returning in November 2005 for a spell in which he saved penalties against Derby and Watford
18) Wayne Henderson
2005-2007, 52 appearances

Arrived on-loan at the start of 2005-06, Mark McGhee made the transfer permanent in January 2006. Played for Ireland during his time at Withdean, he put in some stunning performances such as Leeds away as well as complete howlers such as passing the ball to an opposition forward at Bournemouth.
19) Richard Martin
2005-2007, 0 appearances

Another player on the list who didn't make a first team appearance. He provided back-up on the bench to Henderson for 14 games in 2005-06 before a number of loan spells with non-league sides. Incredibly, upon his release he ended up joining Manchester City.
20) Florent Chaigneau
2005-2006, 3 appearances

Peter Cech's understudy at Rennes and a French under-21 international arrived on-loan to provide competition to Wayne Henderson for 2005-06. He played just three times - defeats against Shrewsbury in the League Cup, Southampton and Coventry before criticising McGhee for dropping him and never being seen again.
21) John Sullivan
2005-2009, 13 appearances

Made 13 appearances under Micky Adams in 2008-09 after sitting on the bench as back up to Michel Kuipers for a season. Performed penalty heroics in the Johnstone Paint Trophy Southern semi final at Shrewsbury in his best Albion performance before being released by Russell Slade.
22) Scott Flinders
2007, 12 appearances

Stood in for Kuipers from February 2007 until the end of the season following his arrival on-loan from Crystal Palace. Impressed with his all round ability and it was his arrival that coincided with a run that saw Dean Wilkins side move away from relegation trouble in League One.
23) Paul Chrichton
2008-2009, 0 appearances

The fourth man on the list who sat on the bench but never made an appearance. The goalkeeping coach was asked to cover from December 2008 as another Kuipers injury left Sullivan as the only senior goalkeeper available and he did so on five occasions without ever making it onto the pitch.
24) Mikkel Andersen
2009, 5 appearances

Youngest goalkeeper to have played in Denmark's top flight before he arrived at Withdean from Reading as one of the thousands of loan players Dean White secured during his brief spell in caretaker charge in March 2009. Played in Russell Slade's first five games in charge before Kuipers' return to fitness.
25) Graeme Smith
2009, 9 appearances

Didn't have the best of starts when thrown into a 7-1 defeat at Huddersfield as a sub after Kuipers' sending off. Then let in four goals at home to Stockport. Other horror shows included a 4-4 draw at Wycombe and 4-1 loss at Norwich. Conceded 27 times in 9 appearances - conclusive proof that Scottish keepers are clowns
26) Josh Pelling
2009, 0 appearances

Fifth and final player to have sat on the bench but not made it as far as the pitch. The youth team product provided back up to Smith and Brezovan six times after Gus Poyet's arrival in November and December 2009 without ever getting his kit dirty. Was released at the end of the campaign without making an appearance.
27) Peter Brezovan
2009-, 42 appearances

With Poyet quickly realising that Graeme Smith was completely gash, he bought in Sexy Pete on a free transfer. While prone to total cock ups himself, he saved a penalty on his debut at Exeter and dislodged Kuipers from the team permanently before a broken wrist saw him spend the final Withdean campaign on the bench.
28) Mitch Walker
2010-2012, 1 appearance

One appearance, one clean sheet for another youth team product who Poyet expected big things from. He was handed his debut against Yeovil in the last game of 2009-10 and was impressive enough before dropping completely off the radar and being released two years later without a further game for the club.
29) Casper Ankergren
2010-, 64 appearances

With Brezovan out with a broken wrist and Poyet realising that neither Poke nor Walker were good enough to step in, former Leeds keeper Casper Ankergren signed on the eve of the 2010-11 season. He made his debut 24 hours later at Swindon and played in all bar three league matches in that title winning campaign.
30) Michael Poke
2010-2012, 1 appearance

Another one cap wonder, he was signed to provide back-up to Brezovan for 2010-11. His only appearance came in a Carling Cup defeat at Northampton Town where his inability to shut his legs saw him nutmegged as the Cobblers pulled off a shock victory. Never seen on the pitch again.

Who was your favourite goalkeeper of the Withdean era? And your least? Share with us your memories of the great and good to don the gloves at the Theatre of Tree's below.


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