Brentford Football Club's oldest supporter Bill Axbey has died aged 102.

Bill died last Friday April 27, just seven weeks short of his 103rd birthday after a two month illness. Bill was one of the oldest football fans in the country and has the unique honour of being older than Griffin Park, Brentford's home ground.

The Bees only moved into Griffin Park in August,1904, a full three months after Bill was born in Ealing Road, Brentford.

In November last year, after seeing his beloved Bees slump to their darkest hour under the leadership of Leroy Rosenior, Bill told The Times how he wanted to see Brentford led out of their current predicament with a manager who was of the same pedigree as Harry Curtis, who managed the club between 1926-49.

"Harry was a wonderful manager - Brentford's best. He wasn't the greatest coach but he was a first class man-manager and wheeler-dealer." Curtis's Brentford had two successive promotions and rose from the Third to the First Division of the Football League between 1933 and 1935, the most notable moment of Brentford's history was a home match with the superstars of Arsenal, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

Bill started watching the Bees in 1918 and recalls his first memories of watching Brentford play at Griffin Park. "When I first started watching the Bees I lived a few doors down from the ground in Ealing Road, so I could watch matches from my upstairs bedroom window. Unfortunately, I could only see three parts of the ground because the nearest goal was obscured!"

Bill even entertained some of the players after matches at his home and recalls:"I remember winger Patsy Hendren, who also played cricket for England in the 1920s, used to pop into my house for tea and would stay for an hour chatting."

The club were very much aware of Bill's local celebrity status and rewarded him with a place as the team's mascot for a home match in 1998 at the age of 95. He also joined in with celebrations marking Brentford's 100th year at Griffin Park by being presented to the fans in 2004, celebrating his own centenary as well.

Bill had recently been unable to attend games due to ill health but recalled memories of some of the greats he witnessed during his time as a season ticket holder in the Braemar Road stand. " The best player I've seen was Ken Coote, a superb full back. There was also a great half-back line of Anthony Harper, Ron Greenwood, who later became England manager, and Jimmy Hill, while Jim Towers and Jim Francis formed the sort of strike partnership fans dream about."

His dedication and unrelenting love for his team even caught the eye of the BBC and last year they told Bill's amazing story to the nation on the Saturday football show, Football Focus. The announcement of Bill's death was felt around the country as his story touched football fans everywhere.

Bill's death came just before Brentford's last home match of a disastrous season against Port Vale. The Bees paid tribute to Bill before the game with a minutes applause, which was honoured superbly by Brentford's faithful. His absence will be felt at Griffin Park, Brentford Football Club have certainly lost one of their true legends.

Bill's funeral will take place at Mortlake Crematorium on Monday, May 14 at 2pm. At 3pm there will be a thanksgiving at The Pittshanger Methodist Church, Pittshanger Lane, Ealing. Instead of flowers donation to Cancer Research UK are invited.