Basket
×

Your basket

Join The FSA

Farewell ‘Brian the Bluebird’

This is a story from the Supporters Direct archive – the FSF and Supporters Direct merged to become the FSA in 2019 – so this page may contain hyperlinks that do not work and/or have missing files. Our archived pages are not maintained and will not be updated.

If you are seeking a document regarding training or development of your supporters’ organisation, please visit the live training and resource section of our website. if you need further assistance email: [email protected]

Cardiff City supporters recently said goodbye to long-serving Trust member Brian Mertens, who has died at the age of 66. Tim Hartley pays tribute to a founding member of the Cardiff Trust and one of the great advocates of the trust movement.

There’s one of them at every club in Britain, an individual or small group of people who are a permanent fixture on match days. It may be the old man with straggly hair you’ve seen chaining his bike to the railings for years, the woman who’s been selling programmes from that booth seemingly forever or the family you’ve watched growing up at the player’s entrance collecting autographs.

One such permanent at Cardiff City was Brian Mertens, ‘Brian the Bluebird.’ Come rain or shine every match day Brian would be standing with his walking stick outside the Supporters Trust office just around the corner from Gate 5 at the Cardiff City Stadium, recruiting new members, selling raffle tickets or just chatting about the team.

Brian was a stalwart of the Cardiff Trust and served on its board since its inception. He was our ‘Trust Liaison Officer’ and would invite members from trusts of opposition teams to come and meet us before games. Through his work, we made many new friends as we stood outside the office sharing our experience and advice with supporters from across the leagues. Despite his long-term illness he worked tirelessly to improve the game. A better example of creating ‘friendship through football’ you could not have hoped to meet.

Brian also represented Cardiff at Supporters Direct’s Championship Group meetings and was a regular at the annual supporters’ summit. We would drive to Birmingham or to London together and talk all the way about ‘the City,’ Wales’ prospects at the Euros or who we should sign next. Well informed and passionate in his beliefs Brian was good company and a good friend.

He believed in the principles of supporter representation and was determined to hold the club and the game to account for the benefit of us all. Thanks Brian for everything you did for our trust and for the movement. We will miss you.

Tim Hartley is Vice Chair of Supporters Direct.

Related Articles

FC United beat Enfield Town to win 2021 Brian Lomax Trophy

On Saturday, FC United of Manchester beat Enfield Town 3-1 to win the 2021 Brian Lomax Trophy – a fixture celebrating community ownership and promoting supporter-owned clubs in the game.

Peacehaven win the Brian Lomax Cup

Peacehaven & Telscombe came out on top to win the Brian Lomax Cup in a closely fought contest against Dunstable Town on the south coast on Saturday 22nd July. Richard Irving explains more

#ICYMI: Strife of Brian

Dutch giants Ajax are currently near the bottom of Eredivisie and are having a terrible season by all accounts with just two wins. Their dreadful form culminated in a 5-2 thrashing at longtime rivals PSV this week and Brian Brobbey’s profligate finishing is hardly helping matters. Comedic stuff.

Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund

Partners

  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • Pledgeball