Tag Archives: Marcus Gayle

What a denouement as Dan makes us feel like dancing.

17 Aug

Another home, game another clean sheet and another three points. Brentford moved up to 6th place in the fledgling Championship table with a 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest coming hot on the heels of Saturday’s 2-0 scoreline when Ipswich Town were the visitors.

It was a tense game, second half especially, and a demonstration that once again stats count for little when it comes to match analysis. Forest ended the game with 57% possession, 5 shots on target to our 4 and double the amount of corners. Yet Brentford bagged the most important one – balls in the back of the net.

To read the rest of this article, season 2016/17 is now available for download on e-book in the retrospective: Welcome Home, King Jota (Brentford FC season review 2016/17)
 
Priced at just £1.99, all sales are being donated to the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust.

Likewise any sales from the previous titles – Celebrating like they’d won the FA Cup (2013/14), Tales from the football village (2014/15) and Ready. Steady. Go Again. (2015/16) – are also now going to the BFCCST.

Containing the least bad of the blogs from May 16 to May 17, you can pick it up, here. Its all for a great cause and,hey, you may even enjoy it…..

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View from The Braemar – holding on to the ball was our best option at times

 

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Marcus Gayle entertained Beesplayer listeners

Fair play to Marcus, too, for donning our wonderful new home shirt.

 

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Billy (Grant) does his thing with Leo Sayer

Nick Bruzon

From Manchester City fan to Brentford legend

3 Mar

Money can’t necessarily buy you success. Of course, at Brentford having the sort of finances available to the likes of the teams at the top end of the Premier League is just a pipe dream. Yet it made last night’s results all the more interesting as this most captivating of top flight seasons continued. Despite their mega-millions, Manchester City (at mid-table Liverpool) and Arsenal (hosting relegation candidates Swansea) both lost against opposition they’d have been expected, on paper, to breeze past.

The flip side to this is that when you are operating on a reduced budget, unearthing that game changing player is a truly joyful experience. And this is where Brentford come into the equation. The previous column looked at, amongst other things, the FourFourTwo magazine survey on your club’s ‘cult hero’ over the top four divisions.

It is genuinely a fascinating read (my own contribution aside) with the results, being published on-line now showing clubs A-M. Starting with Accrington Stanley, it has so far gone through Brentford, along with the aforementioned Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City to the point they had, at the time of writing, got as far as Morecambe.

So few of these players are the big money signings making the headlines today but each have their special place amongst the fans. And the reason for mentioing this again was, specifically, the chance to talk a bit more about Brentford. Or, rather, our own nominee – Gary Blissett.

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All time cult hero, Gary Blissett

Given the constraints of the Four FourTwo site, somebody like Bliss (not to mention those who ran him close when the question was put out there on Facebook last month) deserved more than the 100-150 words available. So here is the full, unexpurgated version.

Gary Blissett – cult hero

Where do you start when looking for a cult hero? For a team like Brentford, where the trophy cabinet is more an aspiration than anything else, most people outside of TW8 probably know us for the sort of thing that would make TV’s “What happened Next…?” rather than the record books.

Goalkeeper Chic Brodie having his career ended by a runaway dog. Millwall fans throwing a hand grenade onto the pitch (November 1965, for the record). The failed takeover bid by QPR that would have seen Brentford cease to exist and our bitterest rivals move into Griffin Park. Eight play-off defeats out of eight (the least successful of all English teams when reaching football’s ‘final four’).

Then, of course, there was ‘that penalty’ in the final minute of the final game of 2012/13. A winner takes all encounter with promotion rivals Doncaster Rovers.

Only one team could make it to the Championship and, with the scores locked at 0-0, the Bees were awarded a 90th minute spot kick. The subsequent tussle for the ball involving club captain Kevin O’Connor (approaching his 500th game), and Marcello Trotta (on loan from Fulham, of all places) is one as familiar as the Italian’s subsequent effort thudding off the crossbar and, with Bees players prostrate on the ground in despair, our opponents going down the other end where they scored to secure promotion and the title.

That’s how we do things at Griffin Park. Glorious failure being as familiar a taste as the pre-match hot dog. Yet when we do win things, it makes them all the sweeter. Every now and again it happens. And even when we don’t, we still have a lot of fun along the way. Thanks, largely, to those figures you’d label as Cult Heroes.

Big John O’Mara who, in his first season, scored 25 goals in 40 games. Centre back Peter Gelson, who made 471 appearances in a Griffin Park career that stretched from 1960 to 1975. The legendary Jim Towers and George Francis aka The Terrible Twins. Playing together for most of the 1950s, they still remain (respectively) the club’s first and second highest all time goal scorers.

Hard as nails players such as Terry Hurlock, Terry Evans and Martin Grainger.

Long serving players Jamie Bates and Kevin O’Connor.

The skilful wing wizards like Andy Sinton and Neil Smillie.

Those who just seemed to exude personality and had the crowd eating out of their hand – Allan Cockram, Lloyd Owusu and Marcus Gayle (just don’t sing that song near your granny).

Modern day heroes including Jota – the last minute goal being his own personal calling card. Toumani Diagouraga – “Toumani scores, we’re on the pitch” went the Ealing Road. He’d last done it in March 2013 and we had to sit through another 111 games without him troubling the scorers before he was sold to Leeds at the end of January. Less than 40 minutes into his full debut….

Or how about Sam Saunders? The perma-tanned wing wizard (and former tube worker) so beloved of fans that most would allow him to ‘have relations’ with their wives, if the terrace chant is to be believed.

But when it comes down to it, there can be only one winner. The moustachioed legend that is Gary Blissett. aka ‘Bliss’.

79 goals from 223 league appearances (105 from 291 total) in a 6 year career from 1987-1993 don’t even tell half the story. His brace against boyhood heroes Manchester City in the 1988-89 FA Cup fourth round sent Griffin Park into meltdown as the Bees earned a 3-1 passage into the fifth round. There, Bliss repeated the feat as his late pair at Blackburn Rovers helped Brentford to a deserved 2-0 win. Sadly it wasn’t to be in an Anfield quarter final as the Bees bowed out despite giving all-conquering Liverpool (kids, ask your dads) an almighty scare.

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Bliss does the business against his beloved Manchester City

His defining goal was probably the final game of the 91/92 season. With the Bees having won the previous five on the spin, including a 4-0 demolition of Fulham, we travelled to Peterborough knowing a win and some good fortune could make the impossible, possible.

Bliss was the man who popped up with a first half header as we then sat through an awful lot of ‘squeaky bum time’ for a famous 1-0 win. With other results going our way, including a shock defeat for a Birmingham City side that Saint & Greavsie had earlier congratulated on TV for winning the League, we snuck up the blind side and became Champions. Sometimes, it happens.

Gary was an ever present the following season as, despite the sale of strike partner Dean Holdsworth, his goals almost kept us in English football’s second tier.

But there was more to Gary than short shorts, a luxuriant ‘tache and goals, goals, goals.

A wannabe goalkeeper, he was the man who donned the gloves during a Championship game with Southend United after injury, and no spare on the bench, meant we got to enjoy that wonderful moment where an outfield player goes between the posts. Bliss promptly ignored every piece of advice being shouted to him by youth ‘keeper Ashley Bayes and kept a clean sheet.

But it was his red card at Craven Cottage after what we will politely call a ‘coming together’ with Fulham ‘keeper Jim Stannard that is a moment as popular with Bees’ fans as that goal at Peterborough. Bliss left the field to a standing ovation in a game that showed us the West London derby meant as much to the players as the supporters.

All the money in the bank can’t buy a player like Bliss. The £60,000 we paid Crewe back in 1987, even now, still seems like the bargain of the century.

Like Marcus Gayle and Allan Cockram, Bliss still visits Griffin Park. Catching up with him briefly in the week, he told me, “ I follow every game and after my beloved City Brentford are of course the team I want to see succeed more than any other team or club in the world.

I am sure MB will have Plan B, C, D and more and will one day be playing at The Ethiad IN THE LEAGUE

For those amongst us feeling slightly down about things on the pitch this year, these are surely words to put your trust in. If a demi-God such as Bliss believes, then that’s all the inspiration we need .

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Gary still features in the Junior Bees Top Trumps (style game)

Nick Bruzon

Could Chris spur on Brighton at Brentford today?

3 Jan

I love the FA Cup third round. Whilst the TV companies are focusing on the potential potato skins faced by the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool, there’s always a story.  With Brentford hosting fellow Championship side Brighton and Hove Albion, it is no different as the tie sees the return of Chris Hughton to Griffin Park.

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 on.

Could we see some  early 90's muscle today?

Could we see some early 90’s muscle today?

Can Bees beat Slade to Christmas number one?

20 Dec

Brentford travel to Cardiff City today knowing that a win and the usually unreliable ‘other results going in our favour’ could see us joint top of the Championship table on Christmas day. It is a game most fans have been looking forward to for months and, moreso, because it gives us a chance to renew acquaintances with Russell Slade.

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.

Premiership, we’re coming for you (and this time it’ll be different)

6 Aug

Wednesday morning and I feel like a kid at Christmas. The Adam Forshaw to Wigan Athletic story has got in the way of what should be the most exciting week in the last 21 years as Brentford prepare to rejoin the Championship. So I’m done with that (Wigan, I mean) – we’ll let the story play out one way or another and, instead, start to focus on the weekend when it all kicks off again with the visit of Charlton Athletic.

Football always has been my game, no question. I love rugby and cricket but this has it all. And as much because of all the chatter, the banter, the build up, the speculation and the anticipation. We have a week of preparing for that moment when everything comes to a head and Buzzette leads the teams out to the pitch.

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.

Don’t do it, Mark. I’ve found something worse than the broccoli

20 May

As Brentford fans wait for Mark Devlin to reveal news of next season’s kit, FA Cup winner’s Arsenal have unveiled a shocker. You may have seen this already but, if not, get those sunnies out and we’ll get there in a moment.

First, though, it seems as though a farewell is in order. George Saville took to twitter yesterday with a couple of posts that suggest, unless he is going on a very long holiday, he’s played his last game at Griffin Park.

Nobody who saw George in action for the Bees could deny his obvious talent, his eye for goal and the long future that awaits him in the game. Could we see him next season with another Championship club (ahem) or, perhaps, a career in the Premiership awaits? Either way, Bees fans owe him a massive vote of thanks for his role in our promotion this season.

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I’m no Sherlock Holmes, but I don’t think George is coming back on loan again

One positive, for me, should George depart is that it now qualifies him to play for the Brentford legend’s team. Sunday’s Community day at Griffin Park saw the team run out as 3-2 winners over the ‘Skyex Allstars’. Many eras of former Bees turned out from Andy Driscoll and the watching Marcus Gayle right up to present day players in Sam Wood and Marcus Bean.

It was a cracking day in hot sun (perhaps Roy should have stayed in West London for England’s warm weather training) and is sure to take place again next season where the Bees will be aiming for a hat-trick of victories.

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Brentford legends preparing for action

Ok –  that kit. Most teams celebrate an FA Cup win with an open top bus parade or a reception in the town hall. True, Arsenal did the former but they have also launched a limited edition shirt to commemorate their victory.

It’s up there with the La Hoya Lorca ‘broccoli shirt’ or Madureira’s Fidel Castro tribute. Exiting club technical sponsor Nike have gone for a hybrid effort which, in their words is ’inspired by a selection of iconic Arsenal kits from the past two decades’.

So, not the offcuts from the factory floor which have been hastily sewn together, Frankenstein style, then?

I’m glad I’m not an Arsenal fan for many reasons but, primarily, because this is so bad I might actually be tempted to try and get one.

Surely Mark Devlin wouldn’t do this to us…….

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Brentford wrestling Manchester City and Newcastle for a BBC mention

19 Feb

Manchester City lose at home to Barcelona thanks to an ‘iffy’ penalty. Leyton Orient return to the promotion places in League one (although seem to have played all of Crawley’s games in hand for them). Hey, I’ve even seen that World Wrestling Entertainment supremo Vince McMahon is, supposedly, interested in buying Newcastle United from Mike Ashley.

Those, just a sample of the football related stories to be found on the BBC, Evening Standard and other news related websites last night. Given the theatrical nature and hammy challenges in the top flight, perhaps McMahon would be naturally at home in charge of a Premiership football club. However, I hear enough about soap operas at work without wanting to read more on them when I get home.

Besides, there was bigger news out there yesterday. I’m not naïve enough to expect it to be headline grabbing but surely it would be up there, somewhere?

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.

Wigan’s Whelan hoovers Uwe as his former groovers are Cup losers.

8 Dec

It was always going to happen.

Being honest – given the week that Brentford have had then perhaps it’s no bad thing to duck out of the cup a little bit earlier, this time around.

Don’t get me wrong; the third round draw is one of the real highlights of the football calendar. I’ll still be tuning in today, if for no other reason than to see who ball 53, Carlisle (or Brentford, as was) is drawn against.

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.

Brentford clean up Staines with ‘massive’ win

10 Nov

What do you say about that?

It was less cup ‘romance’ and more  ‘sexy football’ of the sort not seen at Griffin Park for some time. Listening to Billy Reeves last week, he had praised the footballing ability of this team as ‘the best in the division’ when up against opponents who also tried to play rather than park the proverbial bus. And that’s what both sides did yesterday as Brentford ended up putting five goals past Marcus Gayle’s Staines Town in the FA Cup first round.

It was a cracking cup-tie played in a great atmosphere but the socreline only tells half the story. Before the game had even kicked off, chants of “Marcus, Marcus give us a wave” echoed around the Ealing Road terrace. “Just not with that”, quipped one terrace wag.

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.

Is this the oddest kit ever? (and the Buzzette prizewinner is named)

8 Nov

The next time you find yourself getting upset by the lack of stripes on the back of the Brentford shirt then spare a thought for supporters of Rio De Janeiro based football team, Madureira.

Up until now, Spanish team La Hoya Lorca were my out and out contenders for the most bizarre kit of the season, with their ‘away ‘effort based on the agricultural heritage of the team’s locality. So much so that the entire ensemble has been designed to look like a stick of broccoli, even having an image of the vegetable imprinted into the top. It was a beautiful reminder of that moment back in the early 1990’s when the marketing men up at Hull City decided to employ similar logic – “Our nickname is ‘The Tigers’, why not make a shirt covered in tiger stripes?”

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Broccoli and Tiger stripes. Odd inspiration, until now….

But move over La Hoya, there’s a new player in town. Brazilian third division team Madureira have just released a special kit commemorating the 50th anniversary of the club’s trip to Cuba. And what better way to do this than by incorporating an image of Che Guevara into the shirt? Who needs big cats or root vegetables when you have a Communist revolutionary? It gets better, though. In the case of the goalkeeper’s kit, they’ve taken things a step further by simply replicating the Cuban flag.  It all makes David Button’s lurid green outfit seem rather tame in comparison and I want one!

So if anybody is heading over to Rio for the World Cup next summer then why not keep your eyes peeled for an unusual souvenir. Brentford have already placed the ‘George Cross’ into the 2005-05 home shirt so who knows if we could go one better next time out…?

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David Button could be sweating on the arrival of the 2014-15 Adidas goalkeeper shirt

Getting back to matters TW8, the results of the most recent ‘Last Word Caption Competition’ have been announced. Special guest judge Natalie Sawyer has revealed her favourite caption for the picture of Sir Alex Ferguson and Farid El Alagui doing…well, I don’t know what.

Natalie told me, “It’s a toughie but I think I’m going for Roger Greenaway’s (sheffbee) effort, which has Farid saying:  OK Sir Alex. Best of three, but I still say you’ve got more chance of starting Saturday than I have.”

Congratulations Roger. I’ll be in touch to arrange delivery of your prize – a Buzzette mug – shortly. All being well there’ll be another competition before Christmas. If you’d like to see the best of the printable suggestions (Simon Catlin, I’m looking at you in particular….) then you can do so here.

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“OK Sir Alex. Best of three, but I still say you’ve got more chance of starting Saturday than I have.”

Otherwise it simply remains to say, bring on Saturday and the F.A. Cup first round.

My feelings on the tie and, of course, the return of Marcus Gayle have already been well documented this week and so I won’t regurgitate here. That said, fingers are crossed for the right result and, with Uwe suggesting that he’ll be naming a strong side, I’m hoping Brentford will find themselves in the velvet bag for the second round draw.