We hit the leafy West London suburbs to catch a game at lively Griffin Park, home of Brentford FC. The ground will not be here for much longer if all goes to plan for the club’s new stadium, so make the most if it while you can.
You may come across a pub quiz question that asks which football ground has a public house on each corner. The answer is Griffin Park, Brentford, and the pubs are The New Inn, The Griffin, The Princess Royal, and the Royal Oak. The Royal Oak closed in 2015 but the rest are full on match day.
Griffin Park, The Bees’ home turf since 1904, is a tight-knit old school ground nestled between terraced housing. If you want to experience an honest, traditional football ground, get down to Griffin Park next season, because plans are at an advanced stage to develop the new 20,000-seater Brentford Community Stadium at nearby Kew Bridge. The club will share the ground with rugby club London Irish.
I’ve been to Griffin Park before in the away end but this time I joined the home fans standing in the Ealing Road End for £23, purchased online with the print-at-home option. The opponents were Derby County, who still had a sniff of a Championship play-off place.
All credit to the home fans; there was non-stop singing and some pretty entertaining songs throughout. It’s certainly one of the less generous stands for visiting goalkeepers, and no love lost for West London rivals Queens Park Rangers and Fulham either.
As well as the locals, it was great to see Americans in Brentford shirts and a group of Frenchmen who came along. Bees looked organised, played attractive football and ran out 4-0 winners against a lacklustre Derby side. I overheard the regulars debating whether it was the best they’d played all season. I’d really lucked out with this fixture.
Brentford’s future looks bright and is flourishing under the sensible and committed ownership of lifelong fan Matthew Benham. He is also majority owner at Denmark’s FC Midtjylland, who won the Danish Superliga in 2015.
How to get to Griffin Park, Brentford
Griffin Park is a 500m walk from Brentford overland railway station. Trains run regularly from London Waterloo and take around 30 minutes.