Brentford Legends Gary Roberts, Francis Joseph, Graham Benstead and Billy Manuel Live At The Beesotted End of Season Bees-Up
Part 1 – Gary Roberts and Francis Joseph
Part 2 – Billy Manuel and Graham Benstead
Part 3 – Gary Roberts, Francis Joseph, Billy Manuel, Graham Benstead Q&A
With the summer fast approaching, 90 Brentford fans joined Dave Lane and Billy Grant from Beesotted and a bunch of Brentford legends – Gary Roberts, Francis Joseph, Billy Manuel & Graham Benstead – at the fabulous Fullers’ Drayton Court Hotel in Ealing to see the season off in style at their end of season Bees-Up.
Following on from the Christmas Bees-Up at Fullers Brewery with Carl Hutchings, Richard Cadette and Paul Gibbs and the first Bees-Up at The Globe with Terry Evans, Marcus Gayle and Ijah Anderson, this do was set to be a proper laugh.
And what a crack it was too.
The sun was shining.
Everyone was in great spirits.
The line up was fab.
With DJ Pricey dropping the tunes all through the evening, the scene was set for the Fulham Fan Magic Mod to get out there early doors and do his thing. And so he did – making his way through the crowd performing his magic card tricks to an impressed crowd at the bar. Unfortunately for him, his tricks did not include magic-ing Reading OUT of the playoffs.
But he can’t have everything.
Also waiting in the wings to don the stage was Brentford fan and comedian Tim Clarke – a veteran of the comedy scene and many a TV show.
But first up was 80s Brentford legends Gary Roberts and Francis Joseph. A footballing double-act if ever you have seen one. Like George Best and Rodney Marsh. Chris Waddle and Glenn Hoddle. But funnier.
You didn’t have to be around at the time to appreciate the tales these guys were spinning. They were hilarious.
Forming a lethal striking partnership back in the 80s playing in the team with the killer midfield of Stan Bowles, Terry Hurlock and Chris Kamara, you could see that the Roberts/Joseph bond was still there 30 years later. They had the audience in stitches – cracking joke after joke.
Gary Roberts claiming that he had invented the Cruyff turn – years before the master of the Cruyff turn Johan Cryff had actually coined the phrase.
Gary’s rendition of “When I’m cleaning windows” was something to watch it has to be said (below)
Francis Joseph told the audience how he was ‘tapped up’ (allegedly) by Brentford execs in the bar after a match at Griffin Park after just destroying The Bees – scoring two goals in Wimbledon’s comeback which saw them win 3-2 after being 2-0 down at half time. 3 months later he was playing football down at Griffin Park.
The origin of the ‘Jo Jo Ave a Go’ chant was recalled. And Gary Roberts gave an interesting insight into his interview for Brentford with Fred Callaghan where he necked a pint in one … before tucking into a few more – giving him the nick-name ‘Gasping’.
Even Chris Kamara made a brief appearance – recalling a tale of when he played in the team with Jo and Gasping.
After a hilarious session, the guys went off to applause from the crowd … coming back later in the evening for a Q&A with the audience – which will be covered in a later podcast.
Gary Roberts even met his old teacher – who gave him some homework.
Billy Manuel and Graham Benstead were part of the Division 2 (now Division 1) Championship side of 1992 and had tales to tell. From the card school to Billy’s days flogging ripped off Fila track suits and his drive to make a success of his football career after his father we arrested for bank robbery.
The Q&A had the fans throwing in questions a-plenty. From asking who would win a bare knuckle fight between Terry Hurlock and Terry Evans? Where was Wally Downes found streaking? Why did Gary Roberts hit an entertainer for Terry Hurlock? And why did Brentford get relegated after promotion to what is now the Championship?
A great evening was had by all .. and a fantastic end to a pretty decent season for Brentford.
Check out the full gallery here
We will be releasing a podcast of the evening in three parts so check out the Beesotted audioboom channel here, iTunes or the Beesotted Website.
We will be running more Beesotted socials during the next season – hopefully, both on match-days and also non-match days. If you would like to come on down, sign up for more information by clicking here.
A big thanks for The Drayton Court Hotel and Fullers’ for making this happen and to Claire, Richard and Willow for helping with the organisation.
Billy and Dave