I was still a bit fed up yesterday morning and kept replaying some of Saturday’s key incidents in my mind whilst chuntering on about Robert Madley’s refereeing horror show to anyone who would listen to me – in truth, not too many people!
So after lunch I thought it might distract me if I had a quick look through Saturday’s Matchday Programme, or “Bees Review”, as it is so catchily titled now.
I had stuffed it into my pocket before the kickoff and given all the distractions I had never quite got round to looking at it.
When I got to page forty-seven I saw something that shocked and really upset me and rapidly forced me to forget all about Saturday’s events and put such minor pinpricks firmly into perspective.
There was a picture commemorating the passing of someone who I remembered extremely well and with great fondness, a man whom I had known for the greater part of my time supporting Brentford FC.
Bob Spicer had been a dedicated Brentford fan for well over fifty years and in his time supporting the club he estimated that he had seen over three thousand games involving the Bees.
A truly wonderful and remarkable record.
Indeed he used to demonstrate his passion for Brentford by wearing a club badge on the lapel of his jacket.
I first met him many years ago when we sat near each other in Braemar Road and we would also bump into each other regularly in Stripes, both of us desperately trying to keep warm before a match.
He was a charming, intelligent, quiet, softly spoken and thoroughly decent man, a real gentleman, in every meaning of the word.
He would always ask me how I was doing and took a real interest in my family and my career, even remembering my wife and children.
He was inquisitive and interested without prying and would always appear to take great delight in what I had been up to.
In particular we used to talk about New York where I had lived and worked for a few years in the 1980s.
It was far harder to get Bob to open up about himself given his natural reticence and modesty but from time to time he would tell me some wonderful stories about some of the heroes and legends he had watched over his many years supporting the club.
I wrote a month or so ago, (http://tinyurl.com/kmpun7b), about how we sit or stand next to the same people year after year at football matches, yet we rarely if ever take the time or trouble to introduce ourselves or even get to know anything about each other beyond our shared passion for the same football club.
My relationship with Bob perfectly demonstrates this inertia or indeed, typical British reserve, and I now sorely regret that I never made the effort to get to know him better.
At eighty-five he would have been a massive repository of memories about the club and so many of its great exploits and indeed, disasters, of the past.
Bob and others of his vintage are literally a dying breed and I wonder if the club or perhaps even Dave Lane and Mark Croxford, my fellow authors of The Big Brentford Book Series, could make a concerted effort to record some of their wonderful oral memories whilst the opportunity still exists?
So Bob, I wish we had become real friends, but it was an honour and a privilege to get to know you, albeit so slightly over the years.
Rest In Peace.