Brentford FC Community Sport Trust’s Brian Burgess has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to football.
Burgess’ involvement with the club dates back to the 1960s, becoming Chairman of Bees United, the Brentford Supporters’ Trust, and playing an integral role in helping raise required funds to refinance the club after a fan takeover in early 2006.
Many at Brentford believe Burgess helped save the club during those uncertain financial times and also paved the way for the initial involvement of current owner Matthew Benham.
Later Burgess served as Deputy Chairman before initially taking up a voluntary role for the planning of the new Brentford FC Community Stadium in 2002 before moving into a paid position on the project six years later.
Burgess has also been a Trustee for the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust for more than 15 years, helping cement the Bees’ reputation as a community-led football club.
His passion for the Trust derives from a long-held belief that football and the local community should be fully integrated, with a wide range of programmes to educate, motivate and inspire people and lead to enhanced social cohesion.
On the award, Burgess said: “I am delighted and humbled to be awarded this BEM, which recognises the valuable work of Brentford FC Community Sports Trust and its impact in local communities.
“This award is a tribute to everyone involved in the Community Sports Trust and its partners, and the efforts of so many former colleagues and volunteers at the Club and Bees United.
“It’s an absolute privilege to have served as a Trustee from the Trust’s inception in 2005 and to work closely with Chief Executive Lee Doyle and his team in developing such exciting projects as the new community hub next to Brentford Community Stadium and the impressive sports hub at Gunnersbury Park.”
“On a personal level, I owe so much to my late wife, Sylvia, who was and always will be an inspiration.”
Lee Doyle, Chief Executive of Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, added: “Brian is a fantastic role model for sport supporters that want to make a positive difference to their club and its surrounding communities.
“It has been a remarkable journey and we are looking forward to a bright future.”