Dennis Thwaites

Andy Munro pays tribute to a boyhood hero.

A lot has been said in the media about the Tunisian tragedy, and the passing of Dennis Thwaites has particular poignancy for those of a certain age, particuarly if you’re a Birmingham City supporter.

I grew up supporting Blues from the early sixties when a young Dennis Thwaites burst onto the scene at St Andrews, Trevor Francis style, at the age of 16. Dennis wasn’t a Brummie but came through our youth policy at a time when Blues were a struggling club with little money to spend.

The young Thwaites was a tricky wide player with a thunderous shot and with a bit more confidence could have been one of the club’s all-time greats. He was often the wing partner to higher profile players such as England international Mike Hellawell and the Brummie Bestie, Trevor Hockey. Despite this, Dennis more than played his part and always caused a ripple of excitement when bearing down on goal.

Blues were his one and only club over a loyal ten years which today’s Premier League footballing brats would fail to comprehend. RIP Dennis. They say this sort of thing always happens to the nice guys and that description is a fitting epitaph for a quality footballer and loyal servant of the Blues.