Farewell Alan. And can Hank Marvin stop Aberdeen in the latest ‘The World Cup of….’?

15 Jan

No sooner had the dust settled on the weekend than the first departure has happened through the transfer window after it was announced that Alan Judge has left Brentford for Ipswich Town. It was a rumour that we’d seen circulating for the last few days and has now been confirmed. Elsewhere, there’s a question. Of sorts. What links Aberdeen, Newcastle United, two old women and Hank Marvin. But not Richard Osman or Fulham? More to follow, but first Judgey.

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No more a rumour. No more a Bee

What can you say? The player affectionately known as ‘The Magician’ in the Braemar Road has performed his final trick and disappeared. Ipswich Town have picked up a star, that’s for sure. We all know what Alan did for Brentford. The eventual penalty that eventually took us up to the Championship. Eventually. The goals. The pace. The excitement. That free kick at Fulham to round off the famous 4-1 rout. The one at Arsenal earlier this season.

Not only a strike of the highest quality but also one of those rare occasions that a goal has been scored in a brown/orange shirt (although one can fully understand the first XI getting distracted by the incredible tops and being lulled into deeming themselves more catwalk models than a football team).

There was also ‘that’ injury. Ironically enough, suffered at Ipswich Town of all places. It put paid to Alan’s dreams of taking part in the Euro 2016 finals – something that was an almost certainty for a player who still ended up being nominated for the Championship Player of the Year award aswell as being named in both the Championship PFA and the Football League Teams of the Year at the end of that season.

Luke Hyam is plying his trade at Southend these days whilst the mental and physical strength Alan showed in fighting back is more than testament to his fortitude as a player – on and off the pitch. The welcome he received when he finally came back in last season’s FA Cup should tell all you need to know.

Good luck Alan. And thank you for everything! Especially that Fulham goal. You can read more here, on Brentford official.

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What a shirt. What a goal.

Talking of Fulham, we all know that their ‘celebrity’ fan Richard Osman will stick his name to a “The World Cup of…..” anything at the drop of a hat. The World Cup of biscuits. The World Cup of books. The World Cup of crisps. The World Cup of teams having zero shots against but still managing to lose 2-1 to Burnley at the weekend. Granted, that last one’s a little niche but you get the drift.

So it was with great pleasure of the discovery being made on Monday lunchtime that one of THE twitter sites to follow, @TheSkyStrikers , have launched their own – The World Cup of programme covers. And it’s every bit as good as one would hope.

For those yet to discover this gem, in their own words it is summarised best by host Miles McClagan as: “Collating as many old football images as I can from a random bucket of programmes…” And, it would be fair to say, there are some corkers.

Taken largely from the 70s and 80s, it was a time when football was less politically correct but also an industry taking those early steps into marketing. With mixed results. But also a lot of fun and nowhere more is this emphasised in some of the covers now going head-to-head.

There’s Hank Marvin popping up at Newcastle United. As you do. Paul Parker taking a trip in hot air balloon – in full kit. Two old ladies leaning out of a bedroom window at Aberdeen to cheer on their team. Indeed, that’s just one of a trio of covers to feature the Dons which take part in the first knock out round.

The competition launched on Twitter, yesterday, and the first few are below to get you in the mood. Hats off to Miles for a labour of love and a work of art.

But can anybody stop Aberdeen?

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Hank’s Newcastle United and Aberdeen are amongst the early favourites.

Nick Bruzon

4 Responses to “Farewell Alan. And can Hank Marvin stop Aberdeen in the latest ‘The World Cup of….’?”

  1. Max January 15, 2019 at 8:48 am #

    Farewell Alan judge brentford legend

  2. Bernard Quackenbush (@BernardQuack) January 15, 2019 at 8:52 am #

    Yesterday was a sad day for many of us seeing Alan leave. For me a true Brentford great. A player, who before that horrific injury, was one of the best players in the Championship. A player every side in the League wanted and even had some Premier League teams interested, but yet at a crucial point in his career, decided to stay at Griffin Park.

    It was my football highlight of 2018 to see Alan back on a football pitch again, yet i felt sorry for him being given these short cameos where he would run around like a headless chicken desperate to put 2 years of frustration behind him and make some kind impression. He needed a run in the team, but it was clear his more energetic and directer style of play did not suit the patient style we had adopted.

    Having got his chance against Boro this season with a man of the match performance, and scoring a goal which meant so much to him and to all of us old gits on ER, he was dropped again 2 games later, and it was clear he was never going to get a proper chance. Good luck to him at Ipswich, where he seems to have been welcomed with open arms. I would love Alan to prove Brentford wrong and help keep Ipswich up.

    But thanks Alan for Preston, for that free kick against Fulham, for Arsenal and finally against Boro, and the many more outstanding performances. His contribution to the club has been immense and we wouldnt be an established Championship club without his huge contribution.

  3. Brighton Bee January 15, 2019 at 9:06 am #

    I still maintain that Alan Judge was the most important signing made by Brentford in recent years. It was a pleasure watching him perform and showing so much energy and enthusiasm. A lot of people have talked about his best goal. For me it was the one at Charlton, curled into the corner after a flowing team move – simply brilliant! Thanks for the memories Alan, you were part of an exciting team to watch, the likes of which we might never see at Brentford again.

  4. Moriarty January 15, 2019 at 1:05 pm #

    Alan Judge is one of the strongest personalities and starry talented footballers, to have played for Brentford; to overcome the horrible injury, battling through months of painful rehabilitation, that must have tested his morale and mental equilibrium, with a steely plough determination to repay the club for their medical support, only, sadly, to find that the club wasn’t going to give him a proper run in the first team.
    It was common sense, that he was going to take time and game play, to come back to his true form, but the battling spirit will serve him well at his new, fateful club, where he can hopefully restore his career. All the best, to Alan Judge.

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