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Tributes to Robert Rowan one year on

Brentford FC staff join in #RememberingRobert

12 November 2019

Tributes have been paid to Robert Rowan on the first anniversary of his death. It was one year ago today that Robert, Brentford FC Technical Director, died at the age of 28. Robert suffered a fatal cardiomyopathy episode in the early hours of Monday 12 November 2018. He went to bed the night before and died in his sleep. He left behind his wife Suzanne, who he married in November 2016. Today, one year on, Brentford FC have been remembering Robert.

Senior Club figures have remembered Robert on this anniversary. The players and staff came together at the Club’s Jersey Road Training Ground this morning to mark the date and there was an exchange of memories. There were recollections of the game against Middlesbrough a few days after Robert’s death when his passing was marked at Griffin Park as well as his funeral, where all those who wanted to attend could not get through the doors, and a memorial service held at Griffin Park soon after.

Matthew Benham, Brentford FC Owner, said: “I am thinking of Rob today. He was such a fantastic fella, we chatted pretty much every day. He was great fun to be with, warm and funny, and did an amazing job for the Club. We all miss him so much. RIP Rob.”

Thomas Frank, Brentford FC Head Coach, said: “I am very pleased that we are remembering Rob today. He was not only a beloved colleague but also a friend. We had a gathering this morning and it was an emotional time and I am pleased, in some ways, that it was like that as it shows what Rob meant to us.

“I remember him as someone who worked with great passion. He was incredibly positive and had a lot of pride in everything he did every day. We need to remember what he brought to us. I also think we need to remember that sometimes we take people for granted. I urged all our players and staff to take time today as we think of Rob to phone and speak to their families and friends as they can be gone too soon.”

Kevin O’Connor worked closely with Robert during his time at the Club. Kevin was on the B Team coaching staff when Robert oversaw that project and eventually became B Team Head Coach. The former Club Captain and current Assistant First Team Coach paid the highest compliments to Robert.

“When he was in front of a group, he could be a bit of a Jack the lad,” said Kevin. “But when you got him one-on-one, he was different. He is one of the nicest people I have ever met in football. He was genuinely caring, interested in what was going on and wanted to help. I can’t believe it has been a year and he is truly missed.”

Cliff Crown, Brentford FC Chairman, said: It is with great sadness that we recall the loss of Rob Rowan one year ago today. Rob was a great character and totally dedicated to his role and responsible for so much that was good at the club, especially in relation to the B Team. Rarely do you come across someone who had such an impact, where it is only after they have gone that one can truly appreciate their contribution, but this was very much the case with Rob.

“I always thought of Rob as a gentle giant who went about his daily business with the minimum of fuss and a total commitment to the job in hand. He will remain in our hearts forever and is sadly missed by us all. RIP Big Man.”

Club Director Nity Raj said: A year on and we are still missing you, mate.  Still missing your sense of humour.  Still missing your capacity for hard work. Still missing your view on all things football, on and off the pitch. Keep cheering for us big man.”

Lisa Skelhorn, Club Secretary, added: “Rob always made an effort to get to know everyone at the Club, he was friendly, funny and was always there to help.  Rob will forever be in our thoughts and his presence around the club will always be missed.  We miss you Rob.”

Join us today in remembering Robert, as well as keeping Suzanne and their families in your thoughts. We have been sharing memories of Robert as well as raising awareness of cardiomyopathy and promoting the screening and research conducted by CRY.

Every week in the UK at least 12 young people die of undiagnosed heart conditions. Since its formation in 1995, CRY has been working to reduce the frequency of young sudden cardiac death (YSCD). CRY – which has former player, manager and Chief Scout Andy Scott as a patron – supports young people diagnosed with potentially life-threatening cardiac conditions and offers bereavement support to families affected by YSCD. For more information on CRY, click here and supporters can donate online in memory of Robert here.

Lorna Falconer, the Club’s Head of Football Operations, marked the anniversary with a fund-raising challenge. She rode 28 miles on a static bike this afternoon to raise awareness of CRY and to gather donations to increase the funds raised. Lorne peddled through the West London wind and rain to reach her goal. You can donate here.


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