Harty on the Albion, Jocky Wilson and Rebels’ Fans’ Day

AT this point of the season, some 10 points away from third-placed West Ham, it’s fairly safe to say that the Albion won’t be going up to the Premier League automatically.

However, anyone still doubting that the Seagulls can make the play-offs needs to visit Specsavers.

Without wanting to offend anybody with a religious analogy, I can’t help but think the Sussex footballing fan base currently seems to be over populated with a legion of doubting Thomases.

Not just football but life itself is about momentum. It was 15 years ago this week the Albion were playing out their final season at the Goldstone, facing eviction and possible relegation from the Football League, which could have then led to extinction as a club.

Yes, we were made homeless, but we didn’t go down. We “lodged” in Kent for two years, and, as they say, the rest is history.

A £93million state-of-the-art stadium, a manager possibly destined for greater things, and a team having played in the last year or so some of the most attractive football in the club’s history.

Can it get any better?

Yes, it can.

Despite what the doubters say, it’s never too early to go up, just ask Swansea and Norwich.

Three points against Middlesbrough on Saturday and, hopefully, the ranks of the doubters will decrease by a few. If, and when, we get into a play-off scenario, we all need to be singing from the same hymn sheet.

PMA, positive mental attitude – simple as that.

What constitutes a sporting legend? Someone who reaches the top of his or her sport must be integral criteria.

With that in mind, we then, therefore, lost a legend in the sport of darts last weekend, with the sad passing of Jocky Wilson, at the relatively young age of 62.

He took the sport up competitively in 1979, then went on to lift the then coveted Embassy World Title in January, 1982. Put at the top of his field, he did lift the title again in 1989, but, clearly, his “off oche” lifestyle was always going to be a factor in his shortened professional career.

He was a truly one-off. Losing his last tooth at the age of 28, possibly due to the fact that he cleaned his teeth with Fanta or Irn-Bru, for most of his adult life because his much-loved Granny told him the English poisoned the water in Scotland!

Would he have cut it in today’s globally-branded darts world?

I’m not so sure, but one thing is clear, the sport has lost one of its true icons.

It’s Fans’ Day at Woodside Road this Saturday. Although, sadly, it clashes with the Albion’s play-off six-pointer with Middlesbrough, I hope anyone not with a ticket for the Amex goes along to support the Rebels.

Thankfully, over Easter, there is no such clash. The Albion don’t entertain Reading until the Tuesday night, leaving the possibility of a bumper Woodside crowd on Easter Monday for the visit of deadly rivals Bognor.

Worthing are extending an invitation to all Albion season ticket holders that day, who can gain admission for the reduced price of £5 on producing their Amex season ticket.