Wally Downes was handed his first managerial role by Brentford chairman Ron Noades, on June 28 2002.
Wally had been working as the assistant to The Bees' previous manager, Steve Coppell, who resigned earlier that month after taking the club to the brink of promotion in the Second Division play-offs.
Wally was the unanimous choice of the Brentford board, despite a host of applicants for the post – believed to have included former Arsenal and England legend Tony Adams.
Wally Downes took up a coaching position at Griffin Park in the summer of 2000, having gained experience at Crystal Palace after fifteen years as a professional player at Wimbledon and Sheffield United.
A tough yet skilful midfielder, Wally signed for Wimbledon from apprentice in 1979, and is generally credited with the dubious honour of inventing 'The Crazy Gang'. He was part of the side that climbed from Division Four to the top flight under Dave Bassett, making nearly 200 appearances for the Dons despite suffering three broken ankles during his career.
Loaned out briefly to Newport County in 1987, Wally signed for Sheffield United the following year and made a handful of appearances for The Blades before being forced to call time on his playing days.
Brentford finished 16th in Division Two in Wally's first season in charge as well as reaching the southern section semi final of the LDV Vans Trophy, where they were beaten by Cambridge on a golden goal.
The following season saw The Bees struggle somewhat as they slipped into the relegation zone in 2004. After a run of five successive defeats, which left them second from bottom, Wally was "relieved of his managerial responsilibities" at Griffin Park on March 14th.
Since managing Brentford, Downes has had coaching spells with Reading and Southampton.