It’s the end of another Brian McBride era, except this time it’ll be his last as he announced his retirement just a couple of days ago. Normally a player who only scored 40 goals in 160 games would only be remembered for being a decent player who gave the the club good service but McBride will go down as one of the all time Fulham fan’ favourites.
There is very little that you can criticise him for, his professionalism and application on the pitch were impeccable and he scored key goals time and time again to save us from relegation, none more so than those 3 key goals in the great escape of 08 against Reading, Birmingham and Everton. He was willing to put his head where no head has been before in order to win balls in the air or get a shot in and who can forget a bloodied McBride from the 2006 world cup carrying on like nothing had happened after a slightly naughty elbow from De Rossi. And for all of his passion, commitment, bravery, team work, all the things that will make any player a sure fire Fulham favourite, he was a really, really good footballer. Intelligent, strong and unrivalled in the air with a good touch and technique, not to mention capable of some terrific finishes, McBride really was the perfect striker and in my opinion the most underrated since the Premier League began. If there was one criticism it would be that he was too unselfish because there’s no doubt in my mind if he could easily have banged in 20 a season, but then we wouldn’t have loved him as much.
No doubt someone who embodied Fulham like very few players have, someone prepared to sit with fans and understand the club, and it’s such a shame we haven’t had the chance to say a proper goodbye. Following our failed loan attempt for him a year and a half ago his fans forum was called off after a game was postponed, but let’s hope it’s third time lucky eh?
So McBride, on behalf of all Fulham fans, thanks.