Always a legend – despite the suspect hammy

16 Aug

With no game having been played since the win over Sheffield United last week, ‘The Last Word’ took the chance to catch up with former Bee, Paul Gibbs.

Despite leaving Griffin Park Imageback in 2002, Paul remains as popular now as he was then – to the extent of organizing May’s ‘legends’ match aswell as being a current ‘BeesPlayer’ pundit. He shares his thoughts on the season so far, but first  – that legend’s game.

Over the summer you were pivotal in organising the Bees Legends game v ‘Showbiz XI’. How did you find the whole experience?  I loved it! Peter Gillham called me and asked if I could help with the game. I said ‘Absolutely’! I got in touch with all my old mates from 2000 and they were all happy to play.  I got to speak to other players that were before  and after my time a time at Brentford,  which was great as I knew of them but never got to meet them. After only a few weeks I managed to get around 16-17 players confirmed and got the help from some old bees fans to assist me so it was a bit of a joint effort

And personally, the ‘hammy’ went after about a half hour. All ok now? I played in a game two weeks before at Brentford and I pulled it then. I had two weeks physio and knew it would not last but I just had to be there. I even moved our family holiday so I could play in it… (editor’s note: this is true – despite risking the wrath of mother-in-law) .

It was a game I would not miss and to catch up with some great lads I just had to be there. I lasted about 25 minutes I think and, to be honest, I thought it was going well until I decided to make an overlap run! But It was still great to be a part of it all.

Is it any

 coincidence that the Bees team started to score after you went off? That’s because I wore them down in the first 25 minutes!!  I will have to say I was very impressed with the fitness levels of all of the lads. Some of us were in the late 30’s or early 40’s but I think we played some great stuff! Scotty P and BBB were fantastic! 



Will we see you out there again? Will there be another legends game? I would love to get the club to support an Official Bees Legends team. Plymouth have a fantastic set up for their Legends and support them on their travels whilst I have people that will help get it off the ground.

I would love to get us into the ‘Masters’ and organise a London legends event but this will all have to go through the club, so we will wait and see. However, we have been asked to go to Plymouth next year and play in a Devon competition against Exeter, Plymouth and Torquay so we will get a team together for that…

Which ‘legend’ didn’t play but you’d love to have had involved?  Bob Booker he is a great guy I would have liked Martin Rowlands to play too! We all love a villain! I will get him next time!

And who impressed you the most from those that did? All of them did but Ben Burgess was amazing and Scotty Partridge, too!, Glenn Poole is a class act and Nathan Elder was fantastic!!!

Even Mark Chapman (Bees media team) got a run out in the last ten minutes? To be fair I promised him 10 mins as he works for the club but you don’t get a chance to play with the guys you support. I thought It would be nice for him to get a feel for what its like in the changing rooms and on the pitch and he did well!!

Image

(The centre of the action – even off the pitch)

These days we can hear you popping up on BeesPlayer. How did all that come about?
 You certainly seem to enjoy it . Initially I was just asked to say a few words but it’s hard for me to say “only” a few words. I’m passionate about football and Brentford so it was easy for me to talk about the game. I really enjoy it and will be doing more this season, commentating with Mark on the game. So that will be fun!

Mark, Luis and the rest of the team are pretty slick, wouldn’t you agree?  Not bad for something they do as a ‘side project’. They are total pros and have a huge amount of passion for the bees. Its why Brentford its close to my heart as there are so many people that do so much for the club. I was very privileged to play for them so its my time to give something back

Will we hear much from you on ‘Player’ this season? I do hope so. Its’ a juggling act for me as I work away from my family through the week and weekends are for my kids but I will get to as many games as I can. It was 11 years ago that I left and all the fans still keep asking me if I have got my boots! It is lovely they still recognise me but, with this nose, I guess people cant forget me!

As for the Bees, what do you make of preseason and the opening games ? I don’t want to get carried away but I would be very disappointed if the Bees didn’t get automatic promotion this season. Uwe has done very well this season with his additions and watching the Sheffield United game showed a real strength in depth in the squad.

Does anyone stand out in particular? The whole team looked solid to be honest, but I always look at the centre spine of the team. If you’re strong through the middle you will do well and I think the gaffer has it right this year. I still think that you may need another striker but its looking very good this year.

What’s your opinion on Uwe ? It’s hard to say as I’m not in there with him but he seems to have the support of not only the board but the players, as it looks like they are really buying into what he is asking them to do. He seems to be very organised and methodical in his approach.. This season is a big one for him after last years effort and the fans will be expecting big things this year.

In the League cup Uwe fielded a very different team to that from the opening game of the league campaign. Is it something you agree with?  I ask you firstly as a player and then as a supporter.  As a player I want to play every game so I hate it when the managers do that! But its good for him to see what the other guys can do and it helps develop the squad so its a good thing (now I’m not playing)!

As a fan its a good thing as you get to see what the squad players are like and to see what youngsters you have coming through the ranks!


Is there any game – home or away – you are particularly looking forward to watching? Not really I just like getting to any game I can but the last game of the season when we are four points clear will be a good one!

Who is your dark horse to watch in the league this season? Coventry, I would say, as its all against them at the moment!

Where will the Bees finish? 2nd but I would love them to win it!! 

Wolves will be strong this year and I think Preston will do well.

You can read more about the Brentford legends at:

https://www.facebook.com/BeesLegends

And

http://www.griffinpark.org/forums/showthread.php?t=105612&highlight=bees+legends

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(‘Gibbs’ even popped up on ‘Soccer AM’ before the Doncaster game at the end of last season. With Max Rushden, Helen Chamberlain and the worst penalty takers ever – until 4.45 that afternoon )

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