Tag Archives: 1985

What were they thinking? Norwich City defrocked

16 Sep

We’ll crack on with the visit of Norwich City to Brentford shortly but, first, there are a few bits of unfinished business in regards to Monday’s article on the Manchester United – QPR game. Specifically comments around both teams that, quite simply, I ran out of space to include.

First up, Christian O’Connell. The Absolute Radio DJ brought United fans back to earth, aswell as highlighting the state of their opponents, with the astute observation on Sunday that, “Celebrating beating QPR is like jumping for joy when you beat Stevie Wonder at Pictionary”.

And secondly, to a holier place than even national radio – St. Margaret’s Church. It was there, I am told, that the 10.30 service saw a visiting Priest addressing his congregation thus: Many thanks to the kind Parishioners who took me to watch Chelsea – Swansea. A great game although being from Uganda I am, of course, a Manchester United fan”.

So they’re not all from Surrey, then.

O'Connell takes out both Manchester United and QPR fans with one tweet

O’Connell takes out both Manchester United and QPR fans with one tweet

And from Uganda to Norwich City. If you want a proper Brentford match preview then (as ever) Beesotted , the BBC or the clubsite are your places.

For the Last Word reader, following the feature before the Brighton game, it’s time for the next in our semi-regular series – What were they thinking? The ‘best of the worst’ / quirkier (delete as applicable) of our visitors’ kits through the ages.

The best : 1988-89 Scoreline. I’ve got personal interest in this one, simply because it is the shirt worn by the Canaries when they reached that season’s FA Cup semi final. Brentford fans won’t need reminding that was the year of Gary Blissett, Manchester City and the quarter final at Anfield where Liverpool did well to eventually edge us out.

A classic, despite the apparent breach of 'Trade descriptions act' with the sponsor

A classic, despite the apparent breach of ‘Trade descriptions act’ with the sponsor

The unfortunate design : 1989- 1992 Asics. The plus point is that this one sticks to traditional Norwich City colours of yellow and green. The downside is that the green is less ‘trim’ and more emblazoned over the upper body in a way that, especially on the away kit, puts one in mind of a Waitrose delivery van.

Were the Norwich City club shop expanding their home delivery service?

Were the Norwich City club shop expanding their home delivery service?

The worst : 1992- 1994 Ribero. Imagine if your club came up with a great kit design that, after the over indulgence of Asics, got the balance between yellow and green just right. Then, they fed a flock of pigeons nothing but sprouts before allowing them to nest above the final design specs for the team’s latest shirt. This is the result.

Pebble dashed by an incontinent pigeon??

Pebble dashed by an incontinent pigeon??

The away shirt : I’ve already mentioned one of these so rather than go for the picnic blanket of the 1993-94 Asics, we’ll chuck in a bonus category:

Retro classic – the Admiral tracksuit. Seen here as sported by Norwich City legend John Bond. If, rather than being a Brentford fan, I’d grown up on the streets of Caistor St. Edmund or Diss in the 1970s I think it’s a fair bet I’d have worn one of these. Probably whilst riding a Raleigh Chopper. Stunning.

John Bond - the king of cool

John Bond – the king of cool

 

Brentford relax as QPR & Manchester United clash

15 Sep

Brentford fans were able to take it easy on Sunday, basking in the satisfaction of another three points at the weekend (Brighton being the benefactors). With Norwich City next up, a win on Tuesday night will take us above the, currently second placed, Canaries and the returning Lewis Grabban. That’s one to look forward to tomorrow but for now I need to complete the weekend review with the ‘devil and the deep blue sea’ decision that was Manchester United v QPR on Sky.

Specifically – two questions. First up, who to cheer for? Manchester United had, prior to this game, actually endured a worse start under Louis van Gaal than they had under David Moyes. As somebody who supports a team traditionally seen as an underdog, there’s always a particular pleasure in seeing the larger clubs come a cropper. And in England they don’t (Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal aside) come much bigger than United.

Last season’s spectacular fall from grace was a thing of beauty for all of those outside of the Home Counties and Greater Manchester to behold. The traditional United fanbase stunned by their team’s unprecedented self-destruction as even Europa League qualification evaded them.

So when things continued in the same vein this campaign, I won’t pretend I wasn’t pleased to see more of this. Cripes – even Will Grigg managed to rediscover his prolific shooting boots against the Red Devils. But then Louis went shopping and normal service looks like it has been resumed – well, it was fun whilst it lasted.

United allowed Will Grigg to rediscover his early Brentford form

United allowed Will Grigg to rediscover his early Brentford form

But if we didn’t cheer for United then the alternative was the Loftus Road mob. I can’t imagine any circumstance where I’d willfully hope they won. No offence to any QPR fans who may read but, like Fulham, a victory over our West London neighbours is always one to savour. Any sign of our geographical rivals tripping up is a moment to appreciate how good life can be.

So in the end, it was one of those where you just sat back to see what the footballing gods throw at you. With United meting out a 4-0 thrashing that, at one point, looked like it was heading towards those fabulous brackets that come with 7(seven), it’s fair to say that this Brentford fan was left happy with the outcome.

Second question. United play in red shirts, white shorts and black socks. QPR play in (predominantly) blue and white shirts, white shorts and white socks. In theory, this shouldn’t have presented any kit clash beyond, perhaps, a switch to blue shorts.

So why, short of some Fergiesque excuse about being unable to see each other against the crowd, did the visitors need to don their third kit? Moreso as it is almost identical to the home version. Socks and shorts are both white but the shirt simply drops the blue.

It seemed a totally unnecessary exercise in justifying a superfluous third kit. One for the marketing men to answer. Still, if they carry on with results like this then there may be a rather hefty fine to pay. Going to need to shift more than a few extra shirts to cover that one.

Interestingly, Brighton’s blue and white didn’t seem to present any problems against our red and white in the weekend game. With the club now posting their YouTube highlights, you can savour that fine win once more (and see how two teams cope with a non-existent kit clash).

 

View from the terrace - there was no problem picking out bue and white against red and white at Griffin Park

View from the terrace – there was no problem picking out bue and white against red and white at Griffin Park

Seagulls left following the trawler as Clem works more ‘magic’

14 Sep

Brentford sailed into the Championship play off zone after a thrilling 3-2 win over Brighton. In a performance considered by most to be our best since going up, the Seagulls had to be content with scraps as the trawler marked ‘S.S. Brentford’ left Brighton floundering in her wake.

To read the rest of this article, season 2014/15 is now available to download onto Kindle (and other electronic reading device) in full. Containing additional material and even some (poor) editing, you can get it here for less than the cost of a Griffin Park matchday programme or Balti Pie.

 Thanks for reading and all your comments over the course of the season. For now, I need to make more space on the site for any follow up. However, ‘close season’ will continue in full, further along.

Despite Exeter City dropping two points, Clem's form still remains better than that of Fulham

Despite Exeter City dropping two points, Clem’s form still remains better than that of Fulham

What were they thinking? The best of the worst

13 Sep

Finally, match day! Brentford welcome Brighton to Griffin Park for a Championship clash that could see a win for either side take them into the play off zone. No doubt the interweb will be awash with match previews and talk on this subject, so I’d like to make my focus on our visitors slightly different – with due apologies in advance to any Brighton fans who may be reading.

As a self confessed kit-nerd, the Last Word has plenty of features on the best and worst of the shirts Brentford have worn over the years. We’ve had some pretty decent stabs at changing the red and white stripes around but, with a few odd exceptions, they follow a fairly similar template.

Like the Bees, since their inception as Brighton and Hove Albion for the start of the 1901-02 season our visitors have largely worn stripes – albeit blue and white. However, unlike the Bees they have experimented with these to a level that has fluctuated between stunning to “What were they thinking”?

In the first of a semi-regular feature, the Last Word is delving into the kitbag to look at the best, although largely worst, of our opponent’s kits through the ages.

The best : 1985-87. Remember the controversy at Griffin Park when we lost our (back) stripes for two seasons? Not only does this remove them from the front but then replaces them with horizontal ones – both thick (shoulder) and pinstripe (main body).

By all rights this should look like a prototype for the Loftus Road mob yet somehow, thanks to the class of Adidas, it works. A retro classic.

Despite ditching the stripes, it's a modern classic

Despite ditching the stripes, it’s a modern classic

The unfortunate design : 1989-91 Supplied by the good people at Sports Express this goes straight to the bottom of the pile for it’s uncanny resemblance to a Tesco carrier bag. A masterstroke in subliminal advertising or just a really, really bad design? Either way, one that should never be recycled.

Must.Resist.Deliberate  'Tesco bag / shirt (l-r)' caption mix up

Must.Resist.Deliberate ‘Tesco bag / shirt (l-r)’ caption mix up

The worst : 1991-93 deckchair If the Tesco bag was a fashion faux–pas, the club were only destined to repeat the same mistakes with their next attempt. On the surface, nothing wrong with this Ribero effort, until you see it in conjunction with the shorts.

I can only imagine that, with five minutes to go until the kit design had to be submitted and nothing ready, the club marketing director took a look at the deckchairs on Brighton beach whilst heading into work and job done.

'Massacre Mark' with your predictions, goes the text. Why bother - the kit does a good enough job

‘Massacre Mark’ with your predictions, goes the text. Why bother – the kit does a good enough job

The away shirt : 1991-93 There were a few contenders but the Chewits kit, unveiled at the 1991 play off final (they lost) has to scoop the honours. Seriously, what WERE they thinking?

Even worse, the club compound the felony by running this with matching shorts – was this an early 90’s thing at the Goldstone?

Truly a stomach churning, headache inducing effort that was more reminiscent of the popular 80s sweets than an away kit designed to strike fear into the opposition.

1991-1993 saw record sales of Alka Seltzer in the Brighton area

1991-1993 saw record sales of Alka Seltzer in the Brighton area

 

The play off final 'reveal' saw the mascot in an equally dismal effort

The play off final ‘reveal’ saw the mascot in an equally dismal effort

The latest twist in the Wigan Athletic – Adam Forshaw saga.

4 Aug

There hasn’t, generally, been huge history between Brentford and Wigan Athletic. Until recently, we’ve bumbled around the lower leagues together, neither side particularly troubling (or bothered about) the other.

The Latics were, of course, responsible for kickstarting Brentford’s run of defeats at the national stadium with their 1985 Freight Rover Trophy win. Their handball inspired victory has set in motion more pain than I could care to imagine as defeat after defeat followed in whichever final we have participated in.

That aside, and largely due to Wigan’s Dave Whelan funded rise to the Premiership, our clubs have had little to do with each other. That was until late last year when his team, now back in the Championship, came in under cover of the Lionel Road climax for Bees boss Uwe Rösler.

To read the rest of this article, season 2014/15 is now available to download onto Kindle (and other electronic reading device) in full. Containing additional material and even some (poor) editing, you can get it here for less than the cost of a Griffin Park matchday programme or Balti Pie.

 Thanks for reading and all your comments over the course of the season. For now, I need to make more space on the site for any follow up. However, ‘close season’ will continue in full, further along.

Matthew Benham goes shopping as Bees go abroad

3 Jul

It was all go at Griffin Park yesterday as Brentford news appeared quicker than a Keith Stroud yellow card. Matthew Benham led the charge, with the announcement that he has become the majority shareholder in Danish Superliga side FC Midtjylland.

The Danish outfit, who finished third in the top flight last season, bear a number of similarities with the Bees – notably a strong academy programme, an 11.800 capacity stadium in their MCH Arena and a record that sees them always finish as runners up in major finals.

Matthew is quoted as saying that the two teams will be run independently (no bad thing given their supporter’s club is ‘The Black Wolves’ – I’ve seen enough of the Wolves last season to need some downtime) and you can read the full BBC story, here. Where this will lead, who knows but if Matthew’s tenure brings half as much success and excitement as it has done at Brentford then the Danes are in for some good times.

Back in TW8, the ticket office were proud to reveal details of the 5,000th season ticket sale, with supporter of 30 years, Louis McCubbin, being the man at the right place in the queue. He received a commemorative shirt for his trouble along with a mixed bag of comments on social networks.

Personally, I think that to have sold out over half of Griffin Park (home section) before a ball has even been kicked in anger is a fantastic achievement. The club could have put a massive hike on season ticket prices but chose not to – much to my surprise and pleasure.

So what if one supporter gets recognised? For me it is all about the significance of the achievement rather than an individual. Personally, I bought my season ticket on day one and for no other reason than to make sure I had a place when the next chapter of the Brentford story begins.

Abdi, Louis, Mads and Mark (l-r) celebrate the big 5-0-0-0

Abdi, Louis, Mads and Mark (l-r) celebrate the big 5-0-0-0

And as for that team, they are now in Florida having reached Tampa last night for their training camp. Harlee Dean’s ‘one word weather report’ was ‘HOT’ whilst who could forget the electrical storm as England warmed up for the World Cup campaign in Miami last month? It certainly could be hard work in those conditions.

Welcome to Tampa

Welcome to Tampa

Previous trips to Germany and Norway have seen Peter Gilham’s tour diary. So far (6.30, Thursday morning) this is yet to appear on the clubsite but, given the time zone, understandable. However, I’m hoping we soon get the chance to start reading what are always an amusing and enjoyable series of articles.

Whilst I have no doubt that this tour will see the players acting as responsibly as on previous ones, it did get me thinking about what happens when Brentford trips go wrong. Specifically, the first team ‘holiday’ that took place after we’d defied expectations (to the point the players had already booked a summer escape) to reach the final of the 1985 Freight Rover Trophy against Wigan Athletic.
Interviewing Danis Salman a few years ago, he described this saying:

“We’d already paid for the holidays out of our pocket and but it was going to be not even a week after we came back before the final. I turned around and said to the boys – we’ve got to cancel the holiday. You know what’s going to happen; we’ll go out to a hot country, and come back just a few days before a final a Wembley. I was the only person that had that view and was getting slaughtered. I just thought – this is our one chance, and the supporters, to go to Wembley and a have a great time.

We’d already played against Wigan – home and away – and I think I’d scored against them twice that year. But no, no – they wanted to go on holiday and yeah, true to word we got on holiday and had Chris Kamara, Terry Hurlock, myself. We had a good team that year but went out every day for a week.

We got beat three-one.

I have no doubt that the hardest that the lads will push the social side on this trip will be Sam Saunders topping up the tan. As Danis went on to add, “Modern day football would probably be totally different”.

As soon as the club’s ‘Adrian Mole’ gets writing, we’ll find out……

‘Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup…..’ (The story of Brentford’s season 2013/14, amongst other things) – is now available as a digital book. Featuring the best of the not so bad columns from the last ten months, and some new content, you can download it here for your kindle / digital device.