Arcticterntalk.org

The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the tag “peter gelson”

Nostalgia with Brentford programmes over the last 70 years. Football really does change. Part 1. 1971-2011


With around 4000 programmes to go through you may be viewing a number of posts from me over the next few months. I pulled a random bundle out that were mostly Brentford programmes and a few surprises too.

Sometimes I hear moaning about the cost of programmes but did you realise that back in 2011 Brentford fans were already paying £3 for their programme? A few names in the Charlton line up one recognises, Ben Hamer ( what a wasted career he has had to date, languishing in premiership reserve teams last few years), Yann Kermogant ( who in contrast has been immense) and Jason Euell. A few names in the Bees squad that I really do not recall, Blair Adams, Dale Bennett and Kirk Hudson for example. Pim Balkestein, who to me deteriorated rapidly during his time with Brentford, Mike Grella ( one of the worst Bees forwards of all time) and the wasted talents of Myles Weston and Sam Wood, who had the talent to progress far higher than they ever did. A young Sam Saunders adorns the front cover. IMG_2755The next programme was from 1978 and forms a series of programmes from games against teams that have sadly become non-league along the way. Brentford v Workington programme cost 10p and reflected that Paul Bence was the Bees captain of the time. Anyone who ever went to Borough Park, Workington, might be surprised to know that the record attendance there was 21,500 v Man Utd, back in 1957-58. A lesser surprise is that Workington never had a player capped. A few interesting hairstyles of that time were viewed in the programme. FullSizeRenderIMG_2754A few names in the Brentford team that I recall well, Gordon Sweetzer, Roger Cross and Jackie Graham. For those that never saw Jackie Graham he can best be compared to a latter day Ryan Woods. Small, bustling, energetic and always 100% energy player. The programme notes make “sombre” reading with talk of hooliganism amongst Bees fans. In fact this was almost entirely the topic of the first page. Some context though is that this relates to the theft of a Brentford scarf from a fan (by another Bees fan) and warnings of no fireworks please! The game was played on November 3rd.

The final programme in this sequence comes from Brentford v Scunthorpe in 1971. This is a signed programme and seems to have maybe 8 autographs on the front cover. I cannot recall how I managed to get this! Maybe others can untangle some of the names on the programme. I can find Peter Gelson, Gordon Phillips, Bobby Ross . IMG_2749

The Clouds Lift Over Griffin Park. Brentford 3 Wolves 0


There is no doubt that Brentford have been a spiral of disaster the last 2 months, and this is reflected in the win ratio of 1 win in the previous 9 games, and in the plethora of negativity that followed the Derby debacle on saturday. Something had to change.

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Clouds over Brentford seen while flying in for the game

Fans arrived late as often they do for an evening fixture giving the impression till almost the last minute that there would be no crowd. In fact almost 9000 hardy souls braved a bitter and literally freezing evening to watch an entertaining game.

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Griffin Park By Night

There was little agreement before the game on what the outcome might be and even less agreement on the team selection other than something had to change to bring back the fighting spirit and work rate that we saw earlier in the season. In reality the summoning of two of the best players in the club, John Swift and Sergi Canos gave the side width and skill, and Nico Yennaris recovered from a hideous performance in central midfield on saturday to have an excellent game at right back. The work rate in midfield was probably double that of saturday and from the start the elevated work rate and the chances created got the crowd going. In the end a 3-0 victory did not flatter Brentford and it should have been greater. We must not however lose site of how abject Wolves were. Watching the game it was difficult to believe that they had 40 points this season and sitting seemingly in mid-table security. They were poor, very poor. Never the less a good performance that should keep the crowds interested for the remainder of the season. Yet margins are thin in this league, with Brentford comfortably winning 1-0 in the second half, only a superb save from David Button kept the Bees ahead. Conceding a goal then might have led to one of the many Brentford collapses we have seen this season.

Were there any downsides to the game? Only one for me. No cornish pasties. What kind of football catering does not have cornish pasties, forcing me to sample a Chicken Balti pie, which I can sum up as saying could be a vegetarian option lacking anything I could find that resembled chicken. Edible none the less.

Lastly a strange emerging feature of watching Brentford lately. As the crowd streams out of the New Road stand, a group of 2-3 steward looking characters in cheerful fashion thank the crowd for coming and have a safe trip home. Brentford are emerging into the customer service era and will achieve that for me when cornish pasties return.

So the gleaming clouds were an omen and indeed the sun was truly shining on Brentford and their fans at 10 pm last night.

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The Skies above Brentford before kick off

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Clouds Gleaming over Brentford

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Floodlights over Brentford

A final thought. I will miss this old ground when it goes. We know it has to and understand why but the character and atmosphere is what sums up real football , even in the absence of cornish pasties.

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