Three days on, I am certain that every Brentford supporter is still floating on air after Friday’s demolition of our major rivals QPR – the first time that we have beaten them in their own backyard for 54 years. Revenge is a dish best served cold and it was even more satisfying that our victory and almost total domination and their humiliation was witnessed by a national TV audience on Sky Sports. No longer are we the whipping boys as there has been a seismic shift in the balance of power in West London and the Bees are now the team on the rise with much more to come from us over the next few years.
I know exactly how great I am feeling but it was wonderful to receive an email from former Brentford striker and local boy, Richard Poole which clearly demonstrated just what this victory over the traditional old enemy meant to him even though he is now living abroad. Here is what he had to say and I hope you relish his comments as much as I did:
Friday’s win somehow made me think about the Braemar Road forecourt at Griffin Park and that massive tree-like sign which was up for years and showed just how much we supporters had donated to the club in dribs and drabs, and how much was still needed in order to keep us alive after QPR had done their utmost to take us over and kill us in 1967.
I joined Brentford FC as a apprentice in the 1972/73 season and I can clearly remember our clashes in the South East Counties League as little old Brentford boasting only two apprentices – me and my mate Kevin Harding – had to go up against our rich neighbours, a QPR squad full of apprentices and youth internationals. Invariably they were very hard and violent games – to be quite frank they generally turned into kicking matches but I was never one to pull out of a tackle. I was always taught that if they hit you, then you spring right back up to your feet, smile at your opponent and then hit them even harder later on when the referee isn’t looking. We played our home games at Ruislip Manor’s ground on a small and narrow pitch with a slope worse than Yeovil’s and trained on public park pitches at Gunnersbury Park where we had to avoid the dog muck but it really didn’t matter as we played with total pride and respect for our shirt.
I also remember one senior match against QPR in the London Challenge Cup second round in the 1973/74 season when later in the season I would make my full first team debut. The match was played in the evening at home and we fielded a mixed team with me and Kevin Harding one or two senior squad players like Stan Webb, Terry Scales, Alan Nelmes and Jackie Graham and a couple of other youth team products. QPR were then an established First Division side and fielded a really strong team. We gave our all and fought out a fully deserved 0-0 draw. We were well pleased and were all looking forward to the replay which was held on October 31st 1973 at Loftus Road. So how disappointed we all were when the Manager, Mike Everitt took a full strength first team for the replay and I have attached the team sheet which shows just how strong a team we fielded.
Mike Everitt was punishing the first team for losing 4-1 at Scunthorpe the previous Saturday – a totally spineless display which resulted in the Bees propping up the entire Football League in 92nd place for the first time in its history. So I missed out on the chance to play at Loftus Road and I was gutted that I would not get the opportunity to score a goal there and put QPR back in their place. We lost narrowly 2-1 and their team included Micky French as a substitute and they fielded quite a few first team players too. We hated QPR but to tell the truth we also had a pretty deep rivalry with Reading in the early to mid 70s too.
I was so proud and impressed with what I watched on Friday night and can only hope and pray that we can do more of the same this Friday against Fulham, put them back in their place, show them where they belong and prove that we really are the Kings of West London!