Tony Bloom, born as Anthony Grant, did not simply become Brighton and Hove Albion F. C.’s chairman out of sheer passion. It happens to run in his very veins. It’s somehow written in his blood and as destiny would have it, he became beloved among fans of the sport and the team for all the contributions he has put in even before he succeeded the post.
His football legacy stems deep and it runs in the family. Let’s take a little trip down memory lane shall we?
In 1970, Tony was born in Brighton, a seaside resort town in England nicknamed as “London by the Sea” for its brassy beach front and beautiful piers. At the time, the Blooms were already known to be massive supporters of the club, investing not only time and emotions but also finances.
In the same decade, Harry Bloom, Tony’s grandfather and a well-known hotelier and motor trader, was vice chairman to Mike Bamber. He held the post for seven years. It was during his time when the Brighton and Hove Football Club aka the Seagulls rose from the old Third to the First Division.
According to former English football player and manager, Alan Mullery, Harry served as a great arbiter to him and flamboyant chairman Mike Bamber, ensuring that everything is kept professional and within bounds. He was the best buffer that held things in place and kept the friction out. Moreover, he helped bring Brian Clough and Peter Taylor to the club from Derby.
In October of 1980 while on the way to a game at Stoke, Harry suffered from a heart attack on the team coach. It was surely a shock for the entire team and club but the family noted that it was perhaps not a bad way to go considering that he was still doing something he so passionately loved.
The youngest of Harry Bloom’s four sons, Ray was the second generation to fill a significant post in the Brighton and Hove Albion F.C. He sat as one of the board of directors in the 1984 and held a minority share for the past 24 years. After finishing his nine year stint at Worthing as managing director, he resigned the post to join the Seagull’s club.
Tony Bloom was the son of Ray’s older brother Ronnie. He is the third generation in the family who has been with the Seagulls. To say that his achievements as its chairman since 2009 are magnanimous would be pretty understated. He certainly did his family proud.