We have created 7 podcasts from the interviews we have recorded. Subscribe to Beesotted to listen via your podcast app. Or alternatively listen to them here.
The music featured in the podcasts was written and performed by Robb Johnson.
EPISODE 1: The Kick Off.
This episode explores the early years of people’s support for Brentford, their family history, some going back to the 1920s, others who had to cope with being the only Brentford fan in a family of QPR supporters.
There are stories of bunking in over turnstiles, of grandfathers banned from pubs around the ground, and hand-knitted bobble hats and scarves.
People also recall their first ever match at Brentford, of 9-0 victories, huge crowds and the towering Royal Oak stand, but also of humiliating defeats and dwindling numbers on the terraces.
EPISODE 2: The Big Match
This episode covers some of the ups and downs of supporting Brentford.
You’ll hear stories of memorable games, home and away, along with a few people would rather forget.
Rainy afternoons in Stockport, chocolate bars raining down on the pitch, picnics on sparse terraces, the joy of a chipped keeper and tales of some of Brentford's great rivalries over the years.
EPISODE 3: Who Are Ya!
Fans discuss how others have viewed their support for Brentford, often as eccentric, frequently with sympathy. They also remember some of the characters in the crowd as well as the importance of fanzines.
There is an exploration of the less pleasant side of football, the violence, racism and homophobia but also how the crowd has changed in recent years, coming to reflect the area in which the club is based.
We finish with some of the chants and songs that have rung out around the ground over the years, some general football songs, others much more specific to Brentford.
EPISODE 4: Ballots and Buckets
This episode focuses on the many ways in which supporters have come together over the years to fight for their club.
It starts with fans talking about the establishment of one of the first blind supporters schemes going back to the 1950s.
Next, fans discuss the key battles that established Brentford as a community club with supporters groups who fought investors and scoundrels to keep it in West London.
There are tales of times when the very existence of the club was in danger, as in 1967 when QPR attempted to take over and close the club down.
Then there was the threat of a move to Woking and bankruptcy which galvanised supporters to establish campaigns to protect the club, to stand for local elections, and even to take direct ownership of the club for a time.
It is perhaps this militancy, this willingness to stand up for their club, that makes Brentford FC what is it today.
EPISODE 5: Sidelines and Bylines
In this episode we talk to some of the people that have worked in and around the club.
Huw Powell served his apprenticeship as a photo journalist with the Surrey Comet before going on to work for several local newspapers from the mid 1980s until 2015. He covered Brentford Football Club over those years, sitting on the touchline come rain or shine, developing friendships with players, and a love for the club.
Jim Levack has worked as a journalist covering Brentford Football Club since the 1980s with the Middlesex Chronicle. He has had to report at times when some of the owners in the past did not necessarily have the club’s best interests at heart.
We also talked to two former Brentford players about their time at the club. Alan Hawley played his first game as a professional in 1962 aged just 16. He left 12 years later after playing over 300 games.
Marcus Gayle joined the youth squad aged 14 and played his first game as an 18 year-old in 1988. He moved to play for Wimbledon in the Premiership in 1994 but returned to end his playing career with the Bees under Martin Allen. Marcus has returned to Brentford for a third time and is currently a Club Ambassador.
EPISODE 6: Mad Dog
Martin Allen became manager towards the end of the 2003-4 season and was tasked with saving the club from relegation from the third tier with just nine games to play. After what became known as The Great Escape, the following two seasons saw the club achieve two play-off places, both ending in semi-final defeats. A character on and off the field, Allen still holds a special place in the hearts of many Brentford supporters.
In this episode we talk to Martin and some of the fans and players who came into contact with him.
EPISODE 7: The Theatre of Dreams
In this episode Griffin Park itself takes centre stage.
Fans recall the days when the terraces were full, when the Royal Oak was in its heyday and when you needed to turn up early to guarantee you’d get into the ground. And then there were the relegation years when just a few thousand fans would turn up, rattling around the near empty ground, the die-hards who would recall the former glory days while hoping for better days to come.
There’s talk of the ground itself, the dire toilets, the old fashioned floodlights and magic of the evening games as well as memories of proud moments on the terraces.
Finally, fans talk about what the club and ground have meant to them over the years, their feelings about leaving Griffin Park and their hopes for the future of this wonderful club.