One of Brentford FC’s oldest records has finally been equalled, in one of the game’s more unusual locations. Before Saturday, 4 September, only one man had ever scored two goals in international football while on Brentford’s books. Striker Halil Dervişoğlu scored his second goal for Turkey against Gibraltar on Saturday and wrote his name in to the Club’s record books.
Since The Bees entered the EFL more than a century ago, more than 1,000 players have appeared in our colours, but goals in international football have been hard to come by for Brentford players, with only 11 men finding the net for their countries. Brentford players have been involved in international football for longer than The Bees have been a Football League side and 49 have won caps, with Kristoffer Ajer – playing for Norway – the latest. Brentford’s first international was Joe Connor, who played twice for the Ireland national football team, which represented the island of Ireland from 1882 until 1950, in 1903.
The Bees were in the Southern League at the time, but Joe played in the British Home Championships 1902/03, winning two of his three caps while with Brentford. He also became the first man to score an international goal while a Brentford player when he found the net against Scotland. Tommy Shanks also represented Ireland in 1905 and it was then almost 30 years until Dai Hopkins became Brentford’s third international, representing Wales.
Dai scored twice in 12 appearances for Wales between 1934 and 1939. He was the second Brentford player to score for his country and, until Halil did so, the only man to do so twice. Dai scored against Ireland in 1935 and England in 1938. He also found the net once in Wartime internationals that are not given official status.
Brentford played in the upper echelons of the First Division in the late 1930s and nine players won international honours, including the Club’s only two England internationals to date – Billy Scott and Leslie Smith. Only Les Boulter, for Wales against Ireland, of those nine scored. Jimmy D’Arcy was on Brentford’s books from 1952 to 1954 and earned Northern Ireland caps soon after the British nation started playing international football. He scored once in four caps earned while with Brentford.
Hermann Hreiðarsson earned 12 of his 89 Iceland caps while with The Bees and scored against Andorra while on Brentford’s books. Stuart Dallas and Alan Judge scored for their countries while with Brentford as did Henrik Dalsgaard. Henrik earned 22 of his 26 Denmark caps while with The Bees, which makes him the Club’s most capped player. He was the first Brentford player to appear in a FIFA World Cup, helping Denmark reach the last 16 in Russia in 2018. His only goal for Denmark came against Switzerland in March 2019.
Tariqe Fosu and Marcus Forss scored international goals last year and Mathias Jensen did so in March. Halil made his international debut in May and scored on his first appearance for Turkey, against Azerbaijan. He was then named in the squad for the delayed UEFA European Championships 2020.
By the end of that tournament, played across Europe this summer, Halil had four caps and one goal. He was then named in Turkey’s squad for qualification matches for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. He came off the substitute’s bench to score the opening goal against Gibraltar on Saturday. In doing so, he scored his second international goal and equalled Dai Hopkins’ long-standing record.