The Brighton Tigers
I have written before that Brighton and Sussex sporting-wise punch beyond their weight. Brighton and Hove have a well supported football team in a wonderful stadium, the oldest professional cricket club, Sussex CCC founded in 1839, a dog track and race course. In the county we have Goodwood, Hickstead, Devonshire Park tennis and the Eastbourne Eagles speedway team.
50 years ago on May 23 1965 arguably the finest sporting team Brighton ever produced, the ice hockey team the Brighton Tigers played their last game at the Brighton Sports Stadium in West St. This was closed to redevelop the centre and the Tigers, unable to find a new home, disbanded.
It was such a thrill to watch them before a crowd of 2000 on a Sunday night. I would take the trolley bus , the number 7 from George St Hove, with my dad, who knew the Tigers owner Benny Lee. Entrance was six shillings and sixpence, quite a bit but worth it. Dad and I would stop off at the Clock Tower cinema for Pathe News presented by Bob Danvers Walker and what a treat, eggs and chips at Fortes, dad would have his Mackeson at the Long Bar of the stadium known as the SS, me a bottle of pop, before we took up our rink-side seat. Jocky Dryburgh known as Wee McGregor was my boyhood hero. The mighty Tigers greatest moment came in 1957 when they beat the whole Russia side 6-3. Few sides could compete with us. Alan Weeks was the commentator . Often clad in a sheep skin fluffy jacket with beaming face, he could turn his mike to any sport but was associated with ice hockey . I remember him at one winter Olympiad commentating on the 4 man kayak competition.
There was a attempt to revive an ice hockey team the Royals but in the absence of a rink they never had a home. The I 360 Tower is costing the council £32m and personally I would prefer that money invested in a rink to revive ice hockey in the city.