I’m writing today not as Chairman but as a friend and colleague to Rob Rowan because I wanted to make a very personal tribute to him.
I have known Rob for a little under four years but in that time he made a great impression on me. He represented everything we want to be at Brentford. A combination of huge commitment to his job, an instinctive knowledge of what makes a difference in football, and the ability to bring those attributes together in a way that put people at ease. We aim to be humble and he embodied humility effortlessly. Despite having achieved so much in a short career at Brentford, he never talked up his achievements and instead let his actions do the talking.
It is a huge understatement to say he was a popular figure at Griffin Park, Jersey Road and at Smartodds, where he was a regular visitor. Always quick to a smile, but in a quiet, unassuming way, he made colleagues into friends. He did that within our club and in the wider football world by being straightforward and always delivering on what he promised. Throughout the time he was here he took on new roles and responsibilities, and each time he did, he made us better. He was instrumental in bringing in a number of players and you will already have seen tributes they have written about their belief in him. It’s striking that while he had a huge amount of responsibilities, he was always available to stop for a chat and tell me what the B Team in particular were doing.
You may have seen me say many times, when staff or players have moved on that we come back stronger. I’ve always believed that before. However, with Rob, I can only say that without him, we are unquestionably less than we were. Nevertheless we will go on to achieve the dreams we shared together with Rob because of the work he did to put systems in place, the people he trained, and because that will be the best way to honour him.
Rest in peace, Big Man. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family.