Tonight’s game will see a former Brentford captain come up against his former side as we take a look at the common connections between the two West London rivals.
Rangers defender Jake Bidwell is in line to make his second appearance against The Bees after departing Griffin Park for Loftus Road last summer. Signed from Everton permanently in 2013 after two previous loan spells, Jake made 211 appearances for The Bees, scoring three goals, during his time in red and white. He made 41 appearances during our promotion winning season in 2014 and was appointed captain for the 2015/16 campaign. After departing for QPR in July 2016, Jake has made 56 appearances for The Rs in 18 months.
R’s manager Ian Holloway is also easily recognised by Brentford fans, not just for his outspoken predictions, but also for two spells at Griffin Park in the 1980’s. In total, the Bristolian played 36 games in what is now League One for The Bees, scoring twice, before going on to make 170 appearances for QPR and have two managerial spells at Loftus Road. Also coming up against a former club is Bees goalkeeping coach Simon Royce who played 84 games in four spells for Rangers, before joining Brentford in 2010.
One man who lit up both sides of tonight’s rivalry was the mercurial midfielder Stan Bowles. Voted Rangers’ greatest ever player in a 2004 fans’ poll, Stan made five England appearances during his seven years at Loftus Road, leading the team to second place in Division One in 1976. After joining The Bees in 1981, and alongside Terry Hurlock and Chris Kamara, his debut season saw him pick up the Supporters' Player of the Year Award as The Bees finished eighth. The following season he contributed another ten goals but again Brentford missed out on promotion before his retirement in early 1984. Now suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, supporters from both clubs are encouraged to Stand Up For Stan in the tenth minute of tonight’s game.
Other notable players to have played for both clubs include The Terrible Twins, George Francis and Jim Towers, who are number one and two on our all-time scoring list; England internationals Andy Sinton, Kenny Sampson and Les Ferdinand; and, Brentford Hall of Fame member Patsy Hendren.
There will also be Pay on the Day tonight in W12, cash only, with a £5 price increase on advanced ticket prices.