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Brentford bids farewell to Griffin Park

Brentford gave Griffin Park the perfect send-off last night as the club secured a place in the Championship play-off final with a 3-1 victory over Swansea City.

The London club has played at the ground since it opened in 1904 but will move into its new 17,250-seat stadium for the 2020-21 season. Goals from Ollie Watkins, Emiliano Marcondes and Bryan Mbuemo gave Brentford a 3-2 aggregate win over Swansea.

Continued COVID-19 restrictions meant that only cardboard cut-outs of fans were in attendance, although some Brentford fans gathered outside the stadium afterwards to celebrate the win and say their goodbyes to the club’s historic home.

Griffin Park was popular among both home and away fans and was one of the few grounds in English football to still feature terraced stands. It is also known for having a pub on each corner of the ground.

Brentford will now face either Fulham or Cardiff at Wembley Stadium on August 4. A win at Wembley would ensure top-flight football for Brentford for the first time in 73 years.

“We really wanted to make a final magical moment here at Griffin Park,” manager Thomas Frank said. “I know the fans were not with us here but they were with us out there and we can hear some of them now. I guess they will go crazy tonight and in a way they were still here.”

Work on the new Brentford stadium was temporarily halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic but the venue is set to be ready in time for the start of the 2020-21 season in September. The stadium, which will also serve as the home of the London Irish rugby union team, is being delivered by EcoWorld London.

The wide-ranging development will also result in the construction of a purpose-built location for the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, as well as a public square with shops, cafes and restaurants, and more than 900 new homes for sale and rent.

Brentford Community Stadium is already pencilled in to be one of the host venues for England’s staging of the UEFA Women’s Euro in 2022.

Image: Steve Daniels/Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)/Edited for size