West London club Brentford confirm they are the bee's knees
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West London club Brentford confirm they are the bee's knees

While most of the attention last weekend was understandably on Chelsea's Champions League triumph, there was another much smaller West London club celebrating an equally significant victory.

Brentford FC achieved promotion to the Premier League for the first time, defeating Swansea 2-0 in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.

It is important to bear in mind that Brentford have always been the poor relation of the other clubs in the area -- Chelsea, Fulham and Queens Park Rangers -- and they have spent more time in the bottom two divisions of the Football League than any other London club.

Brentford's Danish manager Thomas Frank was overjoyed at reaching the top flight and overcoming years of play-off frustration for the club.

"Everything is possible if you work hard, have a clear strategy, a top attitude and togetherness," he said. "I am so pleased and proud to be part of this journey."

Frank's first task is to keep hold of striker Ivan Toney whose goal against Swansea was his 33rd of the season.

Toney had stepped up brilliantly to fill the gap after the departure of goalscorers Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma.

It is easy to forget that Brentford were in the top flight 70 years ago from 1935-47.

They were a useful team and in the first three seasons in Division One came fifth, sixth and sixth. However, the league was disrupted by World War II and in the first season after the war they were relegated.

Founded in 1899, Brentford were nicknamed the Bees following a misunderstanding prompted by students from nearby Borough Road College.

While watching a Brentford match, the students began their college chant "Buck Up Bs".

Local journalists mistakenly thought they were singing "Buck Up Bees" and soon newspaper headlines were referring to Brentford as the "Bees".

In the 1950s, Brentford were struggling financially in the second tier and in 1952 were forced to sell their best players, Jimmy Hill to Fulham and Ron Greenwood to Chelsea.

In 1953, the great Tommy Lawton joined Brentford as player/manager but after 17 goals in 50 appearances he moved on to Arsenal.

Another famous name linked with Brentford is singer Rod Stewart who was a triallist in the early 1960s but decided there was more money in another profession.

The 60s and 70s was not a good time for Brentford who spent most seasons in the Fourth Division.

Such was their financial plight the club was almost taken over by QPR, who wanted to move into Griffin Park and make their own stadium at Loftus Road a housing development.

But following huge resistance from supporters and directors Brentford somehow survived.

For most of the time, they remained in the bottom two divisions but in 1991-92 they won the Third Division title, but were quickly relegated.

In 1998, Brentford were struggling in League Two and their prospects looked grim.

But they slowly worked their way through the divisions, becoming League Two champions in 2009 and then in 2012 won promotion to the Championship.

Brentford had played at Griffin Park since 1904. It was a popular ground, having a pub on each corner outside the ground.

In 2020, they finally moved to the excellent new Brentford Community Stadium.

For most of the 2019/20 season, they were in fine form and it looked like they would christen the stadium in style by winning automatic promotion to the Premier League.

But they let it slip and were beaten by Fulham in the play-off, one of the teams they are now replacing.

Two other clubs enjoyed promotion during the week, both Lancashire seaside resorts.

Blackpool moved back into to the Championship after a six-year absence, defeating Lincoln 2-1 in the League One play-off.

It was a great result for the Seasiders, shaking off years of turmoil under the previous owners, the Oyston family.

It was also a huge week for Morecambe, just 31km up the coast from Blackpool.

After 14 years battling to survive in League Two, the Shrimps won promotion to the third tier for the first time, edging Newport 1-0 in the play-off final.

The only goal came from a hotly disputed penalty, but it is a huge result for this small club.

For Brentford, Blackpool and Morecambe now comes the hard part -- establishing themselves in their new divisions.

It won't be easy.

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