Brent­ford’s Di­vi­sion Three cham­pi­ons of 1991-92

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Neil Fissler

DEAN HOLDSWORTH joined Brent­ford when they were near the bot­tom of the Third Di­vi­sion – three years later he scored 24 goals to fire them to pro­mo­tion.

Holdsworth ad­mits he rolled the dice be­cause he went into the pro­mo­tion-win­ning sea­son with only 12 months on his con­tract and noth­ing on the ta­ble.

But, like him­self, the Bees pro­gressed in his three sea­sons, fin­ish­ing 13th, sixth and los­ing in the play-offs to Tran­mere be­fore even­tu­ally win­ning the ti­tle.

Holdsworth’s 41-goal part­ner­ship with Gary Blis­sett was the cor­ner­stone of their suc­cess which was crowned by a last-day vic­tory at Peter­bor­ough.

The Bees over­came a rocky spell in in the clos­ing stages of the sea­son when they went with­out a win in five games in March to fall to fifth place.

Phil Holder’s side won their last six games to claim the ti­tle but also earn Holdsworth a move to Pre­mier League Wim­ble­don.

“I was a greedy striker and my con­tract was up but I wanted to see the sea­son out with a medal,” said Holdsworth.

“Al­though I didn’t have one on of­fer I didn’t push it, but I think the club wanted to sell me to get the money. We thought we had blown the cham­pi­onship in March when we didn’t win a game but ev­ery player took re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“Gary Blis­sett and my­self were a great part­ner­ship for that di­vi­sion and we knew we had a mas­sive re­spon­si­bil­ity to score the goals to get us there.

“But once we got over that lit­tle spell the con­fi­dence was so high, and we had some very ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers to help.

“We beat Ful­ham 4-0 to get pro­moted but we wanted to go up as cham­pi­ons and we had to beat Peter­bor­ough away to cre­ate his­tory for the club. I think the party lasted a cou­ple of weeks af­ter the last game.”

1. Dean Holdsworth: Dean has man­aged Red­bridge, New­port , Alder­shot and Chelms­ford City and is the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of XPro and owner of Ed­u­ca­tion Through Sport.

2. Jamie Bates: A mem­ber of two Cham­pi­onship win­ning sides at Grif­fin Park, he be­came a courier driver for a print­ing com­pany in Lon­don.

3. Keith Millen: Be­came Bris­tol City’s un­der-17’s man­ager, as­sis­tant man­ager and then man­ager prior to mov­ing on to Black­pool and now Crys­tal Palace.

4. Ash­ley Bayes: He also went into coach­ing and be­came a goal­keep­ing coach at a num­ber of soc­cer schools, then Alder­shot and now AFC Wim­ble­don.

5. Gra­ham Ben­stead: Goal­keep­ing coach at Farn­bor­ough, then be­came as­sis­tant man­ager of Steve­nage and now lives in Wok­ing where

he works as a self-em­ployed painter and dec­o­ra­tor.

6. Terry Evans: Af­ter qual­i­fy­ing as a physio he worked for Wy­combe where he was also fit­ness coach. He switched sports to Lon­don Wasps where he is a se­nior phys­io­ther­a­pist.

7. Gary Blis­sett: Lived in Ger­many and was as­sis­tant, then re­serve team boss at Elvers­berg. He’s now liv­ing in Philadel­phia run­ning a coach­ing com­pany.

8. Kevin God­frey: Af­ter be­com­ing a taxi driver in the West Lon­don area he was last known to be work­ing for a se­cu­rity de­liv­ery com­pany.

9. Joe Gad­ston: The youth team coach ran a hol­i­day apart­ment busi­ness and be­came gen­eral man­ager of Swan­age Town & Her­ston. Has also been a di­rec­tor of Ex­eter City.

10. Paul Buckle: Af­ter coach­ing at Ex­eter he man­aged Torquay, Bris­tol Rovers and Lu­ton but is now liv­ing in the USA where he is tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor with Met­ro­pol­i­tan Oval.

11. Robert Peters: He is now be­lieved to be liv­ing and work­ing in Aus­tralia.

12. Si­mon Line: Man­aged Mar­ket Dray­ton Town three times and had a spell at Hed­nes­ford Town. He works as a school teacher in Blur­ton, Stoke.

13. Si­mon Rat­cliffe: Af­ter work­ing for Gilling­ham as youth de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer he re­turned to Nor­folk and has been a prison of­fi­cer for 14 years.

14. Mar­cus Gayle: Man­aged AFC Wim­ble­don re­serves for three years and took over as man­ager of Staines Town. Has

also owned a de­signer clothes shop in Ful­ham.

15. Andy Driscoll: Qual­i­fied as a per­sonal trainer, he worked un­der Buckle at Torquay, Lu­ton and Bris­tol Rovers and now works as a golf per­for­mance coach.

16. Roy Clare: A for­mer car­pen­ter who be­came a fit­ness in­struc­tor in the Navy, he was physio at Wat­ford, The Bees and Crys­tal Palace and was Wat­ford’s kit­man when he died in March 1998.

17. Billy Manuel: Fol­low­ing a spell liv­ing in the US he is now back in Hack­ney where he is run­ning a pub.

18. Richard Cadette: Af­ter a spell man­ag­ing Toot­ing & Mitcham, he ran a hair and cos­metic prod­ucts com­pany in Slough.

19. Wilf Rostron: Re­turned to his na­tive North East as Gateshead’s as­sis­tant man­ager then man­aged Sun­der­land Ry­hope CW while work­ing for a fur­ni­ture firm. Now has his own im­port busi­ness

20. Phil Holder: Was as­sis­tant man­ager of Wat­ford, Southend, Shimizu S-Pulse, then coached at Read­ing. Now works in a flower de­liv­ery busi­ness in West Lon­don.

21. Neil Smillie: Is now head of Nike Tal­ent ID af­ter man­ag­ing Gilling­ham and Wy­combe, where he was also youth team man­ager.

22. Keith Jones: Now lives in Ari­zona in the US where he has held a num­ber of coach­ing posts.

23. Mark Turner: Mark is con­tin­u­ing to live and work in Lon­don.
























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