The man who scored Brentford’s fastest ever hat-trick was the latest to be inducted in to the Brentford FC Hall of Fame. Gary Roberts was a guest of the Club on Saturday when we beat Middlesbrough in the Sky Bet Championship. At half time he was surprised on the pitch and presented with a special commemorative salver by Brentford FC Chairman Cliff Crown and officially received a place in the Hall of Fame.
Gary was one of Brentford’s stars of the 1980s. Signed from Wembley in 1980, his greatest day in a Brentford shirt sent The Bees back in that direction. He scored four times as Brentford beat Newport County in the 1985 Freight Rover Trophy Southern Area Final. That gave The Bees a place in the final at Wembley, where they lost to Wigan Athletic. Gary scored three goals in three minutes either side of half time against Newport, the fastest ever hat-trick by a Brentford player and a record that stands to this day.
Despite being naturally right footed, Gary spent most of his career playing on the left winger. He scored three goals in the 1980/81 season after joining from Wembley and became more prolific as his career developed. He notched 18 times in 53 games in the 1984/85 season, including those four against Newport, his most productive campaign.
Gary had to retire from professional football at the end of the 1985/86 season and moved to play for non-league Barnet. By the time he left Brentford he had played 224 games and scored 63 goals. He played 187 of those games and scored 45 goals in the Football League. He also won one Wales Under-21 cap.
Gary’s non-league career included spells at Welling United, Cambridge City and St Albans City before he hung up his boots in 1996 at the age of 36. He was manager of Baldock Town, St Albans City and Cambridge City, leaving the last of those in 2016. Gary was also a police office after leaving the professional game.
Gary joins an ever-growing Brentford FC Hall of Fame which also includes Malcolm MacDonald, Joe James, Ken Coote, Dean Holdsworth, Terry Evans, Peter Gelson and current First Team Assistant Coach Kevin O’Connor. The Hall of Fame is administered jointly by the Club, and The Brentford FC Former Players’ Association. There will be further inductions as Brentford prepares to move to a new stadium this summer.