Despite the geographical distance between The Riverside Stadium and Griffin Park, a number of high-profile current, and former, players have strong links between the two clubs.
After Adam Forshaw's departure in January, there are no former Bees returning to Griffin Park today in the Boro squad. Forshaw enjoyed two spells at Griffin Park which ended as he won the 2013/14 League One Player of the Year award and a League One runners-up medal in our promotion winning season under Mark Warburton. Following a short spell at Wigan Athletic, the 25-year-old arrived on Teeside in January 2015 and is closing in on 100 appearances for Boro.
Another familiar face in the opposition ranks, although not one who has played for The Bees, is Middlesbrough goalkeeper Dimi Konstantopoulos. The stopper has come up against us ten times in his career, for both Hartlepool United and Middlesbrough, including both legs of the 2015 Play-Off semi-final. On The Bees’ side, Josh McEachran spent a season on loan at The Riverside Stadium between August 2012 and May 2013, making 38 appearances for Boro under Tony Mowbray.
Going back in time, former Middlesbrough players were at the heart of The Bees most successful ever period as a club. In May 1932, Harry Curtis brought the Boro quartet of Jack Holliday, Billy Scott, Ernie Muttitt and Bert Watson south with instant results. With Watson as captain, the following season saw Holliday break all goalscoring records with 38 league goals and five hat-tricks, both of which still stand today, to fire The Bees to the Division Three South title.
A fifth former Teesider, goalkeeper Jimmy Mathieson, joined in 1934 as The Bees went on to storm to the Division Two title and secure top flight football for the first-time. Over the course of the 1930’s, the five former Middlesbrough players made 850 appearances, and scored 232 goals, as Curtis’ side established themselves among England’s elite. Muttitt, Scott, and Holliday were all posthumously inducted into our Hall of Fame in 2015 while Holliday’s 119 goals in 223 games is still third on our all-time scoring list while Scott sits in seventh with 87 goals in 297 games.