Brentford FC’s first ever Community Takeover Day saw children taking on special roles for The Bees’ Sky Bet Championship victory over Blackburn Rovers this weekend.
From the press box to the football pitch, 10 children – from Brentford FC Community Sports Trust’s community projects – went behind scenes and joined matchday staff to learn the ropes on Saturday (2 February).
Mia Lloyd from Ealing helped capture the elation of the Brentford players’ goals as she took on the role of club photographer – as you can see in the picture above.
Mia, 13, benefits from the trust’s Young Carers project, which provides much-needed respite to young people across the borough in partnership with Ealing Council. She shadowed the club’s matchday photography team, pitch-side, taking pictures to appear on brentfordfc.com
Speaking about the match, she said: “I really enjoy photography – it has allowed me to express myself and I’m honoured to be able to photograph a team that I have supported since I was little. It was only through the trust’s Young Carers Project I have been able to develop my passion for photography. The project has helped build my confidence and helped me share experiences with other young carers in the same situation as me.”
The match is part of Brentford FC’s ongoing commitment to community initiatives. For every ticket bought at the game, £1 was donated to Brentford FC Community Sports Trust – helping people like Mia.
Other highlights included:
- The mini referee, Dajahn Lang, had the important task of pressing the buzzer and calling the teams before the match begun
- Charlie Wilkins swapped the classroom for the dressing room as he helped prepare the players’ kit with the club’s kit man Bob Oteng
- Leah Hunt, 12, who was transformed into a journalist as she wrote her match report in the press box and took over Brentford FC’s Twitter account, which included announcing Ollie Watkins’s goal that brought the score back to 2-2
- Isis Cuttings proved a worthy pundit as she described the drama of the match as a matchday commentator on Griffin Park’s gantry
And Eira Griffiths, 12, who has been part of the trust’s girls’ football programme for nearly five years, played an instrumental role in sealing the victory. She took on the role of ‘young head coach’; and she clearly made an impact as The Bees came back from 2-0 down to win 5-2. Fans rose to their feet as she joined Thomas Frank in celebrating the win on the pitch for the post-match celebrations before heading in to the dressing room where she was presented with a shirt by Neal Maupay, who scored Brentford’s fourth goal.
All the children involved benefit from the trust’s community projects, which includes supporting young carers, children with autism and young people in the local area.
Donald Kerr, vice chairman of Brentford FC and Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, said: “The Community Takeover epitomises everything Brentford FC is trying to achieve – embedding the local community within the heart of our football club. As we prepare to move to our new stadium, we are committed to taking the community with us on this exciting new journey – ensuring that everyone can be part of Brentford FC.
“The event on Saturday not only proved the club’s commitment to the community, but it also showcased the impact the Community Sports Trust has on young people across west London.”
Photos by Mark Fuller and used courtesy of Brentford FC Community Sports Trust.