Notts County Football Club has been saddened to learn of the passing of broadcaster and reporter Brian Tansley at the age of 61.
Fellow Notts supporter and broadcaster Andrew James has penned the following, paying tribute to a man hugely respected by County fans, staff and players from down the years:
It is with great sadness that I pen these words about my friend and mentor Brian Tansley, who sadly passed away in March. Brian was known to so many at Notts County and not just as a reporter with a distinctive and hugely knowledgeable style. He was also a tireless ambassador for the club’s former players he cajoled and galvanized into what is now a thriving Ex-Players Association.
Nobody should underestimate the contribution Brian Tansley made to the local sporting scene. Those of a certain age who remember rushing to collect their copy of Nottingham Sport to see if their own weekend exploits captured in print, should know that paper was Brian’s baby. His work in support of local football never waned and his determination to give Notts County a voice on independent local radio should never be forgotten.
Local radio in those days was all Kid Jensen and adverts – and although Brian struggled with Jimmy Sirrel’s passion for the media – a passion to make life awkward more often than not - getting his beloved Notts County on air and providing healthy competition for the BBC was Brian’s driving force and he never failed to keep the Magpies flying high on top of the local sporting agenda.
Brian was my next door neighbour through my teenage years – and I will never forget walking home past County Hall from a Notts reserves match when he asked me if I would like to do some reporting on Radio Trent’s Sports Programmes with him. I was barely 20 years old and working in banking, but this was my big break – first Arnold Town, then Shepshed Charterhouse, and eventually – seven of the best years of my life following Mansfield Town home and away under Ian Greaves. All of that and everything since I owe to Brian Tansley.
He didn’t suffer fools gladly – many an error was punished with a vinyl 45 or a radio cartridge being flung across the studio – but if it was for Brian, it had to be right – radio and life in general perhaps needs more of that than the bland mediocrity he despised.
Sometimes, as Messrs Clemence and Shilton found out, life deals cruel blows of timing. Good people find their progress blocked by the presence of equally good people. Had there been no Colin Slater MBE, then Brian Tansley may well have been “Mr Notts County” on the radio airwaves today.
Had there been no Dennis McCarthy MBE on BBC Radio Nottingham, then Brian would have easily taken that “housewives choice” mantle too. As fate had it, Brian’s talent never got the audience it deserved. But in reality, he was the best “all round” broadcaster this City has ever known. I’m not sure how good Colin is on Sir Cliff Richard or Cabaret, but I know Dennis McCarthy bless him was no football commentator!
Brian Tansley’s talent and his love of Notts County must never be forgotten. Rest in peace Brian and thanks for the memories.