Spread the love

Regular Beesotted contributor, and Church of England priest, Rev. Peter Crumpler, reflects on the The Bees’ current predicament.

It’s just a few weeks to Easter and – as a Church of England priest – I’ve got resurrection on my mind. And, as a lifelong Bees supporter, I’m looking out for new life from the team after a run of frustrating results.

But I’m not down-hearted or depressed. As a man of faith, I believe Brentford FC can bounce back, book our place in next season’s Premier League and rebuild for a stronger future.

Meanwhile, though a small minority of fans may have – sadly – started to boo the team’s efforts, which prompted Thomas Frank to speak out about after the Chelsea match, I’m setting out Five Steps to Resurrection, as we approach Easter and the season’s climax.

Step One: Remember where what we’ve achieved – and achieved together, as Thomas Frank likes to remind us. We’re in the Premier League after decades in lower divisions; we have a gleaming new stadium (and have said a fond farewell to much-loved Griffin Park); we’re building a global fan base; and have a team brimming with international players. In financial terms, we’re in good shape – something few other Premier League teams can boast.

Step Two: Applaud everyone in and around the team for all they’re doing. It’s been an incredibly tough season, with suspensions, and with injuries galore. Plus knife-edge matches and refereeing decisions not going our way. Despite this, the resolve and morale of the team, with players taking on a range of roles and positions, has held strong. Other lesser squads might have descended into squabbling and factions. Not so, the Bees. 

Step Three: Remember that the men’s first team is just part of the Club. It’s right that we focus on our Premier League performance, but there’s more to the Club than that – much more. From our Brentford B team to our women’s squad, the amazing work of the Community Trust and so much more, the ‘Bus Stop in Hounslow’ is a sporting and community hub in West London making a real impact. Let’s take pride in that. 

Step Four: Keep believing. Look at what we achieved in our first two Premier League seasons and keep looking up. It’s easy to be distracted by the relegation battle going on below us, but we’re better than that. Full disclosure: I’d love Luton Town to stay up this season – they have a great story of coming back out of the football wilderness – but I want that to happen alongside us, maybe a few points below.

Step Five: Keep the Faith. These are difficult times and there may be more troubling results and hard times ahead of us. Newcomers to the Bees fanbase may not be familiar with challenging results and reversals. 

Those of us who have followed the team down through the decades have seen all this before. We’ve kept singing, cheering and clapping even when times seemed bleak, and the Club’s future hung in the balance.

And we have kept the faith and kept on believing that Brentford’s best days lay ahead of us. 

I still believe that. I have faith in the promised land of the higher reaches of the Premier League and to European success. Call me a dreamer, but who would have believed, just a decade or so ago, where we’d be today.

So I believe in resurrection, and a way back to new life. It’s what Easter is all about, and I’m optimistic that, when the season draws to a close, we’ll be talking about all the promise that the next Premier League season can offer. 

I invite you to stand and cheer alongside me.

Rev. Peter Crumpler

Rev Peter Crumpler is a Church of England minister in St Albans, Herts and a life-long Bees supporter.