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Brighton & Hove Albion

Brighton promoted to the Premier League 20 years after almost losing Football League status

5:56 PM GMT 17/04/2017
Brighton & Hove Albion 16-17
The Seagulls will be playing top-flight football in 2017-18, with the club having come a long way since finishing 91st in the League pyramid in 1997

Brighton and Hove Albion have been promoted to the Premier League for the first time in their history.

Chris Hughton's side beat Wigan Athletic 2-1 on Monday to stay top of the Championship and put a 15-point gap between themselves and third-place Huddersfield Town.

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Huddersfield then failed to defeat Derby County in the later match – Jacob Butterfield netting a late leveller for the Rams – meaning Brighton's top-two finish is mathematically assured with three games left to play.

It means the Seagulls will be playing top-flight football next season for the first time in 34 years.

The south-coast side are closing in on the Championship title, too, with Newcastle United's 2-1 defeat to Ipswich Town leaving Rafa Benitez's side seven points behind in second.

Three points from their remaining matches against Norwich City, Bristol City and Aston Villa will see Brighton crowned champions.

It marks an incredible turnaround for a club who were almost relegated from the Football League in 1997.

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A dramatic end to the 1996-97 campaign saw them recover from being 13 points adrift of safety at one stage to beat the drop on the final day, with Robbie Reinelt netting a historic effort against Hereford.

Having clambered their way back up the ladder, Chris Hughton’s side can now start preparing themselves for a standing among English football’s elite once more.