Feeling truly proud of the football team you support is, I guess, one of the best emotions you can feel as a supporter – moments when your team, or the club itself, achieves something very special – moments when all the pain and heartache becomes (almost) worthwhile. Such instances are usually reserved following promotion-clinching wins, brave cup giant killings, or, when everybody connected to the club rallies around in unity during a time of adversity. Well, Thursday January 26th 2012 was one of those nights for this Bee. “A Thursday night?” I hear you cry… “What on Earth could he mean?”
Audi’s impressive new showroom on the Great West Road provided a fantastic setting for the first celebration of the Brentford Football Club Community Sports Trust’s (BFCCST) 25-year anniversary, and what a great night it was. As you should be aware, the charity has continued to work tirelessly throughout our part of West London, not just in promoting the good name of our football club, but also providing innovative community projects for all. And I have to say, after witnessing the slick presentation by Sky Sports News’ Natalie Sawyer and Rob Wooton and hearing the passionate and heartfelt speeches from a broad selection of the Trust’s coaches and participants – I was gob-smacked at what the Trust have achieved over the past 25 years. Lee Doyle and his staff should be hugely proud, not just for arranging the Audi event, but for their continuing work in and around Brentford.
As I’ve mentioned, the Audi event was just the start of a year’s celebrations: a special, limited edition, silver Brentford kit will be unveiled against Notts County during April, followed by a 5k charity run around the grounds of Syon Park on 11th August, and a large picnic and barbeque.
Another innovative demonstration of the Trust and the Football club working together to improve the attendance figures at Griffin Park, and to encourage new fans to the Bees flock is the 50/50 ticket scheme, which allows any community group, school, class, club or organization to request blocks of matchday tickets to watch Brentford, and split the proceeds 50/50 with the Trust. A cracking idea, which I’m sure more organisations should take advantage of.
I caught up with BFCCST Chief Executive, Lee Doyle, and asked him to sum up his feelings ahead of this year’s celebrations: “I am extremely proud to have been involved with the Trust for 24 of its 25 years and I’ve been fortunate to work with some fantastic people in that time. The Trust has become a collaboration with the Football Club and all of the surrounding local authorities, which is unique, and as the Audi event demonstrated, we get so much help from partner organizations too, all of whom have helped give the Trust such a strong platform to build upon for the future.”
“Our relationship with the Football Club is also stronger than ever and together we can continue to achieve great things by staying creative, by building upon our business relationships, and continuing to find the right staff to keep our energy and achievement levels high.”
If you know of an organization or club that would like to take advantage of the 50/50 scheme, full details and application forms are available to download from www.brentfordfccst.com.