Tag Archives: FvH

Could we go one better with next season’s third shirt? A groundbreaking opportunity awaits.

5 Feb

Finally. 24 hours after the majority of our Championship rivals, Brentford get the chance to get back into action. And what a test it will be, against league leaders Brighton and Hove Albion. Although, of course, that should now read ‘former’ league leaders after Newcastle United regained top spot on Saturday.

With third place Reading also picking up a point yesterday afternoon, the pressure will be on the Seagulls to really go for broke. Brentford, of course, will be looking to build upon Tuesday night’s tonking of Aston Villa. We looked at the forthcoming challenge in the previous column which you can find here.

However, today I wanted to mention the Football v Homophobia (FvH) campaign. Don’t worry, this is no attempt at cod moralising or patronising anybody. The last thing anybody needs, the LGBT community especially, is an article that goes all preachy.

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Yet with February being designated the international month of FVH, today’s game with Brighton has been selected in support of the campaign. You can read more about this on Brentford official where the article notes that as many as 72% of fans have heard homophobic abuse at football matches.

Thankfully, and as we’ve mentioned many times before, at Brentford this would seem to be very much the exception rather than the rule. Aside from an odd incident at Newcastle United this season from a few of the visiting fans, this isn’t anything I’ve encountered before. Home or away. It’s just one of the many reasons I’m glad I can bring my son,family and friends to Griffin Park.

And so, despite no real issue of homophobia at Brentford, the club continue to back the campaigns and make all the right noises. We support the rainbow laces promotion, print the statements on the website whilst the excellent matchday programme will, no doubt also contain similar messages today. Likewise, we also have the @LGBT_Bees group on Twitter who are well worth a follow.

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Harlee Dean shows his support earlier in the season

Yet, equally, it does sometimes feel a little bit like lip service and some clubs going through the mentions. That’s no disprespect to Brentford, who certainly push the right buttons, but more an observation about football in general. How do a club really nail their colours to the mast? Or, rather, their kit?

German club VfL Bochum have long been noted amongst supporters for their late 90s kits, which sported the rainbow colours so closely associated with the LGBT community on one half of the chest. Yet whatever the connotations of this colour scheme, this  was no precursor to the FvH campaign.

Instead it was a case of taking sponsorship to Coventry City levels (the Sky Blues famously attempting to bypass football regulations by incorporating Talbot’s ’T’ directly into their early 80’s kit design). The rainbow colour scheme was actually that of club sponsors Faber, who ran the German lottery. However well meaning this shirt may be considered by the casual observer, it was chosen for nothing more than commercial gain.

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The Bochum kit (with Faber logo inset)

But it did get me thinking. Why not introduce the rainbow colours to a shirt? Even just for one match ? Event specific shirts are hardly uncommon these days and it would be a wonderful way to bring awareness to a new level. Nobody could deny the that the Bochum effort got people talking, even if for the wrong reasons.

One can only presume that contractual / commercial reasons would probably get in the way of such an enterprise before it got off the drawing board. Yet if any club and Adidas wanted to lead the way in throwing their support behind the FvH campaign, then what a groundbreaking way to do it? Even if just by tweaking the colour scheme on the famous shoulder stripes?

Bochum have shown this could be done, albeit by accident. How about Brentford do it for real ?

I’d be proud to wear this or some similar variant. Even if it was for one night only.

Would you?

 

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Could this be in Bob’s locker next season?

Nick Bruzon

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Brentford v Wolves – there’s more to this game than just football

22 Feb

The following article was originally published earlier this month. However, with Brentford v Wolves now being designated as the club’s ‘football v homophobia’ game after the Crawley match was postponed, it is reproduced here, as alluded to in today’s other column.

What would you do if I were to tell you that Sam Saunders, Will Grigg or, for that matter, any of the Brentford first team was gay?

To be quite honest one or all of them might be. I just don’t know. And, frankly, I don’t care. Without wanting to get preachy (and don’t worry, I won’t) an individual’s sexual preference should be as relevant to us as what brand of soap powder they wash their training kit in. Persil or Ariel – I neither know or, more importantly, have any interest.

This isn’t meant to trivialise the issues faced by the LBGT community. Quite the opposite. I just genuinely don’t understand why other people get so hung up about it.

I’ve been coming to Brentford since the late 1970s and, thankfully, unless I am being horrendously naïve, homophobia isn’t an issue that usually rears its head on the terraces. Indeed, in recent years the ever-evolving group of friends I watch The Bees with has included a couple whom, for months, I had no clue were in a same sex relationship. And why should I?

What has made me particularly happy is that one of them has since said to me, “Its got to the point where I’ve realised that the people I used to’ just watch football with’ have actually become my friends”.

This isn’t an attempt to paint yours truly as some paragon of virtue. Simply that one of the reasons I still love coming to Brentford – and will bring my son when he is old enough – is the friendly, community atmosphere that runs throughout our family of supporters and every aspect of the club. Things as nasty as racism, sexism or homophobia have never struck me as being a problem at Griffin Park.

Sadly, things aren’t that way throughout the wider football world. I’m neither eloquent nor intelligent enough to talk at length about homophobia in the game or explicitly promote the good work now being done to help combat the prejudice expressed by many. That’s why when we have a day like this coming Saturday – when Brentford face Wolves – I’ll leap on any opportunity where I can to get involved.

Aswell as another chance to see the League’s two best teams in action, with February being the international month of ‘Football v Homophobia’ (FvH), the club have selected this game to show their backing for this initiative.

It is an excellent chance for fans to show their support for this campaign but, equally, that Brentford is not a club where bigotry or discrimination of any form is welcome .

If you would like to learn more then you can visit the website at www.footballvhomophobia.com or catch up on the twitter feed at: @FvHTweets .

Could Charlie’s charity shirt provide a distraction from the weather?

7 Feb

Brentford face Crawley tomorrow (in theory) although supporters have already been warned to check the official site in case the elements interfere.

I, for one, hope the game goes ahead. The phrase ‘points in the bag are better than games in hand’  is one I’ve held dear for years. That’s not to say we are guaranteed any points – quite the opposite, I’ve been guarding against complacency for months.

However, I have to assume that our rivals will win (Wolves travel to bottom club Stevenage whilst Leyton Orient take on an out-of-sorts Peterborough) and, as such, I’d much rather there was no added pressure from having to play ‘catch up’. Likewise, nobody needs fixture congestion with postponed games having to be crammed in toward the denouement of the season.

I am sure these are sentiments being shared by the club and one employee in particular. I’ll spare any blushes by keeping their identity secret  – suffice to say that I hope we don’t have a repeat of the Michael Fish, ‘hurricane’ incident.

BFC Weather Report 5 Feb

Could Michael Fish have a protégé at Griffin Park?

 

So, if the worst does happen and the game is canned then what will you do between now and our next football fix on Wednesday?

Well, the winter Olympics start today so you could sit in front of the TV to see how the ever tolerant Russians uphold the Olympic charter, which includes the line: “. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind “

Given the well-documented comments on homosexuality, Sochi seems like something out of the eighteenth century at times. Moreso, given as football clubs all over England are now supporting the FvH campaign and, indeed, Brentford are due to do so on Saturday.

Personally, I’ll be giving the Winter Olympics a skip.  This is nothing to do with Mr Putin’s attitude to human rights but simply because they are very much the poor relation compared to their summer cousin. The fact that they need inclement weather just to take place already puts them on the back foot.

So what else can we do? Well, how about signing the Lionel Road petition? I was unable to attend the fan’s forum last night but I gather we were told that the decision would not be made by this Tuesday (thanks to @Beesotted for their excellent twitter updates). You can do that, here.

Or, there is always eBay. Specifically, for football shirts. If anybody reads this before 1.55pm on Friday morning then there is still time to bid on a stunning Brentford shirt.

Sky Sports presenter Charlie Webster (@CharlieCW on twitter) has just run 250 miles, visiting 40 football clubs, over a mere 7 days (do the maths – ouch !!). The challenge was undertaken on behalf of the Womens Aid Federation of England and, at the time of writing, Charlie was almost half way towards her £100,000 target.

Aswell as a ‘just giving page’, where you can learn more and donate, there is also a very special charity auction taking place to help raise funds. You can bid on a 2013/14 Brentford home shirt signed earlier this season by the entire squad.

Aside from being an excellent cause, who knows what a treasured item this could become in the future should the season end as we all hope it will.

Until then though, let’s keep our fingers crossed that Saturday is ‘Game On’.

Brentford v Crawley – there’s more to this game than just football

5 Feb

What would you do if I were to tell you that Sam Saunders, Will Grigg or, for that matter, any of the Brentford first team was gay?

To be quite honest one or all of them might be. I just don’t know. And, frankly, I don’t care. Without wanting to get preachy (and don’t worry, I won’t) an individual’s sexual preference should be as relevant to us as what brand of soap powder they wash their training kit in. Persil or Ariel – I neither know or, more importantly, have any interest.

This isn’t meant to trivialise the issues faced by the LBGT community. Quite the opposite. I just genuinely don’t understand why other people get so hung up about it.

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.