Writer: Stuart Davis
Date:Thursday February 26 2009
Whoever the next Brighton and Hove Albion manager is, they should look seriously at retaining the services of the current Albion backroom staff rather than bringing their own people.
Despite the clubs current league predicament, the Sussex side still have solid foundations and part of the reason for that is because they have good loyal footballing people in the background and behind the scenes.
Perhaps one of the best examples of this is current co acting manager Bob Booker.
The Ex-Sheffield United and Brentford defender first joined the Seagulls as assistant manager to Adams in his first spell at the club in 2000, replacing Alan Cork who had left to take over at Cardiff City.
He was with the club for 6 years as deputy to a total of 5 different managers: the aforementioned Adams, Peter Taylor, Martin Hinshelwood, Steve Coppell and Mark Mcghee. It is a great testament to Bob's ability in his role that they all chose to retain his services.
Booker, who is married to former Southern FM breakfast show host Nicky Keig-Shevlin, was himself was also linked with the hot seat vacancy when Coppell exited for Reading in 2003 but after a reasonably successful spell as caretaker manager,he chose to stay in his comfort zone as the Seasiders number two.
Those six years saw bore plenty of fruit for the Albion too, In his first season, the club won the third division championship, their first silverware in decades. The following season they won the second division championship and two years later the club triumphed in the league 2 play off final against Bristol City at the Millenium Stadium. It was only in 2006 following the appointment of Dean Wilkins, that he finally parted company with the club he has served so well for over half a decade.
Thankfully the absense was only short lived though and in June 2008 after a brief spell managing in non league football, Bob was bought back to the Albion by the newly appointed returning legend Micky Adams as reserve team manager. Renewing the partnership that had been so triumphant some seven years earlier.
Sadly it did not work out so well second time round and following the recent departure of Adams, Booker has been placed joint in command with Dean White. The dependable pair have performed well , with the team gaining a win and a draw in their two matches in charge so far.
It should never be understated just how much Bob Booker has done for the Albion,he provided the backbone behind much of the teams success over the last decade with a football knowledge and management skills that are second to none. He is also ever dependable, cheerful and loyal which is becoming something of a rarity in todays game....and to top it all Bob does one of the best Freddie Mercury impersonations ever seen!
Here's hoping that through this period of re-adjustment Brighton keep hold of their prize assetts.
Date:Thursday February 26 2009
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