Loss of a Gooner

Hi this is Mike, dandan’s youngest son. It is with profound sadness that I have to inform you that my Dad, Cliff, died yesterday evening. It was completely unexpected and from what we can gather happened instantly. I got here as fast as I could to find the paramedics trying everything to save him. It was not to be.  I know he had many friends and contacts on his beloved blog, so I thought it only best to let you all know.

60 Responses to Loss of a Gooner

  1. LB says:

    RIP Dandan you will be sorely missed.

  2. GunnerN5 says:

    How very sad I hope you rest in peace. Your wisdom will be missed here on AA.

  3. Ghana Gooner says:

    RIP. Will miss the insightful posts.

  4. Kinabalu Sabah says:

    God bless his soul…remembered always

  5. Glic says:

    First job in Gooner Heaven for you dandan……..some paranormal activity of the ball into Everton`s net !.
    Dennis Bless !.

  6. RIP Dandan, one of the “Wise Old Owls” of AA.

    Very thoughtful of you, Mike, to give us the sad news.
    Best wishes, Big Al.

  7. Arsenalista says:

    This brought me out if hiding. A few of you probably know me as Jamie.

    DanDan was very much a cornerstone of this site. A good blogger and engaged in friendly debate with anyone.

    Rest in peace. Once a gooner, always a gooner.

  8. kelsey says:

    I don’t know what to say,Mike.

    Your Dad and I had been friends through AA for a number of years and we spoke regularly.

    I knew he had various illnesses but always remained positive.

    I had an e mail from him two days ago about further concerns about his health and his main concern was for his ailing wife Ann.

    He was such a support for me I really don’t know what further to say except RIP.

    I know you will but please look after your mother.

  9. Rasp says:

    My sincere condolences Mike – to you and all the family.

    dandan as we affectionately know him, was a true gentleman, an inspiration to us all and above all a really top bloke …. we shall all miss him terribly.

  10. VCC says:

    So saddened to hear this news. Whenever I saw a post by Dandan I made it a point to read his input.

    Such a top Gooner.

    RIP Dandan……..God bless.

  11. jordangooner says:

    Hello Mike. I am very sorry to hear about your father’s passing, and would like to pass on sincere condolences from myself and all Gooners in Jordan.


    Condolences to you and the whole family Mike.

    I was not fortunate to meet your father, but from his posts he was the kindest and most gentle soul to frequent this site.

    His ability to be fair and impartial always struck a chord with me.

    God Bless

  13. RA says:

    I am utterly shocked and saddened to hear the news of Cliff’s sudden passing.

    His was the voice of reason and wisdom, in a sometimes turbulent media, when talking about his beloved Arsenal, but first and foremost in his mind was his wife and family.

    A special man.

    Requiescat in Pace – rest in peace, DanDan, I will miss you.

  14. Ola -Precious says:

    RIP to Dandan, we’ll all miss him… @mike do take care of ur mum.

  15. Wally Forbes says:

    Mike remember,God loves Gunners.

  16. Big Raddy says:

    Dear Mike,

    I never met or spoke to your father but he has been a good friend of mine for some years, such was his wisdom and warmth that I felt I knew him well.

    As many have said he was the voice of reason on the blog and will be much missed. The Arsenal family have lost one of their own.

    It is a sad day for all who had contact with a lovely man

    I wish you and your family long life

  17. My condolences to all the clan, this is a very sad day.

    Cliff was a delightful man, so kind and thoughtful and he adored his family.

    His position was always positive and his kind words will stay with me forever.

    RIP dandan, a very dear man xx

  18. arnie says:

    sad sad day, sad news. condolences, Mike, and everyone in the family. RIP Dandan.

  19. Soter Emem says:

    Sincerest condolence to Mike & all the family from myself & all Gooners in Nigeria

  20. arnie says:

    what a loss! this was just one day before his death. so full of positive thoughts an energy!

    dandan says:
    April 4, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    GN5 wonderful times and great post well done.
    I have recounted elsewhere on here, how we arrived at WHL to find an endless queue around the ground, tactics then took over 🙂 The spuds had not opened the gates that protected the courtyard in front of the turnstiles. The queue therefore started at this gate and wound away to the right from the White Hart pub and into the distance. I and my two mates purchased three halfs of shandy, then stood outside the pub on the left, opposite the queue head pretending to drink them.

    The gates were then opened and the police who had their backs to us, had their hands full trying to control the Queue which surged forward and raced for the turnstiles, we meanwhile put our untouched drinks on a windowsill “I think”and legged it to the turnstiles and were therefore among the very first into the ground. We positioned ourselves in the enclosure.

    My brother a regular spurs supporter always went to a door round the side of the ground that the press used, knocked on the door slipped the steward a few bob and he and another mate walked straight in and joined us. My greatest memory of that night the ground turning red when we scored and how almost all the spurs had a disappeared by the time the whistle went. My mates and I gave our tickets for the final away and watched the game at my parents home.

    Was a good week to be an Arsenal fan and the streets next morning were packed solid. As GN5 pointed out the Fairs Cup had wet our appetite and we thought we were set fair to clean up, didn’t happen like that, which is probably why us old uns generally have no time for the no tinpots for 9 years nonsense.

    Ah memories GN5, great memories

    dandan says:
    April 4, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Charlie Georges real problem was he could not stand the ex Army disciplinarian that was Bertie Mee and the feelings were mutual. Bob Wilson who had been the sports master at Charlies old school understood him and had no problems with him.
    The officious I am an officer attitude of Mee however would not bend and even the efforts of Don Howe and Frank Mclintock could not save Charlie from himself.

  21. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Dear Mike,
    What terrible, terrible news. I am so sorry.
    I was lucky enough to have dinner with your Father on one occasion down here in Devon. No surprise what he was doing down here. Being supportive of his sick Brother. Throughout the evening, we obviously spoke of his love of Arsenal, but also values and loves, foremost of which were his Family.
    He brought a sense of perspective and wisdom to this site, which touched each of our lives. Never has the term a “Gentle Man” been more appropriate.
    I will miss him.
    All my thoughts are with his family and friends.

  22. Didn’t know Cliff, but will miss his excellent work on this site.
    Condolences to all of the family on their sad loss.

  23. arnie says:

    Perhaps this is the best thought today for the man, and for the game! What a sage!! What a man!!!

    dandan says:
    April 3, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Great stuff Mickey but find myself unable to join in the frivolity due to the Hillsborough inquest which I am following on Twitter, any of us older Arsenal fans know it could have been us as we had all been to games at Hillsborough. Would we have acted as well as a club I hope so.

    Please find a minute to go and read the tweets that are coming out of the inquest as the families pay their tributes to the 96.

    We play Everton this weekend they like us are a classy club and if you have not seen it watch their chairman Bill Kenwright making the speech (below) to the Kop at the last memorial service, Class personified.
    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lK-DKzc3rmI&w=560&h=315%5D

  24. chas says:

    Shocking to hear of the passing of a true Gunner.

    My favourite Dandan story involved a trip to Sunderland in a brown Cortina with some mates to watch the team that brings us all together.

    Condolences to you and the family.

  25. GoonerB says:

    I am very Saddened to hear this Mike and my condolences to you and the whole family. I am sure most people on here Mike will feel like we have lost one of our own family and I must thank and applaud you for taking the time to come on here and let us know at what must be a very difficult time. I am just sitting down to watch the game with an ice cold one and I have just raised a toast to the one and only Dandan.

  26. RockyLives says:

    Such sad news. Thank you for letting us know, Mike, at what is obviously a difficult time for the family.

    Like BR, I never met or spoke to your father but I have counted him as a friend for some years.

    One of the true, authentic voices of this blog and clearly a wise and kind man.

    His loss to this place is irreparable. I can only imagine what his loss to you and your family’s life must feel like.

    God Bless Dandan. A good man. A good Gunner.

  27. Irishgunner says:

    Condolences Mike to you and your family

    RIP Dandan

  28. jnyc says:

    Mike, thank you for taking the time to write to us, our thoughts are with you and your family.

  29. dandan says:

    Hi all you Arsenal bloggers. This is Mrs. Dandan (Anne). Thankyou one and all for your kind wishes following Cliff’s sudden demise last night. As you all so rightly say he was a true gentleman, and lived for his family and his team. We had over 22 years of wedded bliss, and I really don’t know how life without him will be bearable. He was my husband, my soulmate, my friend and so much more.

  30. Domhuail says:

    As an occasional blogger on AA and an admirer of Dandan, it is a very sad day indeed for AA and Arsenal supporters to hear this news. My condolences and parayers are with his family and friends today.

  31. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Anne, may I offer my sincere condolences to you and your family. I never met Dandan, never even spoke to him in person but felt that I knew him through his words. He will be sorely missed and Arsenal has lost a true supporter.

  32. R.I.P. Dandan. I did not know you but thought of you as a proper Arsenal man. Condolences to the family.

  33. Brigham says:

    Really sorry to hear this sad news. I rarely post on here these days, although I am a frequent ‘reader’.

    My condolences to the family.

  34. Bayonne Jean says:

    To all of Cliff’s family, our prayers and sympathy are with you.

  35. fatgingergooner says:

    RIP Dandan

  36. Gööner In Exile says:

    I don’t know what to say, reading these comments, DanDan touched us all, as others have said his family were always foremost in his posts, and he always had words of advice and comfort for any situation. He will be missed by all on AA without doubt, and I can only imagine how he will be missed by his family. Thank you Anne and Mike for sharing the sad news at what must be a terrible time for you all.

    If it is any comfort, only a handful of AAers got to meet DanDan, sadly I was not one, but as you can tell by today’s comments, he was much loved and respected.

  37. Herb'sArmy says:

    Condolences to all Cliff’s – ‘Dandan’ – family.
    Such a sad loss to the whole Arsenal community.
    There are no appropriate words in times of heartache.
    RIP Cliff.

  38. Lei says:

    A very sad day indeed 😦
    RIP Dandan

  39. Terrible news. RIP Dandan. My condolences to his family.

  40. Just heard the news sad day RIP Dandan.
    And our condolences to the family of Dandan

  41. Mariella says:

    I blog very, very infrequently but RIP, Dandan.

  42. MacGooner says:

    Hi Mike, So sorry to hear of Cliff’s passing. I lived in Spain until 2011 and met Cliff via his Brother Allan and Pat (Allan’s wife), when Cliff visited them. I actually watched a few games with him on TV whilst he was in Spain and enjoyed his Company very much. Allan has had quite serious Health problems over the last year or so and I know Cliff has been a ‘brick’ for him during that time and I know how much Allan loved his Brother – he was like a Dad to him – and how much he will be missed. A true Gooner – Rest in Peace, mate – Ian (aka MacGooner)

  43. JanMan says:

    Hello Mike. My condolences to you and your family. God Bless. RIP Dandan. You will be greatly missed.

  44. neamman says:

    As another one of the oldies here the passing of Dandan is also a personal reminder that we should make the most of what little time we have.
    God bless him and his family.

  45. kelsey says:

    I have just spoken to Cliff’s wife and she is opverwhelemed at the very kind words from so many people,and though filled with her sudden grief,she still wanted to thank you one and all.
    There will be a post mortem and when the date of the funeral is known,I will publish it on the site.

  46. JM says:

    To the faithful departed – dandan

  47. Shard says:

    RIP dandan..

    Always a pleasure to read his views, a voice of reason and yet such passion for the club. Even though I hardly knew him, I still feel a sense of loss. He will be missed. My condolences to his family and friends.

  48. RedMJ says:

    RIP dandan. My sincere condolences and thoughts go out to his family.

  49. Cyril says:

    I am usually just a silent reader of this blog, but on this occasion I cannot help but react to this very sad news. Cliff positive attitude to all things Arsenal and to life is general was and will always be a great example to follow. His passionate yet wise and optimistic comments will be sorely missed. RIP dandan, Sinceres condolences to the family.

  50. Jamie says:

    RIP to Dandan, clearly a wise man, who wrote some of the best posts I’ve ever read on any blog site.

  51. White Bear says:

    Mike – Sincere condolences to your family and especially to your mother Anna. Shocking and sad news.
    My favourite Dandan story was about the ghosts in the pub and the super fit dog. Great man, tragic loss to all Gooners

  52. kelsey says:


    I have noted your suggestions re some sort of tribute to Cliff but it is early days and Ann is in a state of shock.

    I want to give Anne a little bit of breathing space as Cliff’s death was so sudden and unexpected,but I do know that she is overwhelmed by the many many tributes to her husband.

    I would suggest that any other forms of suggestions or tributes be listed on this thread only and as I said on Sunday I will speak to Anne over the weekend and ask her what she seems would be appropriate.

    I can tell you this, that literally hours after Cliff’s passing she wanted to phone either Rasp,peaches or myself but couldn’t find our telephone numbers.

    That in itself shows us how much she knew Cliff cared about his friends on AA.

  53. kelsey says:


    I meant listed on the thread Loss of a Gooner not our daily post,

    Raddy or Rasp kindly switch over my commen.

  54. dandan says:

    Hi this Mike, Dandans son it you will permit me there are some thoughts I would like to share. This post may meander somewhat and certainly wont be written with skill and finesse that my Dad was so skilled at.

    First of all please can someone email me (my email address is mikewbrooke@hotmail.com) Dad’s log in details for this site. I am worried that if we come off this site we wont be able to log on again. Please can you also forward me a link to the login page.

    I knew with a moral certainty that my Dad was a great man. From the way he treated me alone it was clear that his heart was pure and filled with unconditional love. The friendship, no the bond we had was so important to me. I picked up the phone or dropped in and he was there. I can’t even attempt to sum up all he was to me on here but he was the best and the fact he is gone has left me devastated.

    I said above I knew Dad was a great man because of the way he treated me but that doesn’t scrape the surface. I was witness to the immense love he had for his wife Anne a lady who devoted herself to him as he was to her. They promised each other till death do us part and they made it. It came far far too soon but they made it. I saw the way he loved his other two kids my brother and sister with a love that came from a promise he made and pride in them that put a spring in his step and an extra purpose in his life. Then there are his grandkids, goodness me does he love all of them. They were his kids you see, we their parents just got to look after them. They were his happy thought and they filled his life wonder, joy and unbridled happiness. I promise you Dad I will look after the two I gave you in the manner that you would expect.

    All of this I already knew before he was ripped from us on Saturday evening. What I never fully appreciated was all he did for so many of you. The memories and thanks you have shared have shown me a part of his life that I was on the fringes of and I thank you for your generosity in allowing me that insight.

    Now I don’t know if any of you know this but I am a Liverpool fan. Yes I can hear the boos and hisses loud and clear. You will be delighted to know that Dad never let me forget that “It’s all up for grabs now.” Michael Thomas goal. Every single year on that date he would send me an email or facebook post to remind me. He was normally kind enough to include a you tube clip of the goal. I would send him a suitable reply. Our football was a massive part our life and we watched as many games together as we could. The banter we have had about football over the years helped me become the man I am and prepared and toughened me up for whatever people may throw at me.

    One of things I would always give him stick about was after every game, the moment the whistle went he would spin round in his chair and look at this site. For someone who agreed with his take on the game and show me I knew nothing. “See he said they shouldn’t have sent anyone off as the ball was going wide, they agree with me on the blog.” I replied “Dad what do they know, they all have their Arsenal glasses on as well.” And so it would continue……..

    I could go on and on but mostly I came on here this morning to thank you all for your brilliant messages and to apologize for logging on here and the other day and giving you such horrid news. What I was not prepared for was your fantastic response.

    I will post on here the details of the funeral and should any of you wish to come you would of course be very welcome. We live just outside of Peterborough.

  55. Sav from Australia says:

    Rest in peace a true gentleman. Alas the good are always taken too soon.

  56. kelsey says:

    The funeral will be on the 25th APRIL AT 14.00 HOURS AT Crowland Abbey.

  57. Vinay says:

    So sorry to hear this, rest in peace sir.

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