Middlesbrough have officially unveiled a lovely tribute to Ali Brownlee, the much-loved BBC Tees commentator and Boro TV stalwart who sadly passed away in February last year.
Brownlee was the voice of Boro’s highs and lows for three decades, with his impassioned, ecstatic, sometimes delirious delivery earning him bona fide cult hero status.
As such, the club, in conjunction with Middlesbrough Council, have daubed a huge mural along the entire wall of the Shepherdson Way bridge, right next to the Riverside Stadium.
— Andy (@AndyCharlton85) November 2, 2017
The text is taken from Brownlee’s immense monologue, yowled through the tears while watching Boro come from three goals down to beat Steaua Bucharest and go crashing into the 2006 UEFA Cup Final – commentary that famously ended with him inviting everybody back to his for a parmo (Google it).
That is it… It’s Eindhoven. It’s Eindhoven. Boro have made it. One of the most glorious nights in the history of football.
We go back to 1876, the Infant Hercules, fathomed out of the foundries of Teesside, mined out of the Eston Hills, we’re roaring all the way to Eindhoven and the UEFA Cup Final.
It’s party, party, party! Everybody round my house for a parmo!
It’s perhaps fitting that Stewart Downing was on hand to help unveil the mural outside the stadium, as it was his deep cross that Massimo Maccarone headed home in the 90th minute to seal the remarkable victory.
Speaking to Boro’s official club website, Downing said:
I had to be here. Ali was a legend and everyone knows about that commentary. I remember the game, the night and what it meant as if it was yesterday.
It was one of the best moments of my career and I’m sure that’s one of the best bits of commentary Ali came out with.
Mind, there were a few!
The artwork was produced by professional sign writer Phil Anderson and is part of the Middlesbrough Public Poetry initiative, which has already seen several bits of street art dotted hither and thither around the city.
Honestly, it’s the least Brownlee deserves, not that Boro fans would ever forget him anyway.