It can be interesting to see how the fortunes of two teams can differ; something you’ll see in the case of Boro’ and Brentford. The final day of the 2013-4 League One season saw us travel to their old Griffin Park home for mere formalities. We were going down, while they were going up. Since then, the Bees have gone onto bigger and better things with promotion to the promised land of the Premier League. Meanwhile, we had to start from the beginning in League Two. We’re not sure, but something’s not right there – eh?
Brentford: The Facts
Brentford Community Stadium
166 Lionel Rd N, London, Brentford TW8 9QT
The Bees started buzzing in October 1889; an attempt to once-and-for-all establish a rugby or football club in the west London town. In those early years, the new club made do with friendlies – before deciding to join a league for the first time in 1892: the West London Alliance. It wasn’t long after this when they first got their nickname. So the tale goes, friends of an amateur player cried “buck up the Bs” or something like that. From that, the media reported it as “bees” and here we are today.
In 1898, the Bees were successful in joining the London League as founder members of its Division Two – a competition they won at their first attempt. Going up to Division One, they finished runners-up in 1898. And their success in the London League helped them snag a place in the Southern League going forward. Again, there were some immediate good times. Inside two seasons, they were promoted from Division Two. But the form couldn’t last and – in 1913 – they fell back into Division Two.
To be fair to them, the Bees were back in Southern League Division One right after World War One; elected to an expanded competition. Their days in non-league circles were numbered, however, and Brentford were admitted to the Football League one season later. Mind you, their first campaign in Division Three South did not go brilliantly; the Bees ending up second bottom. It was a bit of a bumpy start to life in the League. Still, they got the hang of things soon; promoted to Division Two in 1933 and again to Division One in 1935.
Why do we know the Bees?
After World War Two, things started to fall away. The Bees were sent back down to Division Two at the end of the 1946-7 season. Worse was to follow still when the club were then relegated to Division Three South during the mid-1950s. Going into the 1960s and they’d soon find themselves in Division Four. Here, they’d spend much of their time until the late 1970s, before returning to the third tier. Title success in 1993 would then earn them a return to the second tier.
But for handful of seasons in the fourth tier in the 1990s and 2000s, the Bees were either found in tiers two or three. Boro’ first came across them in 2011 after promotion to League One, where they’d been since the 2009-10 season. This was the start of an upward curve for the London side; culminating in promotion up to the Championship in 2014. Further consolidation continued in the next few campaigns until 2021, when the Bees secured promotion to the top flight for the first time since 1947 via the playoffs.
How to get to Brentford – Travel Information – Distance: 34 miles
Brentford’s new ground is almost a straight line south from Stevenage. As such, go down the A1(M) and A1 into Hendon; continuing on your way when it becomes the A41.
Next, use the left lane slip road to come off the A41 and join the westbound A406 towards Wembley and Neasden. Stay on the A406 until you come a large roundabout in Chiswick; above you will be the M4 if you were in any doubt.
Head across the roundabout onto the A205 for a short distance, before turning right into Lionel Road S. If you can. This is where the ground is and you’ll have already spotted it.
Station: KEW BRIDGE
Services to: VAUXHALL/LONDON WATERLOO
It’s just 100m from Kew Bridge station to the stadium, so it’ll be hard for you to mess up the walk – even without directions. There are also six other stations within a mile if you need something quieter to avoid the post-match crowds. The chances are you won’t…
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