After a success trial at third division Brentford, the 6ft 2inch midfielder / striker signed professional terms with the Bees and in return his former non-league side Bedmond Social received a set of tracksuits as payment. Aged 20, Bob made his professional debut in 1978 against his hometown side Watford. After a decade at Griffin Park he amassed over 250 appearances and scored 42 league goals, he was Player of the Year in 1982 and helped Brentford reach Wembley in 1985 in the final of the Football League Trophy. A year later Bob suffered a career threatening injury which left him surplus to requirements and he was awarded a testimonial and a free transfer.
In 1988, aged 30, Sheffield United manager David Bassett snapped up the versatile Booker and it was an inspired signing as he played a key role, captaining the Blades to promotion from the third division to the top flight in just three seasons. At Bramhall Lane, Booker became a cult hero and you would often here the United faithful sing ‘Oh ah, Bob Bookaah’ from the Kop End. He made 109 appearances and scored 13 goals for the Blades in his three years in South Yorkshire.
Unfortunately injuries struck again and in 1991, the Brentford Hall of famer returned to Griffin Park and helped them to the Third Division title in 1992 before hanging up his boots in 1993.
90 seconds, 11 Q&A with Bob Booker:-
1) Childhood team growing up? Leeds United. I had a family member at Leeds University so would visit him and then watch Leeds (in the Don Revie era)
2) First pair of football boots owned? Puma Kings size 10 which I wore all throughout my career.
3) Did you have a nickname in the dressing room and how did you get it? I had a nickname at Sheffield United which was Ooh Aah Bob Bookaah.
4) Favourite teammate? At Brentford it was Terry Evans and at Sheffield United it was Chris Wilder.
5) Toughest opponent? Graham Souness and Mark Hughes.
6) Which player do you wish you’d had the chance to play with? George Best. I had the pleasure of playing against him at the latter part of his career and have the photo in my scrapbook.
7) Favourite football shirt you’ve played in? The infamous Sheffield United away shirt from Umbro in 1991. It was luminous yellow.
8) Best stadium for atmosphere? Bramall Lane , Sheffield United. In front of the Kop End.
9) Biggest influence on your career? My Dad. He was my mentor, my agent, my inspiration.
10) Most prized possessions from your playing days? All my memories.
11) What keeps you busy these days? I’m a driving instructor and work in hospitality / media for Brighton and Hove Albion. I also really enjoyed working on my biography ‘Ooh Aah: The Bob Booker story by Greville Waterman’.
Bob Booker @ooh_ahh4