More Than Ninety Minutes

Dick Knight in his London home 1996 © Stewart Weir 1996

The ‘Hello Boys’ Wonderbra commercial which featured Eva Herzigova‘s cleavage was this year voted the most iconic advert image of all time. The traffic-stopping ad sparked a sensation when it was unveiled in 1994 and was blamed for causing accidents as commuters stared at the huge roadside posters. TBWA Holmes Knight Ritchie was the Ad agency responsible for the campaign and Harry Richard “Dick” Knight is one of the people credited with the campaign’s success.

In 1996 Dick Knight became involved with saving Brighton and Hove Albion FC from football extinction. He fought and ousted the hated former chairman Bill Archer to become chairman himself. For 12 years he steered the club from the brink of oblivion on and off the pitch in a story with more twists and turns, ups and downs than any cheesy TV drama.

Stuart Storer scores at the Goldstone Ground 1997. © Stewart Weir 1997

From a ramshackle but fondly remembered Goldstone Ground to the equally ramshackle but far less fondly remembered Priestfield Stadium where home games meant a 150 mile day trip to Gillingham (1997 to 1999) and then to a converted running track at the Withdene Stadium (1999 to 2011) to a sparkling new world class stadium at Falmer the story of how Dick Knight saved a football club was summed up by football legend and ex Brighton manager Liam Brady when he said about Knight.. “He’s probably had the club at the worst possible time and done the best possible job anyone could have. To keep the club alive in the circumstances is remarkable”.

In 1997 I published the book More Than Ninety Minutes. A photo documentary of the struggle to survive on and off the pitch, it’s a testament to the lengths football fans will go to save their club. Long term photo stories are begun but are they ever really finished? I began this in 1995 and still involved. Now I have begun to trace fans I photographed in the 90’s to re photograph them as they are today.

Dick Knight in the new American Express Stadium 2011 © Stewart Weir 2011

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