A recent text exchange with my eldest son about the upcoming game set alarm bells ringing in my head.
He was already starting to type about promotion, how we’d do next season and how Saturday will be a fantastic occasion – whatever happens.
He’s 19 and far from naïve, has seen us lose at the Millienium Stadium, almost beat Chelsea and snatch defeat from the jaws of triumph too many times, so he should know better.
So rather than see him in tears, my paternal instinct kicked in and I sent the briefest of texts with the simple warning “Yes, but don’t build your hopes up too much.”
His text written response was almost instant and came, as the best prose always does, straight from the heart.
I have copied it here and hope it tells its own story because no other words are needed….
“I know but regardless of whether we go up or not I’m proud to be a Brentford fan, especially when you look around and see all the plastic Man Utd, Liverpool and Chelsea followers.
“Our club has history, proper fans, tradition, respect and it’s a family. I love that you, grandad and his dad were all there and we’ve all gone through the same things.
“I don’t care if we go up – I’m just so glad I ignored all the stick I got when I was younger about being a Brentford fan because I wouldn’t have it any other way now.”
My dad, whose seat in the Braemar Block D I still gaze over at before crucial spot kicks and when luck seems to be against us, would be very proud.