Mansley Allen gives us a brief history of Brentford

1929-30 A Brentford team likened to“a well tuned Rolls Royce” break a League record by winning all 21 home games. Carried on doing the Charleston in Division Three (South) as there was only one up in those days – could explain the Depression.

1935 Promoted to the First Division, become the bogey team of the all-conquering Arsenal side, doing the double over their 1938 championship team. Borough of Hounslow about to become the centre of the football world when bloody Hitler intervenes. 

1952 Griffin Park, plus BFC players and fans participate in the making of The Great Game, a film starring the contrasting talents of Diana Dors and Thora Hird. In one scene Di faints in the crush and is lifted over the heads of the crowd to safety. Hurrah!

1962 Facing the Fourth Division in the face, Bees attempt to buy striker Jim Towers from QPR. Due at Brentford Market to complete the signing, Towers goes instead to Acton Market, never meets Brentford officials, and the team are relegated. He did snap up some bargain plums, though. 

1967 Upstarts QPR attempt to merge with an impoverished Brentford. Supporters take on chairman Jack Dunnett (pitchforks and burning torches to the fore) and prevail. Club survives, just. 

1972 Promotion from the Fourth Division; ignominous relegation the following year. In the dark years that follow, a number of celebrities attach themselves to the club, including Michael Crawford, Russell Harty, the Playboy Bunnies and squiddly keyboardsperson Rick Wakeman who would fly in from Switzerland for home games.

1992 Steve Perryman’s team, taken on by Phil Holder, promoted to the First Division. Chairman Martin Lange leaves, his replacement Gary Porter presides over a shambles. Dean Hold-sworth and Marcus Gayle out, Murray Jones and Joe Allon in. Guinness Book of Records alerted as, in hardly 30 weeks, Holder and Porter reverse the promotion it took us 30 years to achieve.

1997-98 Miles ahead in the Second Division when Cockney stereotype manager David Webb flogs England under-21 striker Nick Forster to Birmingham, precipitating the sale of an entire team and a collapse that returns us to the Third Division within 18 months. 

1998 Ron Noades buys a depressed but debt-free team from Webb, appoints himself manager and invests £1 million in rebuilding. Amazingly for Brentford our game at Plymouth is postponed because of our international call-ups.

From WSC 142 December 1998. What was happening this month

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