Last surviving member of Division One team dies, aged 86
Brentford were saddened to hear of the death of Walter Bragg, the final surviving member of our last-ever top flight campaign back in 1946/47, who died on Sunday 6th March aged 86.
Born in Twickenham in July 1929, Wally was signed from local parks team Twickenham Celtic in 1946 before being sent out on loan, and impressing, at Hounslow Town. On his return to Griffin Park he became our youngest ever-player to date when he replaced Dai Hopkins for the Division One visit of Grimsby Town in March 1947, aged 17 years and 264 days.
Wally left the club at the end of the season and spent five years away from Griffin Park, part of that time spent doing his National Service and representing the RAF at Football. He appeared in a friendly match at Highbury for the RAF against an England ‘B’ side before returning to Griffin Park in January 1952. The strapping defender made ten appearances in his first season back before establishing himself at the heart of The Bees defence in Division Two, missing just five games over the next two seasons.
Wally couldn’t prevent relegation to Division Three South in 1954 and then suffered a succession of injuries which saw him miss as many games as he played, leading to his retirement at the end of the 1956/57 season. In total Wally made 168 appearances for The Bees, scoring six goals.
After football Wally continued to live in Twickenham, only leaving the house he bought as a player to go into care last year. He worked as an advertising manager in local newspapers for many years before being diagnosed with dementia. He returned to Brentford for the club's 100 year celebrations in 1989 and is survived by his wife Marjorie, two daughters Ann and Gillian, a son Graham and five grandchildren.
All at Brentford send their condolences to his family and friends at this time.