It has already been a record-breaking season for Brentford, their first in the Premier League. One of the records that could be broken in the largest crowd a Brentford team has ever played a competitive match in front of. And the record for the highest crowd we have ever played a league game in front of may have already been broken.
It has been more than a century since Brentford entered the Football League. The Bees have played more than 4,200 league matches at well over 100 stadiums. But matches in front of crowds of more than 50,000 have been rare.
The highest crowd The Bees have ever played a recognised fixture in front of came in 1942. The Bees beat Portsmouth in the London War Cup Final at Wembley Stadium. The official attendance for that fixture was 69,792.
Prior to the start of this season, the second highest crowd we have played in front of was also the largest attendance for a league fixture. That was on 23 October 1937 in a First Division match. The top tier London derby against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge attracted an attendance of 56,810.
Three other league matches from that era saw The Bees play in front of more than 55,000 as well as an FA Cup tie away to Manchester City at Maine Road. We also played in front of 51,885 just five years ago. That crowd was at a fixture between Newcastle United and The Bees in October 2016.
That crowd was bettered just last month, at the same venue. This time 52,131 were at St James’ Park, in Newcastle to watch our 3-3 draw in the North East. Officially, that is the seventh largest attendance for a Brentford game in our history, and the fifth highest for a league match.
However, the match in October away to West Ham United may have been ever higher. The official attendance announced for that game, which The Bees won 2-1 was 49,940. However, reports have given the crowd as 59,889. We hope to verify the number when we can.
If 59,889 is accurate, it will be the second highest attendance Brentford have ever played in front of. It will also be the highest crowd to watch Brentford in a league match. That record is, however, likely to be broken.
We face Tottenham Hotspur this evening in a Premier League match. The North London side play in a stadium that has a capacity of more than 62,000 while Arsenal’s home also holds more than 60,000. And, in April, The Bees face Manchester United at Old Trafford, which holds more than 75,000.
Highest Attendances for Brentford matches:
69,792 Brentford v Portsmouth 30 May 1942 (Wembley Stadium) (London War Cup)
59,889 West Ham United v Brentford 3 October 2021 (London Stadium) (TBC)
56,810 Chelsea v Brentford 23 October 1937 (Stamford Bridge)
56,692 Newcastle United v Brentford 6 September 1947 (St James’ Park)
56,624 Chelsea v Brentford 13 November 1935 (Stamford Bridge)
56,190 Manchester City v Brentford 23 January 1932 (Maine Road) (FA Cup)
55,338 Everton v Brentford 31 August 1946 (Goodison Park)
52,131 Newcastle United v Brentford 20 November 2021 (St James’ Park)
51,885 Newcastle United v Brentford 15 October 2016 (St James’ Park)
51,299 Arsenal v Brentford 15 April 1938 (Highbury)