BIAS is pleased to announce that Rhys has been co-opted on the BIAS committee. Read on to discover more about our latest recruit.
Rhys started watching the Bees in the 91-92 Championship season was when as a reluctant seven-year-old who resented being dragged away from the warmth of the indoors and Baywatch on TV by his Dad to sit in the Brook Road upper stand. Rhys remembers little of the football but a lot about how numb his freezing hands and feet were.
Rhys’ family moved abroad and they missed out on watching Brentford’s one season in today’s championship and his Dad would not see another game again until the Huddersfield playoff penalty shootout defeat, which he flew back from the Netherlands to watch.
By the time Rhys returned to the UK in 1996 the football bug had taken hold of him too and following a discussion his Dad about who to support he rejected the suggestion of supporting the local team (Reading – they lived in Newbury) to follow in his father’s footsteps as a loyal Brentford supporter.
This started years of pilgrimage down the M4 to Griffin Park season after season. The highlight of this first season had to be winning away at Ashton Gate in the first leg of the playoff semi-final – Rhys and his Dad have never missed a playoff game since and that year’s agony at the hands of Crewe proved good training for what they have endured since.
Between 1996 and 2002 Rhys and his Dad were regulars on the Ealing Road terrace (now the BIAS Stand).
Rhys was also a player in the first Hey Jude football team and played for many years as a gobby goalkeeper and very occasionally as a headless outfield chicken (with his Dad the ever willing taxi driver).
Their one year as season ticket holders they sat in D Block for the impossible-to-forget 2001-02 season – still Rhys’ favourite Brentford team and – until this year – the promotion failure that hurt the most.
Last September 2012 Rhys’ girlfriend Anna, an Aussie who he has successfully brainwashed into becoming a hardcore Brentford fan (Anna often Tweets for @BIAS_bfc) both decided to move to Brentford, and they not looked back since.
They can be found every week to the left of the goal in the BIAS Stand and are proud season tickets holders for next season.
After matches, and now most non-matchdays as well, you will likely find them propping up The Griffin Pub bar.
Living in Brentford and being part of the local community has taken their passion for the club to a whole new level. Both Rhys and Anna are active members of BIAS and are involved with the Stadium Action Group as well. Both Rhys and Anna can be found tweeting often about Brentford @rhys1984 & @alm_mason)
Rhys feels that moving to Lionel Road is essential to secure the clubs long-term future and in enabling the club to make the next step up the football league. Speaking about the Lionel Road project Rhys says, “Just as Griffin Park has been home for over 100 years the new stadium will provide a foundation for generations to come and getting it done and getting it right is essential. I want to do my bit to make it happen”