Yesterday morning it was confirmed that Brentford will play Arsenal at home on the first day of the 2021/22 Premier League season. The match will be played on the weekend of Saturday 14 August and the precise details will be confirmed once the TV selections have been made. The Bees first away match will be at Crystal Palace the following weekend. A full list of Premier League fixtures can be seen here, we have also picked out the London derby dates here and some other big games here.
Brentford's history in league football goes back 101 years. In that time there have been some memorable opening day fixtures. Here is a look at some of them.
28 August 1920 – Exeter City 3 Brentford 0
Not one that anyone will remember, of course, but a big day in the history of Brentford FC. This was our first ever Football League game. It ended in a 3-0 defeat at St James Park in a Division Three clash. It did get better for The Bees.
31 August 1929 – Brentford 3 Swindon Town 2
The first of 21 wins at Griffin Park in the season as Brentford completed the last, so far, perfect home campaign. John Payne scored twice and Cyril Blakemore grabbed the winner as The Bees picked up the points. Brentford scored 66 home goals that season including six against Merthyr Town and Walsall and five an astonishing four more times, including against Fulham and Watford
26 August 1933 – Nottingham Forest 1 Brentford 1
The Bees had earned promotion the previous year and this was the Club’s first Division Two game. Dai Hopkins scored as Brentford took a point at The City Ground
31 August 1935 – Bolton Wanderers 0 Brentford 2
Two years later it got even better for The Bees as they kicked off their first ever top-flight season away at Bolton Wanderers. Bolton, like Brentford, had come up the previous year but were no match on the day. Jack Holliday scored twice as The Bees took the points.
31 August 1946 – Everton 0 Brentford 2
The Football League had been suspended due to World War II and Brentford were weaker after the conflict. This was to be Brentford’s last top-flight season to date but it started with a win on Merseyside. George Wilkins, from the penalty spot, and Gerry McAloon scored the goals but four wins from the first five games was misleading and The Bees soon tumbled down the season and in to Division Two.
21 August 1954 – Southampton 6 Brentford 4
The Bees were by now back in Division Three (South) after relegation the previous year. And the season could not have started in worse fashion as Southampton scored after 15 seconds and led 6-1 at half-time. The Bees battled back and ten goals is the most in a Brentford fixture on the opening day of a Football League season.
21 August 1965 – Brentford 6 Queens Park Rangers 1
The Bees have had some big wins, and losses, on the opening day of the season but none bigger than this. Micky Block scored a hat-trick and other goals came from John Fielding, Joe Bonson and Ian Lawther as Brentford’s neighbours were battered at Griffin Park. Unfortunately for The Bees, that was as good as it got with relegation to end the season.
29 August 1981 – Brentford 2 Fulham 1
After some uneventful opening days, Brentford once against kicked off the season, this time in Division Three, with a derby. Barry Tucker got Brentford’s first goal of the season and an own goal from Roger Brown ensured The Bees took the points, and the bragging rights.
17 August 1991 – Brentford 4 Leyton Orient 3
A memorable game to start a memorable season. Orient winger Ricky Otto tormented Brentford as The Bees went toe-to-toe with the East London side. Dean Holdsworth scored an opening day hat-trick and Terry Evans headed in the winner as Brentford got over the line. They went on winning and ended the season with the Division Three title.
13 August 1994 – Plymouth Argyle 1 Brentford 5
Nicky Forster and Robert Taylor linked up in attack for Brentford for the first time and The Bees took Plymouth to the cleaners. Both scored, with Forster grabbing two, and others came from Paul Smith and Paul Stephenson. Forster and Taylor scored 47 league goals between them as Brentford finished second in Division Two but were not promoted as only one team went up.
6 August 2011 – Brentford 2 Yeovil Town 0
A new era at Griffin Park as Uwe Rösler took charge of Brentford for the first time. Gary Alexander and Shaleum Logan scored the goals as The Bees took the points. Brentford have only won once on the opening day since, against Rotherham United in 2018.
9 August 2014 – Brentford 1 Charlton Athletic 1
Brentford won promotion to the Championship in 2014 and started their second-tier season with a London derby. The Bees fell behind but Tommy Smith equalised in the second half to give his team a point.
3 August 2019 - Brentford 0 Birmingham City 1
Unlike many of the other games, this one won't be memorable for what happened on the pitch. The Bees, somehow, lost 1-0 despite only letting Birminghm have one effort on goal, a header from 20 yards that went in from Kristian Pedersen. Brentford hit the woodwork three times. This game will be better remembered as the first of our Farewell Griffin Park campaign, our last season at our home of 116 years before we moved to our new stadium.
Information on availability of Season Tickets and Premium Seats will follow in the coming weeks, as well as details on Club Membership and any match ticket sales. You can register your interest in Club Membership, launching at the end of this month. Click here to fill out our online form.