On an April afternoon ten years ago, lifelong Brentford supporter Graham Haynes died on his way to Griffin Park. Graham was on his way to watch Brentford play Hereford United, The Bees' last home game of the 2007/08 season. Graham had been a prolific archivist and voluntary contributor to the Club's matchday programme and other Brentford publications for many, many years.
His friends and family subsequently donated a trophy to the Club in Graham’s memory to recognise voluntary work done by other supporters, for the benefit of fellow Brentford fans, over long periods of time. Winners have included Alan Rogers, Mark Burridge, Peter Jeffrey and Richard Merritt. This year the award went to Alan Denman, who commentated, in an unpaid capacity, for the Brentford FC Blind Supporters' Scheme, and also on the internet, for 40 years.
Geoff Buckingham, who commentated with Alan for many of those years and has also been presented with the award, said: “Alan did not just commentate, but he spent extra time with the blind supporters whenever he could to let them know that we as a Club care for them. His commentary preparation, professionalism, and attention to detail was legendary, and he would even make a note of players places of birth."
Councillor Mel Collins, one of the Club's legion of blind supporters, added: ”Alan made listening to the commentaries such fun, yet he was always unbiased and fair. His good work will stay in the memory for many a year.”
Alan’s final match commentary was against Queens Park Rangers last month and, fittingly, he was able to commentate on Brentford’s winning goal. Alan was presented with the Graham Haynes Trophy by Graham’s widow Janet just before kick off on Sunday.