Years played: 2010-2018
Position: Right winger/right-back
Steve Brinkhurst is the home-grown hero of the club’s modern era.
Although he started out in Brighton’s Academy, he got his first real taste of first-team football at his home town club in 2010, when he joined Steve Ibbotson’s Conference South side on loan from The Seagulls. It was the first of no fewer than four spells Brinky would have with the club.
He returned to the club in 2014, with Simon Wormull tempting Brinky back to The Dripping Pan on a permanent basis. His darts down the right wing were some of the rare highlights of a tough season, before Garry Wilson and Danny Bloor took over at the start of the next season, where Brinky began to be used more as the marauding wing-back that he became best known for at the club.
Brinky spent time with rivals Hasting Utd before coming back to the club in 2015 as part of Steve Brown’s side.
Brinky went back to Hastings and then Peacehaven before returning for a fourth time as part of Darren Freeman’s revamped Rooks in late 2015, where he soon became a fixture at right-back.
Regarded as Mr Reliable, Brinky was pretty much a constant presence in Freeman’s side, often curbing his attacking instincts to allow players such as Charlie Coppola or Stephen Okoh to flourish on the wing in front of him, knowing Brinky would be there to mind the shop.
Brinky’s attacking prowess was tamed to such an extent that, when he scored a scruffy goal away at Hornchurch in 2018, the club commissioned special commemorative T-shirts.
Brinkhurst was a key part of the side that saw the club promoted from the Isthmian South division in 2018. And for a while there, it looked like the club might be on course for a second successive promotion, with Darren Freeman’s side topping the Isthmian Premier table going into December.
Then disaster struck for Brinkhurst, when a recurrence of an old knee injury flared up in an away game at Merstham just before Christmas, eventually forcing him to retire. The injury was one of the key reasons why the team couldn’t maintain the early season form, eventually finishing 11th.
Whether it’s taking part in the barrel run on bonfire night or claiming yet another skittles title on the Grange Gardens, Brinky (and his family) have always been much loved parts of the Lewes scene.
He’s definitely one of our own.