Tony Millard, regarded by many as the Voice of Brighton & Hove Albion, was found dead at his home today. He was 74.
Few Seagulls fans can remember Brighton without the distinctive voice of Millard either commentating or bringing them highlights of Albion. Millard was the doyen of Sussex sports reporting, also covering speedway for Sky Sports, doing the in-stadium commentaries for the Eastbourne Eagles speedway team at Arlington while he was also co-founder of the Sussex Cricket League.
Millard covered Brighton’s last game at the Amex against Derby County and was due to attend tomorrow’s match against Burnley.
He was involved in just about everything Brighton-wise. In the days before the internet when fans would telephone football hotlines for information, Brighton supporters could hear Millard saying: “You’ve called the Seagull Line on Brighton 8049, that’s the number for Albion information every day…24 hours a day…”
As Brighton prepared to move to the Amex, in one commentary Millard said: “So, last season at Withdean, next season increasing the size of Falmer by the size of Withdean.”
Like many football reporters Millard was occasionally caught out by failing to press the mute button or being unaware he was, in fact, live. He would tell the story when, during one game, at the Goldstone Ground, he was the PA announcer and Andy Ritchie was slow to track back an opponent.
Unaware his comment was about to be heard by all in the stadium, Millard said: “F****** hell Andy…pull you finger out will you.”
Here is the commentary from 1983 by Tony Millard and Stephen Rooke for Radio Brighton to the video already on YouTube. Radio Brighton’s commentary was later released on a cassette called ‘Seagulls Soar Over Anfield’.