Tony Bloom:The Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. Chairman

Tony BloomBased in East Sussex in England, the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club (aka the “Seagulls” or “Albions”) is a professional association football club that currently plays in the Championship, the second tier of the English football league system. It was founded in the 24th of June 24 in 1901 making it 114 years as of this writing. Its current chairman is businessman and philanthropist Anthony Grant “Tony” Bloom.

Mr. Bloom has since held the position since May of 2009 after succeeding Harry Dick Knight who was popular for his many long and ardent speeches. Tony on the other hand made a name for himself but for other reasons.

As a child he recalls watching the games at the Goldstone Ground with his family, a time where he first developed a love for the sport. During his early years in the 1970s his grandfather Harry served as vice-chairman of the club. A decade after that, it was his uncle Ray who held the post as director.

With business and finances on his side, he became one of the club’s major investors by the year 2000. His greatest contribution and achievements would perhaps be the construction of the Seagull’s home, the 30,750 seater American Express Community Stadium (formerly the Falmer Stadium and now dubbed as the “Amex”) and the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre. These two has since opened in 2011 and 2014 and have both been financially aided from Tony Bloom’s own personal pocket. It is also for such reasons as to why the town of Brighton has voted and decided to award him for such contributions.

At present, the Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club is managed by Christopher William Gerard Hughton and is composed of defenders Bruno Saltor Grau, Uwe Hünemeier, Lewis Dunk, Gaëtan Bong, Connor Goldson and Liam Rosenior; midfielders Dale Stephens, Beram Kayal, Jamie Murphy, Jake Forster-Caskey, Solly March, Danny Holla, Rohan Ince, Anthony Knockaert and Richie Towell; forwards Sam Baldock, Tomer Hemed and Chris O’Grady as well as goalkeepers Niki Mäenpää, David Stockdale and Casper Ankergren.

Apart from football and being the Brighton & Hove Albion F.C.’s chairman, Tony Bloom also manages the “Bloom Foundation”, an organization that seeks to relieve and sole poverty. He likewise supports the charity set up by his wife called the “Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis Foundation” which she has set up after being diagnosed with the same condition.


Tony Bloom and Multiple Sclerosis

Linda BloomTony Bloom’s battle with Multiple Sclerosis has a personal note to it. The famed Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club chairman, investor and businessman is married to Australian born psychologist Linda to whom he has a seven year old son with.

About fifteen years ago, she was diagnosed with the condition and was said to be in such a bad state that she could not even lift a pen or stand up from the couch.

Multiple Sclerosis or MS is a type of degenerative neurological disease and an immune-mediated disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the central nervous system affecting and disrupting the flow of information within the brain and between the body. Specifically, the attack is done to the myelin or the insulating covers of the nerve cells. The damage affects the cells of the spinal cord, and the brain.

MS is a disabling condition and this is observed in many of its signs and symptoms. Patients are reported to have varying types and combinations of these which often portray themselves in relapses. These includes vision problems, dizziness, fatigue, urination difficulty, balancing issues, spasms, numbness, muscle stiffness, oral and speaking problems, memory deterioration, emotional instability and worse complete paralysis. The condition does not on its own kill but with its symptoms can bring about other health problems.

In the United Kingdom alone, Multiple Sclerosis affects about 100,000 people. In the global scale, only 0.0357% or 2.5 million individuals are affected by it making it one of the rarest diseases of its kind. According to statistics, more women are affected than men and patients fall between 20 to 40 years old.

The sad thing is, there is no known cause or cure for MS as of today. Several practices and medication are given but they cannot cure the patient. They merely act as temporary relief or to deter a relapse. More often than not, they are very expensive too and may have other health consequences particularly directed to the liver.

To help individuals suffering from the same condition, Linda, with the support of her husband, set up the OMS (Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis) Foundation. To raise funds of £100,000 as well as awareness for the cause, Tony Bloom ran the 2011 and 2015 Brighton Marathon which was 42.195 kilometers long. The said marathon takes place every April of every year and is held in the seaside town of Brighton in England.