Following my article entitled TIME NEXT YEAR… GRIFFIN PARK WILL BE CLOSING we received a great reply from down under, explaining why this exiled Bee, and supporter of more than 65 years, feels a move away from Griffin Park should be embraced.
How can you not be looking forward to this time next year? We are all living in one of the two most exciting stages of Brentford FC. Progress and improvement means there will be change and the dear Old Lady that is Griffin Park will always be part of Brentford – but it really is time for her to retire.
When my dad first bought me to Griffin Park in 1954 after (he returned to London with his family, having left to join the RAF in 1939), I can still remember him saying that Griffin Park was ‘tired’ from the one he remembered before WW2 when he never missed a game. I can remember the queues paying in cash at the turnstiles –I think he paid two shillings for himself and nine-pence for me. He taught me much of the history of Brentford and its players from the mid 1920’s until 1939 and just how good Brentford were in those days.
I can also remember entering the ground from Brook Road and walking up the terrace to the New Road Stand and quickly passing the always-shocking smell/odour from the mens’ toilets under the Brook Road Stand. You had to be desperate to pay a visit before, during or after a game.
Griffin Park, back in the first season of Division Three South, had regular attendances around 15,000 and there seemed to be a belief that there would only be a short stay before the rightful place of the Second Division and then the First Division days would return. This was Brentford after all, we were far too good for the basement of League Football.
It would therefore be fitting that, after all these years, the grand Old Lady that is Griffin Park will bow out and retire in a season that will finally see the return to the top Division of English Football, in fact the best division of football anywhere in the world.
That would truly be something special to look forward to with immense anticipation and the most appropriate farewell.
My last visit to Griffin Park was the 1992/93 season’s memorable win over Fulham that all but confirmed promotion. Hopefully, I will return again soon, but is is a long way from Melbourne, Australia.
Everyone who supports Brentford would have memories that will last until our last gasp, so Griffin Park will never die. Griffin Park will be forever a massive part of the rich history of Brentford and, just as this current chapter of Brentford’s history opened with the arrival of Matthew Benham, so too will future chapters open and close.
Brentford has done the hard yards – time again to embrace the future with enthusiasm, hope and expectation of continued success. Not with fear, nervousness or trepidation of what possible disaster could occur.
I reckon we should look forward, embrace change with gusto, but never forget and cherish all that the history of Brentford FC has to offer the small group of supporters that we all are – after all – every one of us knows Griffin Park is part of us.
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