Tag Archives: David Beckham

Looking good or bad dress sense? Kit Obsessive: Brentford v Preston North End

16 Sep

It only seems like five minutes since we were playing Aston Villa yet barely have the side got back to the pub (I’m sorry, but I’m still laughing about that ) we’ve got another game on top of us. This time Preston North End are the visitors to Griffin Park as Brentford go looking for a win that would, potentially, propel the Bees into the play off zone.

And, as ever, part of the build up to a home game includes a revisit to the Kit Obsessive feature. With Preston at Griffin Park tomorrow, it’s another chance to wallow in kit heaven and kit hell.

If Brentford have had trouble, on the surface, in finding variations on red and white stripes then one has to feel for the back room staff at Preston North End. In a problem similar to that faced by the national side, how do you improve on perfection – kitwise, at least?

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A familiar look

Save for a couple of tweaks in the five years prior to their becoming founder members of the football league back in 1888 (including rather familiar red and white stripes the previous season c/o the ever wonderful HFK website) their shirt remained plain white up until the mid-seventies. Sure, there were some cosmetic differs on the badge and a few collars along the way, but things remained pretty much ‘as they were’ for the best part of a century.

But then we entered the era of brand names, of sponsors and of colour. All of a sudden variants began to appear and Preston haven’t looked back since. To be fair, they have done well to keep an eye on the origins that have also seen them based at the same field in Deepdale that has been their home since 1875 (and which first saw football in 1878).

However, the last forty years have provided plenty to supplement what has been one of THE classic football shirts. As we delve into the historical kitbag, our four categories, which are all based purely on my own personal opinion, remain: The best; The worst; The away; The unfortunate design/Retro Classic

The Best:  Home 1949-58 Whilst Umbro were the first ‘technical’ sponsor to display their brand on the shirt, Adidas dominated a period from late seventies to mid eighties that saw some intriguing efforts. I’ve always had a soft spot for the German giants (indeed, for many Brentford fans our own 1980/81 home shirt is the stuff of folklore/fantasy – delete as applicable).  That said my own take is that, if anything, these are a bit over cluttered. Free from the shackles of ‘all white’, the club allowed advertising and double badges to run riot.

Instead, we’ll keep it simple and recognise one of Preston’s greatest players in their greatest kit. The image of Sir Tom Finney in the plain white collared shirt is an absolutely iconic one in footballing terms. With the famous PP (Princeps Pacis) badge still retained, almost identically, today it is a fine shirt to boot and one that reeks of class and tradition.

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The worst: Matchwinner 1992-93   Just as the likes of Reading discovered, sponsorship from a company in the painting & decorating industry does not guarantee a shirt as stylish as the product it is endorsing.

And just as Reading’s Matchwinner efforts were more likely to induce a migraine than promote the likes of their ‘Hat Painting’, Preston face a similar scenario.

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Matchwinner have bad form here

With both Matchwinner and wallpaper magnates ‘Coloroll’ in the bag, surely they couldn’t make the same mistakes as the Royals. Alas not. The 1992-93 home shirt is wrong on just about every level. The only saving grace is the club badge remains intact. Otherwise, where do you start?

Well, the shirt IS white. Kind of. Unfortunately, the effect is ruined by two areas of dark blue and yellow  wavy, diagonal lines. The predominate patch drifts across the shoulders down to the middle left, but is then also repeated below the sponsor. The whole effect is further marred by a subtle (relative to the rest of the kit) interlocking diamond motif woven through the entire shirt.

It’s almost as though somebody has looked at the infamous Hull City ‘tiger stripe’ shirt (also Matchwinner), produced an ‘away’ version, but then just rolled it out to North End instead.

 

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The away. Matchwinner 1993-94 Matchwinner’s previous ’away’ effort was a marginally more discreet version of their 92-93 ‘home’, done out in yellow and black. So I’m going for the next one they produced for Preston, also sponsored by Coloroll.

Anybody with a copy of the programme from the Oxford United cup ‘game’ may recall my mention of the fuzzy fractals and soft focus geometric oddities that seemed the fashion at the time. And nowhere more so than at Matchwinner HQ where they produced what was described as the result of “being short sighted then losing your glasses whilst looking at a deck chair. On acid.“

It was an audaciously brave attempt and one they also bequeathed to Preston North End. A shirt so glaring it’s actually brilliant. A true classic.

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The unfortunate design.  Footy 1994/95. Let’s be clear – I DO actually love the vast majority of Matchwinner efforts and their regular appearance in these pages should be seen as a complement. They have been innovative in terms of design and colour scheme – sometimes successfully yet at others, not so. However, as their star began to fade (for reasons unknown) their legacy lived on as they weren’t alone in push the boundaries.

With with ‘Footy’ picking up the baton, that tradition continued. A blue stripe to the right of the club badge saw Coloroll’s ongoing sponsorship laid out in a vertical format rather than the traditional horizontal. All well and good except the lettering was also flipped over, rendering it somewhat impossible to read without suffering some form of neck injury.

A brave effort but one that has been rarely repeated since at any English club as vertical sponsors died along with Coloroll’s contract.

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Loanee David Beckham the second most impressive thing in this picture

Nick Bruzon

Marcello? Lionel? Erm, Bermondsey?

20 Nov

Football is back. Brentford host Nottingham Forest on Saturday in what has felt an even longer international break than usual. However, I need to start on a personal note, following the football world’s incredulation yesterday after Millwall fanatic Mike Bloomfield named his newborn son: Bermondsey Millwall Den Bloomfield. This, without the prior knowledge of his (presumably now, ex) wife and using the logic that if it is good enough for Brooklyn and David Beckham then why not follow suit?

The reaction of most football fans was one of understandable horror. A child set up for a lifetime of bullying and, moreso, one who might not even like Millwall. Let alone football. Although somehow I can’t imagine the sort of dad who even named his dog after a club legend would ever let that happen on his watch.

Indeed my gut reaction was similar although, thinking about it more, I was taken back to a similar incident and the birth of my own son back in June 2013. At that point, I’d contemplated a similar act prior to the promotion decider against Doncaster Rovers. Indeed, what would subsequently transpire to be the penultimate Last Word to appear in the programme included the following paragraph – and potential marriage wrecker – in an article entitled: An open letter (and offer) to the Brentford FC first team.

My wife, watching today from New Road, is expecting our first child in about four weeks. The discussion of names has been a long one but, currently, we aren’t even close to an agreement. So, unbeknown to her, I offer this. I will name our son after whomever scores a promotion-sealing goal for Brentford today. Will it be baby Clayton? Bradley Bruzon? The footballing romantic in me would love it to be Simon (Moore).

Clayton

Baby Clayton….?

I forget the exact circumstances around what happened in that match. If only somebody had captured it on video or talked about it afterwards. However, I’ve a vague recollection that, whilst everybody else was holding their breath and watching the lunacy unfold, my own thoughts were along the lines of:

Marcello Bruzon?

Kevin Bruzon?

Does Toumani take penalties?

Give it to Sam!!

She’s going to kill me.

In the end if was none of the above. Instead, Harry Samuel Bruce Bruzon – in no way named after the fake tanned wing wizard – ended up with a much more conventional name although is now as addicted to ‘Daddy Bees’ (and, specifically, Buzzette) as his dad. That said, the name ‘Marcello’ is still one most definitely now lurking at the back of the mind should he ever have a brother.

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Harry – unbeaten at Griffin Park (P3: W1 D2 L0)

The alternative would be to follow Mike Bloomfield’s lead. Will any prospective father in TW8 consider naming their future offspring: Brentford Lionel Road?

I can’t see it happening. Road is a terrible name and the child could end up being close to 21 years old before being able to see his team in our next home (come on Rhys, get building).

As for Saturday, the visit of Nottingham Forest sees the club having to make the somewhat precautionary announcement that there will be additional security measures on the way into Griffin Park. The full details appeared on the clubsite yesterday although, in short, supporters are advised to arrive at least half an hour earlier than normal as there will be bag searches, ‘pat downs’ and metal detectors in operation.

The reasons for this are clear to all following on from the horrific events in Paris last week. It doesn’t bear thinking about that this could happen once, let alone in future, and so I’m sure supporters will understand the steps being taken…..

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Nick Bruzon

Could this be next season’s away kit ?

9 Oct

Another month, another international break. Such are the ‘problems’ facing Brentford as life in the Championship means we now have a bit more spare time on our hands. And, as ever, the mind starts to wander.

No better case in point than yesterday when, on a trip to White City Westfield , whilst failing to spot any footballers lining up outside Nandos, I did stumble across an exhibition of film memorabilia – all of which is to be auctioned later this month.

International break means Nandos is a footballer free zone

International break means Nandos is a footballer free zone

The regular reader may be aware that I am very much a fan of the ‘James Bond’ series of films. And, likewise, that Roger Moore stands head, shoulder and eyebrows above anyone else to have filled the role. Moore IS the best Bond. Fact.

So imagine my shock when I spotted THIS lurking amongst the props to be sold.

If anybody has a few thousand pounds spare....?

If anybody has a few thousand pounds spare….?

Way, way beyond the budget of a mere mortal such as myself. That said if any multi millionaires are reading, imagine how good this would look in the corner of Stripes bar.

But then my imagination went into overdrive. The other topic to regularly feature in this column is that of the ‘comedy’ football kit. Usually emanating from Spain, we’ve seen everything from Broccoli to lager and octopus tentacle to butler motifs incorporated into a novelty away shirt.

Who doesn't love a comedy shirt? Or a montage?

Who doesn’t love a comedy shirt? Or a montage?

Then it hit me. Why not combine both? Especially as Brentford, having dabbled with yellow, blue and black in recent years, don’t have a ‘regular’ away scheme. To the best of my knowledge, no English team has gone for one of the ‘eccentric’ away shirts (although the Hull City AFC ‘tiger stripe’ home remains a favourite). As such, why not take the chance to become trailblazers?

Could the Bees, now our contract with Adidas has been extended, go for a Safari style away shirt? Not so much ‘wild beasts’ but a tan or green in the Roger Moore Style.

Perhaps with ‘Nobody does it better’ playing over the Griffin Park tannoy for the big unveiling.

Could the Bees tap into the 'eccentric' shirt market - Roger style?

Could the Bees tap into the ‘eccentric’ shirt market – Roger style?

One can dream. And in the short term, I’ll await my medication.

The other shirt news, this time genuine, to reach me from ‘sources’ is in regards to a new Brentford Tee shirt now on sale. Penalty success is such a rare thing at Griffin Park that one of our most momentous (not THAT one) has been recorded for posterity.

Want the chance to relive Alan Judge tasting the net against Preston as we went up last campaign? You can do so here…

A penalty to be celebrated

A penalty to be celebrated

And finally, just a polite request for your help with a reminder about the FBA and FSF Football blogging awards. With Beesotted and The Last Word both up for nomination, it would be massively appreciated if any reader could take 30 seconds to vote.

Beesotted are up in the ‘best video’ and ‘best club’ category . The Last Word in ‘best club’ and best ‘new’ . The work of Beesotted is, of course, legendary, and I wish them luck as they look to make the final shortlist.

It would be great if we could have a couple of Bees going ‘head to head’ at a national level – and you can nominate here.

An update from Sam Saunders gets my vote

7 Oct

Whatever football news was announced yesterday, there was one piece of information that has probably bypassed most sources. Even the official Brentford club site doesn’t have this one, yet.

But for me, an already exciting season has just cranked up another notch.

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.

United’s ‘Greek Ruins’ offer Keane a chance for some sport relief.

26 Feb

As a Brentford supporter, the prospect of us suffering the same fate as Manchester United, stunned by Olympiakos in last night’s Champion’s League game, is probably still a few seasons away. At least, for now, the closest we’ll get to ‘European’ football at Griffin Park is being ‘The Barcelona of the lower leagues’.

Whilst I’d always hope to see our domestic clubs do well against their continental rivals, there’s a perverse pleasure from the ongoing decline of Manchester United. Fergie jumped ship at the right time and David Moyes is now finding it a lot trickier to pick up the pieces than probably even he imagined.

As entertaining, though, is the ‘Roy Keane’ show on ITV that accompanies our Tuesday night coverage.

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.

If it’s good enough for David Beckham….

14 Feb

Weather permitting, Brentford return to action against Crewe Alexandra tomorrow and will be hoping to stay top of League One. It’s a big ask, with second place Wolves only two points behind and surely due a win at home to a Notts County side entrenched in the relegation zone.

Looking around the interweb, it seems the usual prematch tub-thumping is taking place although that’s nothing new. Earlier this season, Crewe’s visit to Griffin Park was preceded by extended highlights of the 1997 play-off final. We all know what happened next (and I don’t mean at the W place in North London) – the Bees ran out 5-0 winners as Clayton Donaldson grabbed a brace against his former employers.

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.

This isn’t Saunders territory (for now)

10 Feb

Oh, Manchester United. Much as I’m desperate for the return of the Fulham  – Brentford derby next season, even I couldn’t be so mean spirited as to deny the Cottagers their point at Old Trafford yesterday.

It was all the more satisfying as, after years of us neutrals having to sit through the embarrassment of ‘Fergie time’, his successor was caught short in that exact same period. It was the ultimate of ironies although on current form it doesn’t say much for Fulham that they could only draw against a team who have lost three of their previous five league games.

With our neighbours still rooted to the foot of the table, they are certainly doing their part in making my next season’s wish come true. Over to you, Brentford.

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.

The season that keeps on giving – from Lineker to Lebouef (via Old Trafford)

23 Jan

With no League One action or Brentford news yesterday (beyond more idle speculation not worth dignifying with a comment) I was left to watch the Capital One Cup semi-final between Manchester United and Sunderland.

The result was a fantastic one for Sunderland – albeit after one of the worst penalty shootouts in recorded history. Three misses and only three on target, out of ten taken, is woeful from two Premiership teams. But then so is the decline of Manchester United. Watching them trying to break down the Black Cats reminded me of a weak kitten trying, and failing, to bust its way out of a damp paper bag.

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.

Dear BBC. Please don’t do it, however good the cause

22 Jan

Brentford haven’t even faced this Friday’s trial by TV against Gillingham yet already our next ‘on air’ encounter has been announced.

Not surprisingly the visit to, current, League One top dogs Leyton Orient has been brought forward to accommodate our friends at Sky. Thankfully, from some respects (the boat crew may not agree), rather than a shift to Friday night it remains on March 15th but is now a lunchtime kickoff.

Realistically, this was always going to happen. Brentford and Leyton Orient are the top two sides in League One and so this could end up being a real six-pointer (along with a chance for Sky to crank out all those East meets West type lines).

To me, it makes no difference. The number of travelling supporters will, one would imagine, remain largely the same regardless of 12.15 or 3.00. It’s too big a game  – it can’t be too often you say that about Leyton Orient  v Brentford!

Interestingly, chief executive Mark Devlin took to twitter immediately after the announcement to discuss ticketing and canvass opinion. It seems we have a choice between an allocation of 1600 or 3700. The former figure, surely too low, but is the top whack optimistic?

In my opinion, no. It’s a table-topping clash and Leyton Orient IS an easy away ground to get too. If you aren’t taking the boat trip then its simply a case of jumping on the Central line at Ealing Broadway and putting your feet up for an hour – not literally, keep those seats clean please.

The other TV news yesterday was one which, being honest, upsets me somewhat. The BBC have announced that David Beckham is to appear in a one-off return of Only Fools and Horses.

I loved this show when it was originally shown – although I think we’ve all seen the clip of Del Boy in the bar perhaps once too often (spoiler alert – he falls over). However, it’s not been on for over a decade and for good reason – it ended on a high whilst the cast are, to be polite, getting on a bit.  It’s going to be impossible to resist a trip down memory lane and take a look but I fear a car crash. Moreso, when you then add Mr Beckham into the mix.

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The BBC have announced the return of Del Boy and…David Beckham

The man who singlehandedly secured the 2012 Olympics for Great Britain loves doing his public bit and, with this in aid of Sport Relief, it’s natural he’ll be involved. But a good cause doesn’t necessarily justify resuscitating the long dead corpse of one of the nation’s favourite programmes.

Equally, everybody knows  – footballers can’t act.

We’ve all seen Figo doing his ‘Just for men’, the classic ‘Escape to Victory’ (“We can win this”), Eric Cantona is currently masquerading as a French farmer but the king acting stinker is, of course, Vinnie Jones.

To be fair, the former Wimbledon man set the bar high with his surprise debut in ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’, but its been downhill since there. Very much a case of the law of diminishing returns, he was single handedly responsible for destroying X-Men: The Last Stand whilst has also flexed his acting muscles in a range of films that includes ‘Swordfish’ and ‘Garfield: A Tail of two Kitties’.

Hey, I’ve no problem with a wooden, bad, actor. Just look at Jason Statham – a 21st century Steven Seagal. He does what he does, and does it very well. But, with footballers, it just stretches the bounds of entertainment that bit too far.

Sadly, things seem too late for Beckham and ‘Only Fools…’, judging by the publicity stills already published. I can only cross my fingers and hope we don’t have another Vinnie – ‘Gone in 60 seconds’ moment….

This is Saunders territory. And a challenge for BBC Billy

29 Nov

I love a football ritual.

The lucky shirt (of which my current, unwashed since Colchester, Adidas ‘away’ is about to walk itself into the laundry basket); the pre-match pint; the same spot on the terrace; the magic pants. We all have them but, at Brentford, I have one above all.

It has evolved, courtesy of our friends at ITV. Whenever Manchester United used to win a free kick anywhere within 15 yards of the penalty box, the next phrase you’d hear Clive Tildesley utter, with palpable excitement in his voice at the prospect of what could follow, was: “This is Ronaldo territory”.

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.