In the Southern League they won their only national honour to date, the FA Charity Shield, which at that time was contested by the champions of the Southern League, and the Football League, by defeating Football League Champions Aston Villa in 1910.
The history of Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. began in 1901. It first played in the Southern League, and was elected to the Football League in 1920. They won promotion to the First Division in the 1978–79 season, but were relegated in the 1982–83 season. They returned to the top flight for the 2017–18 season playing in the Premier League.
The club played its matches at the Goldstone Ground between 1902 and 1997. After the stadium was sold, the club played at Gillingham for two years, then at Withdean Stadium between 1999 and 2011. In 2011, a new stadium Falmer Stadium was completed and it has served as the home ground for the club since. On 21 September 2023, Joao Pedro scored the first European goal for Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. through a spot kick, becoming the first player to do so in the history of the club.
The club was first formed as Brighton & Hove United on 24 June 1901, and the name was quickly changed to Brighton & Hove Albion. The club took the place of a defunct club, Brighton & Hove Rangers, in the Southern League.In the Southern League they won their only national honour to date, the FA Charity Shield, by defeating Football League Champions Aston Villa in 1910. There had previously been Old Brightonians, representing the area in the FA Cup in the 19th century.
The club initially played at the Hove County Ground, with a few games were also at Goldstone Ground that was used by Hove F.C. From 1902 onwards, Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. and Hove F.C. shared the Goldstone Ground.
In 1920, 19 years after the club was formed, they were elected to the Football League’s new Third Division.
The first known crest (1946–1975) to be used by Brighton & Hove Albion was the traditional coat-of-arms design of the twin towns of Brighton and Hove. A hybrid design employing the shield of Hove and the dolphin crest of Brighton was also used at times while a calligraphic shield was worn on the team shirts in the latter 1950s. During the 1974/75 season the club became known as ‘The Dolphins’ and by the beginning of the following season, a new club crest had been introduced. Both this nickname and crest were to prove short-lived, however, following an incident said to have taken place in the Bo’sun public house in Brighton. Prior to a ‘derby’ fixture with fierce rivals, Crystal Palace, a few away supporters started chanting, “Eagles, Eagles” to which a group of Brighton & Hove Albion fans responded with a chant of “Seagulls, Seagulls”. Current club director, Derek Chapman, is said to have been among the group who first christened the club with this nickname. The club has been known as ‘The Seagulls’ ever since and in 1977 the club crest was changed once again to represent this. A round seagull crest was used on club shirts until 1998 when the current design was introduced. New chairman Dick Knight wanted to sweep away all the remnants of the old, disgraced regime and saw an updated crest as a sign to supporters of new beginnings and happier times ahead.
During the 2001/02 season, however, the club shirts displayed no seagull crest at all. For the club’s centenary season a return was made to the traditional shields of the former boroughs of Brighton and Hove (now officially one city). The Brighton shield shows Martlets (birds used often in Sussex heraldry) and coral which both represent the sea. The Hove shield also displays martlets and a ship that has run ashore, representing a French galley, commemorating the French attacks on the coast of Hove during the early 16th century.