This year, we have really taken a look at the history of our club, whether it’s items from the 1890’s to Saman’s shirt, to recording very senior fans on video and listening to their memories of the War Cup Final (1942!) to mending special items, broken over the years. And there was a plaque for all to see (we think another will follow!) and we put on a show for over 100 fans too.
All this as well as all the fun representing you all, in all of those Club meetings this year, with a great deal more to come.
But, hang on a short minute or even ten in extra time….
As you can see from Greville’s opinions, lots and lots of all our thoughts are firmly on the immediate future of our team and our squad in January and through to May, still grappling with a season more affected by injuries than any other.
Taking brief stock, as this time of year allows, please then let me wish you all a stunning New Year and may you take all the challenges thrown at you on the chin and in your best Thomas Frank, “top top” way.
Here are a few thoughts from some of our international fans and fan’s groups, from Denmark, whence so many of our best come and from the Emerald isle, from New Zealand and Norway – the USA and Australia and in addition, from the Reverend Peter Crumpler, a Church of England minister, quoting one of the greats, “Christmas is important, but not decisive.”
Fran Carroll – Irish Bees
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The top-10 finish in our second Premier League season and the double against eventual champions Manchester City were front-and-center accomplishments. But ultimately the most memorable stretch was the thrill of having Brentford stateside during the Summer Series. Many of us on the Eastern Seaboard and elsewhere took advantage of the spectacle of seeing the club in our backyard.
We were grateful to enjoy the mix of international support, and many of us had the opportunity to meet players, staff, club ambassadors and others tied to Brentford.
It’s a proud time for me, to continue to help grow the NYC Bees and what we’ve established at The Red Lion in Manhattan. Through the watch events, through locals and visitors cheering on Brentford in unison, through as many promotional opportunities that I can find along the way, my hope is that we’re still just getting started in building our fandom in North America.
Thank you to everyone who holds this club near and dear to their heart. I wish all of you a wonderful holiday season, and let’s make 2024 bigger and better! Come on you Bees!
All the very best
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Bjørn H. Andreassen – Norwegian Bees (and Barney too!)
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And now down under – from one of our Aussie Members
Alex Hudson – Happy New Year to all Bees fans, here from Western Australia!
I struggl/e to put into words how much the club means to me, so to celebrate the New Year I thought I would take a trip down memory lane to May 2021.After 5 minutes into the second leg of our play off semi-final against Bournemouth, we were 0:2 down on aggregate. The game was getting shown late here, but thankfully I figured it would be worth a watch. Following two stunners from Vitaly Janelt and Marcus Forss, as well as a cool one-step penalty from the best penalty-taker in the league, Ivan Toney, as we all remember, we ended up being victorious. This game was the most entertaining game of football I’ve ever watched, and something I still quote to family and friends today, as I will for years to come. From Begovic’s fieriness towards Toney after the penalty, to former Bees defender, Chris Mepham’s, superman-like red card ta
After 5 minutes into the second leg of our play off semi-final against Bournemouth, we were 0:2 down on aggregate. The game was getting shown late here, but thankfully I figured it would be worth a watch. Following two stunners from Vitaly Janelt and Marcus Forss, as well as a cool one-step penalty from the best penalty-taker in the league, Ivan Toney, as we all remember, we ended up being victorious. This game was the most entertaining game of football I’ve ever watched, and something I still quote to family and friends today, as I will for years to come. From Begovic’s fieriness towards Toney after the penalty, to former Bees defender, Chris Mepham’s, superman-like red card tackle of Bryan Mbeumo, it had it all. If we could execute a comeback like that, it was to no one’s surprise that we’ve held our own in the Premier League.
With Matthew Benham and Thomas Frank still at the helm going into the New Year, I have faith that we will remain competitive in the top-flight of English football. From all the way in Australia, we’d like to wish Frank Onyeka and Yoane Wissa the best of luck for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations, and a speedy recovery to Rico Henry, Aaron Hickey, Kevin Schade, Kristoffer Ajer and Bryan Mbeumo.
It was brilliant being able to watch the Socceroos defeat New Zealand at the Gtech in October, and former Brentford B, Lachlan Brook, has been dominating this season with 5 goals in 2 games in the Australia Cup for Western Sydney (our equivalent of the FA Cup), with him attributing this success to the ‘wake-up call’ that he got training with the Brentford first team, from Toney in particular. It’s connections like these that strengthen Australian football dramatically, and I hope Brentford continues to have good relationships with their mates down under. I hope to get to the Gtech soon and I hope everyone at Bees United has a great New Year
Cheers to you all
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Happy new year to all Bees fans around the world. We hope 2024 will be a wonderful year for you and Brentford FC.
The Danish Bees
Godt nytår til alle danske Brentford FC fans. Jeg håber, at I alle får muligheden for at se holdet live i 2024.
(Happy New Year to all Danish fans of Brentford FC. I hope you will all have the opportunity to watch the team live in 2024.)
Rev Peter Crumpler – Associate Minister – St Peters St Albans
“Christmas is important, but not decisive.” So said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger when his club was chasing the Premier League championship. He meant it was too early in the season to make any predictions. In the event, the Gunners finished that season (2002/3) runners-up to Manchester United.
I feel the same way about Christmas and new year – both as a lifelong Bees fan and a Church of England minister. It’s all too early to say…
As I write this, Brentford stand 14th in the league with 19 points, having just played out a frustrating home defeat to Wolves, a bad-tempered reversal against Villa and Palace await this afternoon. We have a long list of injuries, and Ivan Toney suspended for a few more weeks1. It could all look a bit gloomy.
If the message of Christmas is around Hope, Joy and Peace, then I’m looking to all three for the rest of our third season in the top tier.
I see hope as a virtue and will be hopeful that our fortunes can improve after a run of difficult results. I’m looking forward to the joy of celebrating back-to-back home wins, and to the peace that will descend when we know our Premier League position is assured and we’re rising up the table again.
I’m with Wenger, when it comes to Christmas.
It’s important, but not decisive. Christmas is – rightly – a big deal in churches, but our biggest celebration comes at Easter (nearer the end of the season) when Christians mark Christ rising from the dead to bring new life to all. Timing is everything.
Just a few weeks back, the Football Association hosted a celebration at Wembley to mark the close ties between football and Christianity. It was one of a series, highlighting the links between faiths and the beautiful game.
Those links still remain, with most Premier League teams having club chaplains. So I’d like to pay tribute to Brentford chaplain Stuart Cashman, who sadly died in November after serving the club’s staff and players for more than seven years. Stuart, who was well liked around the club, was just 51. May he rest in peace – and support the Bees from a distant terrace.