Based: Brighton RFC, Waterhall Playing Fields, Waterhall Road, Mill Lane, Brighton (also played at Withdean Stadium, Brighton, Sussex), played at Crawley Leisure Park in 2000
Career Record (senior kitted only): 44-20-1
Colours: Black pants, blue shirts, blue helmets
Honours: British runners-up 1998. Conference champions 1998. Junior Flag champions 1998. Junior Flag runners-up 1999

Senior Kitted

2004 BSL Division Two South Eastern Conference 8-2-0* (semi-finalists)
2003 BSL Division Two South Eastern Conference 5-5-0
2000 BSL Division One Southern Conference 6-1-1*
1999 BSL Division One National Conference 2-7-0
1998 BSL Division One South West Conference 10-0-0*
1997 BSL Division One South West & Midlands Conference 9-1-0*

Junior Flag

1999 Lost 32-6 to Leicester Eagles in final
1998 Won the final by default. No opposition!

Sussex Thunder returned in 2003 after friendlies in 2002

Team notes: Formed in the pre-season to 1997 from a merger between Brighton B-52s and Sussex Raiders the Thunder were an instant success. Their inaugral season was a near miss, losing the conference championship by just nine points to the Oxford Saints and being narrowly beaten 15-12 by the Gateshead Senators in the Quarter-Finals. The eventual Bowl winner coming from their pool. With 1997 Head Coach, Jim Jasicki calling it a day after 14 years playing and coaching, the role went to new Head coach, Ian Ellis. Ellis, a former linebacker in both Britain and at college in America has coached High School football in the States and was an Intern Coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1993 and a guest Coach at the Miami Dolphins training camp in 1994. At home he has tutored Linebacker skills at World League and London Monarch trials. In 1997 he coached the Thunder defense to the best in the league. Now, under his guidance is already stronger than last year. The arrival of running ace Anthony Stitt and other players of the calibre of Jason Conroy and Andy Smythe, together with new boys like Scott Stonelake helped make the squad one of the best in the league. 1998 was a fantastic year for the Thunder Organization as the team went unbeaten during the regular season, won the quarter final game against Essex Chiefs and then beat one of the strongest teams in the country in the semi final, the Birmingham Bulls. The Thunder were eventually beaten in the National Championship game by the London O's. This wonderful season brought the Sussex Thunder great recognition with a number 2 ranking in the UK and number 15 in Europe. As a result of the teams winning ways, at the end of season North -v- South All-Star game the
Thunder had 13 players and 5 coaches represent the organization.  1999 was a dud year but 2000 saw them back on form losing only to the eventual bowl winners and runners up. Then came problems. Their home ground at Withdean Stadium, Brighton, which was also home to Brighton and Hove Albion, took in so much rain and was so damaged by the soccer that the repair work required meant that for the first time in 17 years the ground would not be available for Gridiron. No other venue could be found either for the same need for ground repair work. And to add to the woes American Head Coach Lew Gittins who had been badly injured in a car accident the previous year decided to call it a day. So the decision was made to withdraw from competitive football for 2001 and concentrate instead, on building strong senior, youth and junior sections for season 2002. Returned to competitive action in 2003 in the BSL Division Two. Finished with a very creditable 5-5-0 record, and improved again in 2004 finishing 8-2-0 and reaching the semi-finals. Had excellent junior flag team, that reached the 1999 final.

Team Notes

2nd August 2000 - Anthony Stitt ran for 238 yards and 3 TDs vs Gateshead Senators
26th July 2000 - Cliff Reid ran for 221 yards and 4TDs vs Southern Sundevils
25th July 1999 - Paul Evans recorded 4.5 sacks and 14 tackles vs Ipswich Cardinals
9th August 1998 - Stitt ran for 201 yards and 4tds vs Essex Spartans
7th June 1998 - Stitt passed the 1,000 yard rushing barrier after just 5 games
17th May 1998 - Anthony Stitt ran for 249 yards and 3 TDs

Action from the Essex v Sussex Thunder (blue shirts) friendly game in 2002

1998SussexStitt.jpg (16400 bytes)
Anthony Stitt celebrates another score in 1998