Beesotted’s Condorman salutes a little big man:
Paul Simon Evans was a bloody marvelous player and skipper for Brentford.
Signed by the white-haired bandit Ron Noades for £110,000, Evans was the man who led us to the bottom tier championship within half a season, and subsequently became a key man in Steve Coppell’s attractive sides.
He wasn’t a big man – infact he was somewhat short – but he knew how to boss a midfield with a stocky determination and some sheer bloody graft.
Evo played 157 games for Brentford in total, starting every one, and whalloped home a decent 34 goals along the way – many of them trade-mark free kicks.
He will best be remembered at Griffin Park for scoring goals in consecutive games from the halfway line – firstly after a restart in a home match against Preston and then the following week at Turf Moor. This feat showed not only a terrific ability but a self belief and audacity that dragged the whole team through games.
Evans will also be remembered for an incident which happened in a home clash against Notts County. The welshman had been battling all game with the equally combatative Gary Owers, and was eventually shown the red card for his troubles. Owers dropped to his knees and performed a ‘duck walk’ – sending the Griffin Park crown mental. He was subbed about two minutes later as the anger towards him threatened to boil over.
Sadly Evans last game for the club was probably one of his worst – as Brentford were overwhelmed by Stoke at the Millenium Stadium – the skipper went missing. He never had a chance to make amends as Steve Coppell’s team disbanded over the summer and he joined Bradford City – at that point a division above the Bees.
He subsequently flittered from club to club, playing along the way for the likes of Forest, Rotherham and Swindon, but never quite reached the heights – or the adoration – that he reached at Griffin Park.
If Brentford could find another Paul Evans this season then I truly believe we could mount another promotion bid. He had the guile, the winning spirit, the leadership and the ability that helped turn a decent squad of players into a fluent and bullish footballing team.
And that’s why we loved him.