Brighton & Hove Albion beat Newcastle United and Millwall to March’s signing.

Brighton’s Solly March

Solly March would have been a Newcastle United player but for a personal tragedy, the Brighton & Hove Albion winger’s agent told the Argus.

March has impressed for Newcastle’s Championship title rivals this season, scoring one goal and creating another three in 12 appearances, having missed the first three months of the campaign with a long-term knee injury.

But the 22-year-old could have instead been aiding the Magpies’ cause, having travelled to Tyneside in 2011 to sign for the side then managed by Alan Pardew.

March was on the books of non-league Lewes at the time and ultimately plumped for Brighton – whose ground is less than five miles from that of their East Sussex neighbours – over relocating 350 miles to Newcastle.

“Solly was going to sign for Newcastle,” his representative Robert Codner told the Argus. “He went up there. He had a tragedy, something happened to his best friend.

“He took it quite badly, so Newcastle sent him back. That was the window for Brighton to become involved. Millwall were involved as well. Brighton jumped in and got the deal done.”

March, who took little over a year to make his senior professional debut, has gone onto make 72 appearances for Brighton and was capped by England’s Under-21s in 2015.

In July last year, the Daily Mail reported Newcastle had a £6 million offer turned down for March’s Seagulls teammate Anthony Knockaert.

Brighton’s Anthony Knockaert celebrates

Would March have had the same success at Newcastle United?

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