Welcome to Beesotted Reloaded – a series of podcasts, YouTube videos and articles where we take a look back on the most exciting, unusual and memorable periods in Brentford Football Club history.
In this three-episode series of Beesotted Reloaded, Brentford legend Allan Cockram joins us to look back to the year 1988, when Third Division club Brentford FC were set to embark on their most exciting cup run in over half a century.
It was the season that Brentford reached the final eight of the prestigious FA Cup and were only ninety minutes away from a historic semi-final at Hillsborough.
In this series, we listen to the players’… the managers’… and the fans’ memories from that exciting period.
This article and the accompanying podcast, covers Brentford’s exciting matches against Manchester City and Blackburn in the 4th and 5th rounds of the cup.
Ex Bees Allan Cockram. Terry Evans. Richard Cadette all feature on this podcast as we recall the Man City and Blackburn FA Cup matches.
Plus we hear from fans Clarkey, Paul Jamison, Gary Smith, Steve Bordeaux Bee Lewis, Gary Scammell, Greville Waterman, Monty, Blondie, Steve Horowitz, Jo Whelan and Colin the South Coast Bee in this episode.
You can catch the article for Rounds 1, 2 and 3 (Halesowen, Peterborough and Walsall) here 👉🏼👉🏾 https://beesotted.com/beesotted-reloaded-brentfords-fa-cup-88-89-cup-run-rounds-1-2-and-3/
And you can catch the article for the Quarter Final (Liverpool) here 👉🏼👉🏾 https://beesotted.com/liverpool-v-brentford-fa-cup-quarter-final-beesotted-reloaded-featuring-allan-cockram-brentfords-fa-cup-88-89-cup-run-part-3/
FA Cup Round 4
Date: Sat 28th January 1989
Opposition: Manchester City
Venue: Griffin Park
Result: Brentford 3 Manchester City 1
Goalscorers: Blissett (10), Jones (41), Blissett (67)
Man City came to Griffin Park flying high in Division Two. They were in third position on the day of the match, equal on points with 2nd place Watford and one point behind leaders Chelsea.
City ended up finishing 2nd that season with Chelsea finishing as Champions – one place above Palace who beat Blackburn in the playoff final.
Players in their squad for the season included Andy Dibble. Brian Gayle. Colin Hendry. Simon Garner. Andy Hinchcliffe. Steve Redmond. Neil McNab and Imre Varadi who was absent for the Brentford. As was Jason Beckford.
Before the arrived at Griffin Park, City had won four and drew one of their last five matches (beating Swindon, Leicester, Oldham and Hull and drawing to Leeds).
As for the match, torrential rain had fallen on Brentford overnight and during the day and the pitch was an absolute mud-bath. Brentford completely outplayed City who fell behind to a 10th minute Gary Blissett goal after Richard Cadette sent a low cross skidding across the area.
Then Keith Jones made it two four minutes before half time after initially mis-kicking the ball.
City pulled one back on 67 minutes.
But left back Roger Stanislaus crossed the ball in on 67 minutes which completely confused the defence. The resulting fluff let Blissett in to bundle the ball into the goal and saw Griffin Park quite literally explode.
Richard Cadette: “I knew we were gonna beat them full stop. I was playing against Brian Gayle and he was at Wimbledon and he couldn’t control me. I played against Steve Redmond against Southend the season before and I knew. Yhey weren’t good enough. We were a better team than Man City. We had better players.”
The Man City game was the first that my dad (Push Up Brentford) had ever sat at Griffin Park after 40+ years even back then ! He was on doctor’s orders as he’d just had a hernia op and was told to sit. Very difficult when you score three against Division 2 opposition – especially with his enthusiasm.
So many memories from following that great run with Matt Corsham. On the day of the City game, I was presented with my prize (a car) that I’d won in the Lifeline draw made at half-time during the 2-2 draw against Steve Bull’s Wolves a few weeks earlier. (When they made the draw, I was in the New Road as usual, full of pre-match beer, and had to climb over the wall to get onto the pitch and waddle across to meet Mr. Gilham; of course I ripped my trousers open as I climbed.)
Getting presented with the prize and then watching us beat City made for quite a day. 🙂
All the big games we used to jump on top of the dugout when Brentford won. This match was no different. When Blissett scored that goal Griffin Park went mad.
Weather was awful. The pitch was a right state. And when the teams come out of the tunnel, Man City looked like they didn’t fancy it.
After going two down, they pulled one back to make it 2-1. But when Blissett scrambled that third one in my mate and I both said “That’s it”. You just knew City just didn’t have it in them to come back at that stage.
FA Cup Round 5
Date: Sat 18th February 1989
Venue: Ewood Park
Result: Blackburn 0 Brentford 2
Goalscorers: Blissett (70), Blissett (80)
Blackburn were also flying high in Division Two when the Bees came to Ewood Park. They were 4th when we met with Watford, Man City and Chelsea all above them.
They ended up finishing 5th that season – losing the playoff semi-final to Crystal Palace. After being 3-1 up in the home leg, Palace won the return match 3-1 with goals from Mark Bright and Ian Wright.
3000 Brentford fans made the long journey to Blackburn. It was by far the biggest game most of those fans would have ever seen to date – one up on Brentford having played European Champions Nottingham Forest in the 4th round of the League Cup 7 years earlier.
With that match being on a midweek, only a limited number of Bees had the good fortune to make the trip to The City Ground. This time – like for the Forest match – Brentford chartered not one but two trains to take them to Lancashire.
On the pitch, Brentford matched Rovers -keeping the game fairly tight. They were looking to take the match back to Griffin Park for replay when Brentford hit Blackburn twice on the break.
Firstly, Richard Cadette burst into the area in the 80th minute. Passes to Gary Blissett.
Then in the 83rd minus, a poor backpass by the Blackburn defence is intercepted by Blissett and he squeezes the ball home from the tightest of angles to send the Bees fans go absolutely ballistic.
Alan Cockram: “You got to take your hats off to the back four. To go to Ewood Park and not concede is a fantastic result”
Definitely the greatest sporting day of my life in fact only the only other day better was probably the day of my first born.
The day stared at Watford station where we boarded a ‘football special’ to Blackburn. The highlight of the journey up was possibly the abuse we gave the train spotters at Crewe.
The game itself was much of a blur though after the first goal I thought this is on and the second goall was pure bliss. As the Guardian reported at the time the jubilant Bees snaked their way back to Blackburn station. The train journey home was simply joyous. The whole train was celebrating for the entire journey. Unforgettable.
I remember some Bees fans at the front of the stand at Blackburn doing impressions of a Harry Enfield character. They had their wallets out showing the Blackburn fans their money ….. look loads a money 🙂
The Liverpool game had all those inflatable bees. Most of them were punctured. Two great days out .
Was that when the train broke down near Watford right by a Traveller’s camp and they started to get lairy and attack the train? This is ringing bells as I was on a different train and met mates coming back that told me this story. Did we have two trains go up there?
Blackburn. An unbelievable game. Scary leaving the ground
About eight of us went to the Blackburn game in a Transit. We took a wrong turn coming home and ended up in Blackpool for the night. Had a cracking night and a very very long drive home next day.
Went to Blackburn on the train such a short platform and the police escorting us to the ground. A few lads went via their clubshop and tea leafed a few things.
When the second goal went in at Blackburn, I leapt in the air and landed badly damaging the ligaments in my ankle. Longest drive home ever. Couldn’t walk the next day but worth it.
The day we played Blackburn, I was walking through Dinnington with my family, I was due to play ice hockey in Sheffield that night and stopped to see the results come through on Ceefax. When I saw our result I jumped for joy scaring the s*** out of an old lady walking past.
Beesotted Reloaded Part 1 – Rounds 1, 2 and 3 (Halesowen, Peterborough, Walsall)
Beesotted Reloaded Part 2 – Rounds 4, 5
(Man City, Blackburn)