Ten years ago today we said farewell to an Anglesey football legend.
Bob Brodie (1949-2011) was one of the island’s greatest ever managers.
A proud Scot, he was a loving husband to Angela, dad to Darren, Simon and Craig, a granddad and a great friend to so many.
His funeral on May 12, 2011, was a sad occasion but also a celebration of the life of a popular character who left a positive lasting impression on so many people.
Bob, born in Glasgow on February 20, 1949, first came to Holyhead in the late 1960s to work at Anglesey Aluminium.
He met a local girl, Angela, and after a two-year courtship they married.
Through Bob’s work, the couple moved to South Africa for a number of years before returning to settle in Anglesey in the early 1980s.
Bob’s playing career had included spells with Amlwch Town, Holyhead Town and Llandegfan, then in the late 80s his prowess as a manager came to the fore.
He was boss of several clubs, including Bodedern, Holyhead Town, Gwalchmai, Holyhead Hotspur, Glantraeth and Llanfairfechan Town, lifting numerous honours along the way.
Highlights included winning the Gwynedd League and Cup double in 1993/94 and then the Welsh Alliance title in 2002/03 with Glantraeth, and scooping two Anglesey League championships with Bodedern.
Bob was also briefly the one and only Colin Hawkins’ assistant at Cemaes Bay when they won the Welsh Alliance League title.
After a few years’ break from the game, Bob returned to assist Les Davies at Holyhead Hotspur and led the Harbourmen to the 2001 NWCFA Challenge Cup final where they were beaten 1-0 in extra time by mighty Caernarfon Town.
Then came a title success with Glantraeth two years later.
Bob had taken a back seat from football in his latter years but still kept a keen interest in the local scene as well as ardently following the fortunes of his beloved Glasgow Rangers.
One of the most moving tributes to Bob came from long-time friend Jeff Scott of Holyhead, who worked with him as secretary at Hotspur and as a volunteer at Glantraeth.
“In tributes to him on various websites, and from talking to people, it is obvious how much they admired his managerial skills and how highly he was respected by all the players over the years he was involved with from all over the island and further afield,” said Jeff.
“He was not a person who was afraid to drop someone if they were playing badly, then he would quietly tell them why he had made that decision.
“Equally, he would always have words of encouragement for young players, especially if he knew they were playing their first game at senior level, and even if they were playing for the opposing team.
“He loved to chat to me about the Anglesey League and how strong it was in the 70s/80s, the players he had at Bodedern, the cup finals, especially against the team I was the secretary of which at the time was Holyhead Mountain Rangers.
“Also the team he had at Glantraeth in the 90s when they won a cup/league double. The other clubs he was involved in, the players, the games, the good times, the not so good times.
“His involvement in football came to an end in triumph as Glantraeth won the Welsh Alliance League and appeared in two cup finals.
“We played four games in less than seven days, two of them cup finals, and he was not happy.
“Always thinking of his players he said to me ‘how can they expect lads to do a day’s work and then play this amount of games, it cannot be right”‘.
“They played a cup final on the Thursday in Bethesda against Rhyl and less than 48 hours later a second cup final at Farrar Road against Bodedern. Needless to say we lost both of them. The reply he got when he questioned the league was “this is the price of success”.
“People aplenty have said to me, he was a gentleman, he was respected by all, he was a mate, a true friend – yes he was all of that. He was also my friend, a good bloke who loved to talk our talk – football. I will miss his company and the banter we had in the Railway Club in Holyhead.”
Bob Brodie made a huge and lasting impression on me like he did so many others.
He was a gentleman, a generous friend who knew when to have a laugh and when to be serious. He will go down as an Anglesey football legend.
Rest in peace dear friend. I’ll never stop celebrating your name.