Ten days ago I set you all a quiz and posed eighteen extremely tough questions relating to affairs at Brentford over the past forty-five years. Thank you to everyone who had a go and tested your wits and your memory. I received several entries and out of all of you, Paul Briers did the best and made a truly valiant effort but not even he, despite his encyclopaedic knowledge of the history of the club, came close to getting all full marks. So today I will reveal all and let you all know the answers to my conundrums.
1. How many appearances has Kevin O’Connor made for the club?
Kevin has made 501 appearances (420 in the League, 31 FA Cup, 20 in the League Cup and 30 in other games). He is fourth on our all time appearance chart behind Ken Coote (559), Jamie Bates (524) and Peter Gelson (516). He is highly unlikely to play for us again and for all his wonderful achievements he must be a little bit frustrated that he will probably end up only a season and a half short from topping the list. So near – so far.
2. What did Kevin O’Connor do with his last touch of the ball to date in a Brentford shirt?
He calmly slotted away the winning penalty kick in the shootout at Dagenham in August 2014 beating former Bee Liam O’Brien low to the keeper’s right hand side, exactly where he would surely have placed the ball had he been allowed to take that fateful penalty kick against Doncaster Rovers in 2013
3. Who are the top five goal scorers for Brentford since 1970? One of them did score for the club before that year.
Gary Blissett – 105 goals, Lloyd Owusu – 87 goals, Roger Cross – 79 goals, John Docherty – 78 goals, Dean Holdsworth – 76 goals.
4. Who has been shown the most red cards for Brentford since 1970, and how many times has he been sent off? Who are second and third in the list?
Jamie Bates was sent off eight times, Martin Grainger, six times, with Brian Statham in third place with five. Statham also managed to get himself sent off twice against Brentford too, playing for Reading and Gillingham.
5. Which current Brentford player has been sent off three times for the club?
Tony Craig who was sent off by Keith Stroud (see the next question) at Sheffield United. He has also seen red twice at Griffin Park, last season against Carlisle and against Birmingham City this season.
6. How many Brentford players has Keith Stroud sent off – so far?
A quite ridiculous six! Ricky Newman for an alleged stamp against Huddersfield in 2006, Stuart Nelson in the 2006 Playoff match at Swansea, James Wilson at Wycombe in 2009, Tony Craig and Clayton Donaldson in THAT match at Sheffield United in 2013 and Jake Bidwell recently at home to Watford. Of the six, Newman’s red card was expunged on appeal and Nelson, Craig and Donaldson were dealt with extremely harshly by a man who always appears to be extremely quick on the draw.
7. Which Brentford player has missed the most consecutive penalty kicks since 1970, and how many in a row did he miss?
Steve Phillips scored eight of the first ten spot kicks he took and generally succeeded in placing the ball unstoppably in the top corner of the net. Then it all went wrong for him and he totally lost his touch, missing his last four penalty kicks in 1979/80, although it has to be admitted that he did score from the rebound after the keeper saved his initial effort at Southend United.
8. Who has scored the most penalty kicks for Brentford since 1970?
Kevin O’Connor has scored nineteen out of the twenty-four kicks he has taken. Leaving aside shootouts, the last penalty he took for us was that majestic last second equaliser in the Playoff Semi Final at Swindon in 2013 when in a high pressure situation he took the best penalty kick I have ever seen by a Brentford player, giving vent to the anger and frustration that I am sure he felt after the Doncaster fiasco.
9. Name the eight Brentford players who have a 100% success record from the penalty spot and have taken more than one penalty for the club?
As we long suffering Brentford fans well know, the award of a penalty kick is generally no guarantee of a goal with a success rate far lower than we would prescribe for our galloping pulse rate. Mark Croxford has informed me that since 1970 we have in fact been awarded 269 penalty kicks of which 194 have been scored and 75 spurned. In other words we have scored just under three out of every four kicks. If it is any consolation when reading through match reports in old Brentford programmes from the 30s and 50s, guess what? Yes, every penalty kick was an adventure even back in those days. We just are not very good at taking them and nothing seems to have changed over the years. Terry Johnson, Joe Allon, Roger Cross, Barry Tucker, Warren Aspinall, D J Campbell, Paul Gibbs and Alex Pritchard (I hope I am not tempting fate here) are the only Brentford players who have a 100% success rate from the penalty spot and have taken more than one kick for the club.
10. Who was the last Brentford loanee to score two goals on his debut for the club? (Clue: It was in 2009.)
Well I pretty much gave this one away as the answer was John Bostock who scored twice against Millwall, including a goal scored direct from a corner and I might well ask in my next quiz who else has managed to achieve this rare feat? At one time it looked like he would become a worldbeater and at only twenty-three years of age, time is still on his side however he is now playing in the Belgium second tier at Oud-Heverlee Leuven which seems a level far below his potential. He started like a house on fire at Griffin Park but struggled to show consistency or impose himself on games.
11. Who was the last Bee to score four goals in a game?
This was also a no-brainer for all of you. Mike Grella scored four times in that amazing six-nil thumping of, it has to be said, a pretty lethargic and disinterested AFC Bournemouth team in a JPT clash in November 2011. Incredibly those were the only goals he scored for the club in a less than distinguished stay.
12. How many hat tricks did Lloyd Owusu score in 1998/99 and which club did he score two hat tricks against that season?
Lloyd took the division by storm after we plucked him form non-league obscurity at Slough Town. He scored three hat tricks in 1998/99, two against Southend United and one at Rotherham.
13. Which loan goalkeeper was ever-present, named Player of the Year and conceded under a goal per game for Brentford?
Another one that fooled none of you. Steve Sherwood was brought in to challenge a faltering Paul Priddy and proved to be a massive success. He had two highly successful loan spells and conceded only 45 goals as an ever present in 1974/75 and was an easy choice as Player of the Year. We then shilly-shallied over signing him on a permanent basis, lost out to Watford and ended up with Bill Glazier in goal – go figure!
14. Ashley Bayes played twelve games for the Bees (it really seemed like it was a hell of a lot more!) How many goals did he concede?
I have written more than enough about Ashley recently so I will simply state without further comment that in twelve games he conceded a total of thirty-four goals, an average of 2.83 goals per game.
15. Name five Brentford outfield players who have played in goal after the first choice was sent-off or injured?
This flummoxed most of you and me too I think! The ones that I can recall are: Paul Shrubb, Jim McNichol, Gary Blissett, Andy Scott and, most recently, John Mousinho
16. Who never missed a game and played 157 consecutive league games before he left the club?
Steve Phillips played in 157 consecutive league matches between February 1977 and May 1980. He came on as a substitute in his last match against Millwall. He also played ten cup matches, making a total of 167 games. 17.
Who was sent off in the twelfth minute of his Brentford debut and never played for us again?
Poor Wally Downes was forced to scrape underneath the barrel when it came to player recruitment in 2003 and a seemingly unfit puffing billy named Peter Beadle, way past his peak, was given the opportunity to play up front. He lasted twelve minutes on a blisteringly hot day at Tranmere, received what was generally acknowledged to be a harsh red card and never played for us again.
18. Name five players who were nominated as team or club captain?
Take your pick from a vast choice including: Bobby Ross, Alan Hawley, Gordon Riddick, Paul Bence, Jackie Graham, Terry Hurlock, Chris Kamara, Wayne Turner, Keith Jones, Terry Evans, Jamie Bates, Paul Evans, Michael Dobson, Ricky Newman, Kevin O’Connor and Alan Bennett
TieBreak Question: Which Brentford personality was involved in the 1933 FA Cup Final between Everton and Manchester City?
Denis Piggott, the long serving club secretary was a ball boy at the 1933 FA Cup Final. Amazingly several of you anoraks got this question right. Thanks again to all of you who entered. I hope you enjoyed the quiz and I shall endeavour to compile another one at the end of the season. If any of you have any Brentford-related questions that you would like me to include then please let me know.