With Brentford now having a few days to wait until we resume Championship action with Friday’s night’s TV game against Fulham, there’s time to look at a few things from the archives. Specifically with a top ‘XI’ that is a blatant rip off of a column published two years ago (albeit with one new entrant). Yet I make no apologies as it is for a great cause.
Today, November 1st, sees the beginning of the Movember campaign. Men in your place of work, your home or even Griffin Park will be undertaking that toughest of challenges – growing a moustache. Some will carry it off with all the prowess of flamboyant Queen frontman Freddie Mercury or Tom Selleck in his Magnum heyday; many will end up with barely perceptible wisps. Often, at a totally different colour to the hair on their head. Yet whatever the results, it is all being done to raise funds and awareness about men’s health – primarily the battles against testicular and prostate cancer.
Somebody near you will be engaged in this challenge and so, please, don’t look on them with scorn or disdain. Instead, why not dig deep? Nobody grows a moustache on purpose…
Yet this wasn’t always the way. Looking through the historical archives shows us how common a practice this once was at Brentford. With many people taking up Movember’s charitable baton, what better way to recognise their forthcoming battle with bum fluff than by reviewing the top ten of moustaches sported by Brentford players through the ages.
This is a totally non-scientific study based on nothing more than personal opinion of moustache quality rather than playing ability. And so with apologies to any noticeable omissions, let’s kick things off….
10 – Roger Stanislaus. The classy left back opted for an equally classy moustache. It takes a brave man to try and carry this off but Roger did it with ease.
9 – Andy Ansah. These days better known for his wonderful Tekkers, in his youth Andy was as famed for his pace as he was for this effort.
8 – Steve Phillips. Was the goal machine from the late 70’s a possible inspiration on none other than Gary Blissett ten years later? Note the similarity in strike rates and facial hair.
7 – John Smeulders. The first of three goalkeepers to make the list. Despite only a handful of appearances, his name lives on forever in the pantheon of mustachioed Bees legends.
6 – Gary Phillips. Another goalkeeper and another quality moustache. Little evidence of this, at least in Brentford colours, exists on the Internet. However, once seen it was never forgotten. Mercuryesque.
5 – Chris Kamara. Like Andy Ansah, Chris is as well known these days for his TV work. But Chris also displayed unceasing loyalty to his moustache – something that continued throughout his playing career and can still be seen this very day. An unbelievable effort.
4 – Gordon Phillips. Was it compulsory to go for the Tom Selleck look if you played for Brentford and were a Phillips? Our third goalkeeper and third player to carry that surname, Gordon is easily the best of that group – moreso as he offsets this with a fantastic pair of sideburns.
3 – Gary Blissett. A goalscoring hero to many. A moustache icon to more. How many players can say they sealed a Championship, knocked their beloved Manchester City out of the FA Cup and even ended up in goal a few times – all despite the extra pressure of maintaining finely groomed facial hair? Seen here with former Bees commercial manager, Matt Davis.
2 – Wayne Turner. Sometimes words are not enough. Just let the picture do the talking.
1 – Gordon Sweetzer. I wasn’t fortunate enough to remember seeing Gordon play and so I take a quote from Andy McCulloch to describe his on pitch personality:
““Gordon, now he would go through a brick wall. He was just crazy. He got terribly injured at times. He was a bit like me in a way – he went for things he shouldn’t have. Probably should have stepped back but you can’t with that sort of desire”.
Imagine, as a defender, that bearing down on you but with the added quality of Brentford’s best ever moustache. Absolute class.
Before we go, any football team needs 11 players. Whilst he may not have made it into the top ten, there is one man at the club who transcends all style. Who has shown over the years that the moustache is still a tradition (albeit a lot less prevalent) which can be carried off by today’s modern players.
At 11, rather than his traditional 7(seven) none other than Sam Saunders.
And if anybody would like to find out more about this year’s Movember campaign or even participate then you can do so here.