Tag Archives: cancer

The calm before the storm is now available. Musical perfection awaits.

21 Apr

We’ll keep this brief today. With Brentford due to host QPR in the first of our back-to-back West London derbies (the trip to Fulham coming next Saturday) there’ll be plenty to talk about over the next week or so. Indeed, there’s already been plenty said about this one already.

To summarise recent events: Ian Holloway and that woeful prediction, Jake Bidwell, the Bees winning 2-0 at Loftus Road in October, LLLLL (being the QPR current form guide) and a league table that sees us 10 points ahead of the neighbours. That’s of course before we even recall what happened 50 years ago.

There’s been plenty said about this already

All that’s for Saturday. Today sees something which in its own right is as important as the derby. No less an occasion than Billy Reeves, Adam Devlin and Richard Archer releasing their debut single as Staines supergroup Grown Men in Tears.

Yes, the  wonderful ’Welcome home, King Jota’ becomes available to download today. For one week only. By the time we play Fulham, it will be gone.

Rich Adam Billy

Grown Men in Tears. Archer, Devlin, Reeves (l-r) c/o The Jolly Baker, Ashford

Regular readers (should such a concept exist) may recall we spoke about this earlier in the week. That was then. This is now. And you can get it from 9am today for just 79p. Even better, the money isn’t going into the pockets of this Bluetones/Hard-FI/too much to mention power trio but , instead, towards Cancer research UK.

Do something brilliant for a wonderful charity. Download something brilliant for your iPod or other MP3 player. You can give it a spin below but who wouldn’t want to keep this forever? Rather than ordering a bag of pork scratchings with your pre-match pint tomorrow, why not put the money to better use and click ’download’ via Billy’s twitter account?

who doesn’t love a montage ?

Nick Bruzon

The Bluetones, Hard-Fi and Theaudience form Staines supergroup in honour of King Jota.

17 Apr

With Brentford travelling to Barnsley today you might expect the normal prematch nonsense. Hot off the heels of Friday’s hammering of Derby County, where a brace apiece from Lasse Vibe and the talismanic Jota saw pun writers having a field day, it would be the perfect time to ‘go again’ with the big game build up. Yet headlines including Demolition Derby. Rams to the Slaughter. Silence of the Rams. Rams Raided and my own personal winner –  Bees guilty of battering Rams etc etc etc tell you all you need to know about that one. Poor Barnsley. If Brentford put in even half that performance then the Tykes would probably be better focussing on the half time mascot race between Toby and Buzz.

So we’ll leave the football for now. At least, the on pitch stuff. One of the things I love about Brentford is that everybody knows everybody. One minute you could be outside the pub with your regular match day friends, then next you find yourself talking to jumper man, having Harry Potter bawling in your ear or Billy Grant waving a microphone in your face. You see Natalie Sawyer walking past. Chairman Cliff Crown stops for a chat. Look over there, Marcus Gayle is holding court. And isn’t that Richard Archer out of Hard-Fi talking to him? Alongside Adam Devlin from one of my all time favourite bands, The Bluetones. All we need is Cameron Diaz for a full house. Although, sadly, that’s a spot that will have to go on hold (at least, for now) due to well documented reasons.

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Jumper Man – one of many familiar Brentford faces

But the point being this is all run of the mill stuff. Between 2pm and 7pm on a Saturday afternoon we’re all Brentford fans. Whoever you are and whatever happens outside the confines of Griffin Park is stuff for another day. For now, a love of the Bees unites us all as the great and good rub shoulders and enjoy the vibe.

But today we should think about what happens outside of Griffin Park because word reaches me, perhaps appropriately on Easter weekend, of a Holy Trinity coming together. A musical Holy Trinity or, if you will, a so called supergroup.

A power trio comprising Devlin (Adam, not chief executive Mark), Richard Archer and the one time musical cohort of Sophie Ellis-Bexter, Billy Reeves. The very same Billy Reeves these days more commonly known for his wonderful work with BBC Radio London.

Yes, Billy is at it again. The man who brought us the uber catchy ‘Hey! Championship!’ to celebrate our promotion from League 1 and follow up single ‘Goodbye Mark Warburton’ has now linked up with the aforementioned musical wing men to form Grown Men in Tears –   Staines’ answer to Emerson, Lake and Palmer. The product of this output is ‘Welcome Home, King Jota’  – quite possibly Billy’s finest end of season song to date.

Rich Adam Billy

Grown Men in Tears. (l-r) Archer, Devlin, Reeves.     c/o The Jolly Baker, Ashford

Kudos to Adam and Richard. With added glockenspiel and flamenco guitar outro it really is Billy’s crown jewel. How catchy. Oh that chorus. Oh, the namechecking in the lyrics.  “He opens up his legs, puts in a corner, for Harlee Dean’s big head” being amongst the finest and, yet, slipping into the verse as deliciously as the King himself playing the ball over.

Oh that chorus. The harmony. I Love it. Absolutely love it. What starts off with a slightly melancholic air quickly turns into an ear worm that burrows in deep and won’t let go. A perfect 3 minutes 58 seconds of music that is as silky smooth as the man himself. Even better, its all for charity with all proceeds going to Prostate Cancer UK Charity. Move fast, though – the single will only be available for one week (as a download, 79p) via Billy’s twitter page https://www.twitter.com/TheBillyReeves  and is released April 21st.

Come for the Hard-FI / Bluetones connection, stay for musical genius.

Jota – if you are reading (you aren’t) the Brentford family love you. If this doesn’t tell you, nothing will.

You can watch the video and hear the song below. Then rush out and buy it on the 21st for just 79p. Its all for charity, mate. And isn’t it brilliant?

Big love and thanks to Mark Fuller for the video montage. What a lotta Jota 

If you are concerned about prostate cancer or prostate problems then the Prostate Cancer UK charity can help. They provide a range of information and support so you can choose the services that work for you. All their services are open to men, their family and their friends. Via their ‘Men United’ campaign they are working with the Football League to raise awareness and money.

Nick Bruzon

Who has the best ever Bees moustache? Who is this year’s new entrant?

1 Nov

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.

Roger Stanislaus

Forget ‘what happened next’. Remember the class

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.

andy ansah moustache

Ansah – always displayed wonderful tekkers

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.

Steve Phillips moustache

The original Gary Blissett?

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.

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Smeulders – played with style

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.

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a photo as fuzzy as his moustache

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.

Kamara moustache

Unbelievable, Jeff

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.

Gordon Phillips moustache

Clean sheets but not clean shaven. Wonderful

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.

Bliss - with Mat Davis

Bliss – a hero to many. Then and now

2 – Wayne Turner. Sometimes words are not enough. Just let the picture do the talking.

Wayne turner moustache

Move over Terry Thomas

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.

Gordon Sweetzer moustache

Sorry Bliss, Chris and Wayne. Beaten by a worthy champion

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.

Sam Saunders Panini

Just imagine finding this in your Panini stickers 

 

And if anybody  would like to find out more about this year’s Movember campaign or even participate then you can do so here.

Nick Bruzon

Crazy transfers, spray on pants and the chance to win a cup tie

9 Aug

Brentford travel to Exeter City in the first round of the League Cup tonight, no doubt anxious to make up for last season’s humiliation at this stage when Oxford United were given the freedom of Griffin Park. Elsewhere, those of us with half an ear to the wider football grapevine can breath a huge sigh of relief at the news that the Paul Pogba to Manchester United saga is finally over. And Olympic fever is slowly taking hold in the Bruzon household.

First up, as ever, Brentford. The trip to Exeter City marks a chance for the Bees to start another attempt at a cup run after a  somewhat disappointing last couple of seasons. Capitulation in the FA cup against Brighton in 2014/15 was followed by last season’s no show at home to Walsall. As for the League Cup, who needs any reminder of the tie with League Two Oxford United?

Well, all of us do – just to make sure it never happens again. Dean, if you are reading (you aren’t)  I realise this wasn’t your fault but….

It was probably the moment, with pitch gate already taking a grip, that we looked to each other and said collectively “Hmm. This Marinus thing. Not sure it’s going to work”. For all the subsequent short term keeping of faith in the league, this was absolutely horrific. Three down in 12 minutes and playing with an experimental line up, that we only lost by four was the major miracle of the night.

Chuck in the head coach having a complete lack of any perceptible body language – something totally alien to football fans used to a manager (whatever) exhorting his troops to push harder or just giving them some guidance – and he was doomed.

Marinus Oxford touchline

The Oxford United fiasco (not a prog rock band)

Failure to even give Courtney Senior a handshake, let alone acknowledge him as he trooped to the bench after surviving 75 minutes of hell out there, was shameless.

The only thing I would say about that night was a team which raised so many eyebrows at the time has now become one which, if it started this evening wouldn’t cause quite so much alarm. Yoann Barbet and Andreas Bjelland as a CB pairing is one I’m desperate to see tried again, Nico Yennaris was played in a then unfamiliar centre mid role  whilst Josh Clarke has forced his way more and more into the first team since that night.

With Danish Olympic captain Lasse Vibe up top, you can’t deny we had some now familiar names out there. Add to the mix a couple of kids and Jack Bonham having a game he’d probably like to forget then perhaps, as much as anything, it was a lesson in throwing too many untried people in too soon.

As for Exeter City, they’ll no doubt be well up for it (the technical term). This game represents a huge potato skin for the Bees and the home side will be itching for the chance to claim the scalp of a now established Championship side.

More importantly, the game marks six years since the tragic death from bowel cancer of striker Adam Stansfield at the age of 31.

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Never forgotten by supporters who still cheer his name every game, I gather tonight will feature a minute’s applause (no doubt, longer !) on the ninth minute . A classy gesture from a club and a set of fans who have only ever been top value when hosting / visiting the Bees.

Whichever way the game turns out, it is sure to be an emotional night for all. Here’s hoping Brentford can hold it together and go one better than we have done in recent seasons. The last time we played Exeter in the cup we reached Wembley (albeit that was the JPT). Sam Saunders, eventually subbed by Lewis Grabban, scored that night and is the only current squad member from that night. What price him doing it again?

The other football news to grab my attention – how could it not – is the interminable story of Paul Pogba and his protracted move from Juventus to Manchester United. Despite him reportedly having had more medicals than bionic man Steve Austin over the last few weeks (kids, ask your dads), in the end it has cost the Old Trafford club considerably more than six million dollars to re-sign the player they let got for £1.5 million just four years ago. £89million is the fee being reported for that deal.

It is a terrifying rate of inflation and a crazy amount of money. Does this mean a trend following? To compare, I’m always staggered by the transfer fees commanded for Lewis Grabban. This is no reflection on the player’s ability but more the fact that he left us for Rotherham on free.

Since then, Bournemouth have sold him for over £3million and then bought him back for just shy of Nine. Million. Pounds.

I’m sorry, but that has to be said slowly. In days of spiralling transfer fees, ‘the Grabban’ has become a much more effective unit of transfer fee comparison than sterling.

Given Rasmus has already confirmed that Alex Pritchard would have been too expensive to buy back, I can’t see us emulating Mr Mourinho and offering a similar sum to Eddie Howe. That said, for a player to cost 11 Grabbans shows how much Manchester United are hanging their reputation on him. Here’s hoping it doesn’t backfire on them. No. Seriously. Please stop sniggering.

As for that #Pogback hashtag. Not even we’d stoop that low. Surely? #Grabback, anyone?

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Steve Austin – 0.5 of a Grabban

Finally, the Olympics are taking hold. We’re now three days in and Great Britain are starting to win medals . They aren’t ‘medaling’ (whatever you may read about this irritating faux-verb) and we aren’t the Sue Barker inspired Team GB. How this has been allowed to become common parlance, I have no idea.

Please, have some dignity. Does everything have to be reduced to a hashtag or supposedly snappy soundbite? I don’t see Mannschaft D or Equipe F taking part. What’s wrong with just calling us Great Britain?

That aside, after the horrific scare in the women’s road race, it was the turn of the men to hold our attention last night. In the pool, that is. Surprisingly, Mrs Bruzon joined me on the sofa in a rare display of domestic sporting unity to watch finely honed athletes, wearing nothing but the skimpiest of trunks, hurl themselves into the pool from 10 metres up.

I’ve no idea why she had decided to watch but, more importantly, it once again gave a chance to show that even the laziest of athletes (that’s me) can become experts in any judging discipline within about three goes. In moments, 7.5’s were being handed out with abandon as observations about synchronicity came as easily as those about Great Britain’s hopes of winning a medal in this event.

Equally impressive was the confidence being shown by the team mates. Not in each other, where synchronised action is key to success, but in their speedos. How none of those flew off after hitting the water at such speed, from such distance, is a feat of engineering beyond even NASA scientists. Surely something to deny the laws of known physics?

Yes. For as many alternative reasons as sporting ones, the Rio games are grabbing the attention. Whilst I’ll be following the football tonight, I can’t deny I might also have half an eye on more Olympic action.

Nick Bruzon

Swapping the mic for the bike. To Ajax via Leyton Orient.

29 May

Beesplayer commentator Mark Burridge has a huge challenge coming up next weekend – he’s off to Leyton Orient. That’s not a shock piece of commentating transfer news but merely that the Matchroom Stadium is the starting point for the charity cycle ride from London to Amsterdam in aid of Prostate Cancer UK, in which he and Karen Manders will be representing Brentford FC.

The 200km event, culminating at the Amsterdam Arena (the home of Ajax FC), takes place 5/6 June and you may recall it was one that Mark took part in last year. Aswell as being for a vitally important cause, the Brentford FC cycle team were the leading fundraisers – something they’d love to get as close to as possible again.

As it stands, they are heading for the top ten, having already raised over £3k of their £4k target. Just to put that into context, and fairplay to them, Stevenage are currently in second place with a staggering £8k.

Can Brentford match this? Well, every penny counts and, regardless of where we finish in the pecking order, it is the end cause which is the most important thing.

Speaking to Mark yesterday, he told me : “Karen & I would like to thank all Bees fans for their generosity, considering we just have the 2 of us in the team. The fundraising has been amazing and we know there are promises of more to come. You’ve all done BFC and the Prostate Cancer UK Charity proud – we hope to do the same next weekend“.

Mark – you are a better man than me, that’s for sure. These days, I struggle to cycle to the newsagents for that next pack of Panini World Cup stickers.  I can’t imagine how hard this will be but I wish you all the very best.

So think of Mark next weekend when you are stocking your fridge for the World Cup, hanging that Wallchart or breaking the news to the ‘other half’ that you’ll be hogging the TV remote from June 12th.

More importantly, if you’d like to read more about his efforts or donate, then you can do so here.

GREAT work and the very best of luck to both Mark and Karen.

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He’s done it before, but can he do it again? Of course he can!

From Bees and books to BT.

12 Nov

This Thursday, 14th November, sees a Brentford double header.

First up, Uwe will be in the club shop from 6pm to meet fans and sign copies of his autobiography. There can’t be too many Bees supporters who don’t know, at the least, the initial facts about his life but it really promises to be a fascinating read.

To read the rest of this article, season 2013/14 is now available to download onto Kindle, in full. Containing previously unseen content, you can do so here for less than the cost of one matchday programme.

 Thanks for reading over the course of the campaign. For now I need to make space on this page for any follow up.  The ‘close season’ / World Cup columns continue in full, further on in this site.