Bill Hagerty is a journalist, author and editor with extensive experience as a writer and critic across a broad spectrum, from film, theatre and music to sport and politics. Twice an editor of Fleet Street newspapers Sunday Today and The People, and for a while acting editor of the London Daily Mirror, he subsequently edited the highly praised media magazine British Journalism Review and all eight volumes of the unexpurgated Alastair Campbell diaries.
He travelled widely as show business editor for the Daily Mirror, covering popular music and film and spending much time in Hollywood and New York, interviewing the major stars of the day. He travelled also to Australia, South Africa and Brazil and to numerous European locations to meet many top performers, including John Wayne, Sammy Davis Jr, Michael Caine, Roger Moore, Neil Diamond and Joan Collins.
A former chairman and trustee of the Journalists’ Charity, he has worked as a film and theatre critic and written two books on the British media. He remains chairman emeritus of British Journalism Review. Father of three and grandfather of five, he lives with his journalist wife, Liz Vercoe, between Chiswick and, when the Brentford fixture list allows, Southern Spain.Bill has been part of the Bees United Board for over 7 years.
As a boy living in the East End of London he supported West Ham United, but years later, as an adult and father by then living in West London, he started sporadically supporting local club Brentford until work commitments made his visits rare. He resumed hie allegiance in the 2000s and witnessed promotion from League One to the Championship, when he and wife Liz became season ticket holders, and, ultimately, the Premier League.
WHEN WAS YOUR FIRST BRENTFORD GAME AND WHAT MEMORIES DO YOU HAVE OF IT?
MOST MEMORABLE GAMES?
Of course, the play-ff win at Wembley that took the club into the Premier League and the 2-0 win over Arsenal in their first game back in the the topflight. But one that I can still clearly recall was from 2006 when Division One Bees beat Premier League Sunderland 2-0 at Griffin Park in the fourth round of the FA Cup. DJ Campbell scored both Brentford goals.
Ivan Toney, naturally, and Bryan Mbeumo – they are a formidable team when on song, which is more often than not.
BEST PLAYERS SEEN PLAYING FOR US?
Ivan Toney, David Raya, Rico Henry, Oli Watkins, Said Benrama
All those unsuccessful play-off and cup visits to Wembley.
HOW AND WHEN DID YOU BECOME INVOLVED WITH BU
Initially wrote to then chairman David Merritt and director Donald Kerr offering my services if they considered my experience useful to Bees United.
WHAT HAS BU DONE FOR THE CLUB?
Kept it alive!
GRIFFIN PARK V THE GTECH
Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be, but all Brentford fans will keep a place in their hearts for Griffin Park. With Gtech Stadium being such a success and the removal of the old ground from the Braemar Road site, Griffin Park fades into warm but distant memory. Rightly so.
WHAT IF ANYTHING WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT THE CLUB?
I wish the small minority of loud and foul–mouthed fans sitting within earshot of Liz and me – and all similar pains in the neck – would wither, desist or move to their own corner of our lovely stadium.
CAN YOU HONESTLY BELIEVE HOW FAR WE HAVE COME?
Only sometimes, accompanied by a sense of wonder and heightened anticipation for the excitement to come.
HOPES AND DREAMS FOR THE FUTURE
A place in European competitions and – a favourite dream – the Premier League championship.
Greville Waterman – Bees United Consulting Editor