All at Brentford Football Club were saddended to hear of the death of John Griffin. It was reported yesterday, Sunday May 17, that John had died at the age of 81. The renowned scout was perhaps best-known in football for his work at Crystal Palace but had two spells at Brentford and was still working in the game in to his 80s.
John scouted for Brentford in the early 1980s but his first full-time role in football was at Crystal Palace. He spent more than 15 years with the South London side and was credited with finding players including England international striker Ian Wright. When former Crystal Palace owner Ron Noades took the majority shareholding of Brentford in 1998, John came back to Griffin Park.
John's work in finding players helped build a team that won the 1998/99 Division Three title and many of those players were still at the Club when The Bees almost won promotion to the second tier in 2002. He was credited with finding players such as Lloyd Owusu, Martin Rowlands, Darren Powell and Gavin Mahon in non-league football, who were the mainstays of both those successful teams. Later on players including Paul Smith, DJ Campbell and Alex Rhodes were brough to Brentford on his recommendation.
John was also involved in bringing Martin Allen to Brentford in 2004 and became very closely involved with the First Team in his last years at the Club. He was Assistant Manager under Leroy Rosenior in 2006, his last season with The Bees. After leaving Brentford he spent five years at Wycombe Wanderers and then returned to Palace.
John was still a presence at matches this season. He was regularly scouting for Palace at games at Griffin Park and was a familiar face to those in the media and scouting worlds. Former players have paid tribute in the hours since his death was announced.