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Fixture News

Familiar Faces: Bristol City

Take a look at some common links between us and The Robins

2 April 2018

Ahead of tomorrow's game at Ashton Gate, we take a look at some of the players and coaches who have made the well-trodden path between West London and the West Country.

Carl Hutchings signed schoolboy forms at Griffin Park in 1989 and became an apprentice two years later, captaining the Brentford Youth Team before being offered a professional contract by manager Phil Holder in the latter stages of the 1992/93 season.

Despite the change of manager just weeks later, the teenager made a big impression on new boss David Webb, appearing in almost all of pre-season and making his debut in the opening league fixture. He showed himself to be an intelligent footballer during five seasons with the Club, winning over supporters after a difficult start to perform with infectious exuberance at full-back, in central midfield and most effectively at centre-back, twice appearing in Division Two Play-Off campaigns.

His sound defensive performances were one of the few highlights in the 1997/98 relegation campaign as he established himself as a fans’ favourite. He is fondly remembered for his wild celebrations at Griffin Park when he finally scored his first goal more than three years after his debut.

He rejected several new contract offers as relegation loomed and joined Bristol City for £135,000 at the end of the campaign. He struggled to make an impact during 18 months at Ashton Gate and returned on loan when Ron Noades signed him in January 2000, although he was unable to replicate the form of his first stay and was not offered a deal when the loan finished at the end of the campaign.

Carl is just one of 60 players who have featured for both The Bees and The Robins, which includes the man in the away dugout at Griffin Park tonight, Lee Johnson. The diminutive midfielder spent three months at Brentford in 2001, failing to make an appearance, but enjoyed more success at Ashton Gate, under his father Gary, making nearly 200 appearances in five seasons. He won League One in 2007 and reached the Championship Play-Off final 12 months later.

A trio of Bees Hall of Fame members, Jimmy Jay, Keith Millen, and Dai Hopkins, have also turned out for both sides while one man remembered for slightly less illustrious reasons, Murray Jones, had unsuccessful spells at both clubs in the early 1990s.

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