Thursday, 29 July 2021 | Heritage

There's been a big response to our online BU memorial for those Bees fans who didn’t live to see us in the Premier League. We’ve put together some of the moving messages.  
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So many of us Bees fans remember being taken to Griffin Park for the first time by our fathers so dads were well represented on our online memorial. One of the first nominations we received was for Edward Baldwin from his son Philip:

‘My Dad passed away in 2006 age 96. He was a lifelong Bees supporter. He never achieved his dream of seeing his beloved Brentford play in the Premier League. Please remember him’.

One of the saddest was from Dan Bird:

‘I recently lost my father who has been a Brentford fan since the 70s…. He lived long enough to see us promoted to the premier league but unfortunately didn’t see any games’. 

Ralph Collins told us of his father’s refugee journey to Brentford:

‘My dad was a German Jew from Hamburg, born in 1923. In the 30’s we toured Germany and played his home town club. He escaped the Holocaust on the kindertransport in 1938 eventually joining the British Army and volunteering for the Commandos.  He never forgot about Brentford and in 1960, when he and my mum had managed to save for the deposit, they moved out of London and bought a flat in Hounslow….Coincidence? I don’t think so…He was a season ticket holder and took me to my first game in 1962…He would have loved to see us get promoted at Wembley. He often talked about how he remembered us as a first division club and that we were Arsenal’s bogey team.For his protection during the war his complete identity was changed by the Army. Francis Peter Collins. Died September 1973′.

Equality poignant were parents remembering sons, like Cathryn Shilling:

‘I would like you to add my son to the list. He was a lifelong Bees supporter although his life was far too short. He would have been so happy with this wonderful manager, team and of course the new stadium. Oliver Shilling died in 2009 aged 20’. 

Brothers remembered brothers: 

‘Raymond John Lancaster, died 8th October 2018. I took him to his first Bees match in 1969 (home v Peterborough which the Bees won 5-2) and he became a fan from that point. I managed to get to the home match v Nottingham Forest in September 2018 with my brother which was the last match he attended before he had his bone marrow transplant that sadly, was unsuccessful. He supported them for 49 years. Many thanks. Trevor Lancaster.’

‘If it’s not too late I’d like to remember my younger brother Paul Alan Flaherty who passed away in 2006. He and I would get the 91 from Osterley on Saturday afternoons to have wonderful times at GP watching our idols. He would have loved to see Brentford in the Premier League and like the rest of us would be very proud of the club as a whole and grateful to Matthew’s vision, belief and investment.Thank you. Regards Peter Flaherty.’

Uncles got a mention too:

‘Could I put in a mention for my uncle Harry Abbett, a Bees United member who died in 2012 he was at the last game in the old 1st Division in May 1947..Kind Regards.John Abbett’.

A much missed fan and respected club servant was remembered too:

‘The Memorial list is a fantastic idea. Please can you add my old mentor Eric White who did so much for this club over the years. Kind Regards. Brendan Nevin’.

As word spread of the online memorial and people realised it wasn’t just for family members there were moving memories from friends of Bees fans who had passed on in tragic circumstances:

‘If possible could you please add my friend Sean Kerrane to the memorial page? He was a big Brentford supporter since the 80’s. Whilst on his way to a Bees match in 1995 or ‘96 aged just 21 he was tragically run over and killed while crossing the A40 to rush home and get his season ticket which he had forgotten… Keith Loring at the time very kindly arranged for the whole Bees squad to attend his funeral at The Visitation church in Greenford and lay a wreath….Many thanks. Jonathan Foy’.

And finally in this small sample of all the emails we got, here’s one of our favourites : 

‘Good afternoon.I would like to put forward my late husband Charlie Callaghan for inclusion on the Memorial page. Charlie or Chas as he was known in later years, watched the Bees from 1962 when his parents moved to Brentford until he passed away in 2015. He also told the story that having travelled back from a mid week game at Hartlepool and walking home, he was stopped by the police asking him why he was out on the streets at 3am. They refused to believe he had just returned from Hartlepool as “who would travel up there when you have work the next day?” At this point Charlie reached into his bag and pulled out the Hartlepool programme. Come on you Bees! Linda Soltysiak (formerly Callaghan)’.


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