Month: August 2016

The Tale of Football and Tony Bloom

tony bloom seagullsWhen legacies come together, what do we get? A spectacle, that is. Such was the case when the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club met the infamous businessman Anthony Grant “Tony” Bloom.

Back in the 1970s, Tony was born to the Bloom family who were avid football aficionados and who has served quite some time with the club as well. Harry, his grandfather who was a well-known motor trader and hotelier, was vice-chairman to Mike Bamber. Ray, his uncle, was a director too.

As a child, he would often be brought alongside his brother to the Goldstone Ground to watch the matches. Not only was his interest piqued as he grew up, he was actually born into it. Believe it or not, the Blooms have already 40 years and 3 generations of history with it.

This is why it came as no surprise that he eventually got appointed as the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club’s newest chairman succeeding Harry Dick Knight back in May of 2009.

The club being founded on the 24th of June in 1901 is currently 114 years old. Chris Hughton, a retired Irish professional footballer stands as its current manager. The team is composed of goalkeepers Niki Mäenpää, David Stockdale and Casper Ankergren; defenders Bruno Saltor Grau, Uwe Hünemeier, Lewis Dunk, Gaëtan Bong, Connor Goldson and Liam Rosenior; midfielders Dale Stephens, Beram Kayal, Jamie Murphy, Jake Forster-Caskey, Solly March, Danny Holla, Rohan Ince, Anthony Knockaert and Richie Towell as well as forwards Sam Baldock, Tomer Hemed and Chris O’Grady.

But even before succeeding the post in 9 years ago, Tony’s contributions to the Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. is nowhere near grand. They’re magnanimous and beyond words.

In the year 2000, he became one of its benefactors by being one of its stockholders and investors. Two major constructions were under his belt, the 30,750 seater £93 million American Express Community “Amex” Stadium and the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre which opened in 2011 and 2014 respectively. The Amex was previously the Falmer Stadium and is currently the home of the Brighton & Hove Albion F.C.

Helping financially fund the two major structures, Tony Bloom’s work hasn’t gone unnoticed. Despite being a man of small words with his speeches, the city and its citizens have voted and awarded him as its Most Outstanding Brightonian for 2009. Something, not everybody gets in their lifetime for sure.