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All that is more important than football.

Untold Arsenal is a blog about football and Arsenal. But there are moments that we have to put this aside and take a instant to reflect on things that are far more important than football.

Those friends of the site who have been Untold readers for many years will know the name “Dogface”. People who have followed the referee review series here and on Referee Decisions will know him. Dogface is one of those contributors who made Untold Arsenal what it is now in terms of the variety of its publications, and the number of readers the site gets.

Even more it was Dogface who managed to get our referee reviews and previews into the national media and got us  recognition.  Is it a coincidence or just a terrible twist of faith,  but a few seasons ago Dogface wrote an article that in my opinion is  one of the most famous referee previews in history. He predicted with an accuracy unseen up to then how a certain referee – Lee Mason – would be out to get us. And he was right. It was an amazing article and a  referee preview.

It was a regular item on Untold for a long time and we called his previews  RefWatch.  But somewhere down the line Dogface had to stop. I knew the reason but we didn’t want to invade privacy of Dogface his life.

But last Sunday we got the terrible news.  We heard that our friend’s wife had passed away.    His wife was diagnosed with that terrible disease of cancer a while ago. And that was the reason he had to cut back on the work he did for Untold.

During this long and hard period Dogface had other priorities in his life infinitely more important than writing for Untold. We missed his writing and his vision on the referees a lot. But even in this terrible period he kept on working behind the scenes for Referee Decisions.

Nobody knows  how hard it must have been for him to work on all the numbers and in the mean time take care of his wife and their children.  But Dogface just did that and I and the rest of the Untold crew can only be thankful and grateful for this. Without him there would have been no numbers to show in relation to  last season.

I might be the face of the Referee Reviews but the real hero is the guy who  stayed behind the scenes.

We can only hope that he and the children find the strength to overcome this terrible blow, and from my part of the Untold world I would like to wish him the best. I hope that he and I can meet again when I come to the Emirates later this season and I can shake the hand of the person who should be remembered most when we talk about the referee reviews and everything that has come out of them, in terms of understanding just what refereeing in the Premier League is about.

So in case you have wondered why the RefWatch series suddenly stopped, this is the answer. I know many, many people missed him and his articles and they have wondered what happened at the time.  Untold missed him and his articles.

But as we all know, sometimes there are far more important things than football or Untold Arsenal.

Keep strong, my friend and know that we are all thinking of you at this most difficult time.

Walter Broeckx

52 comments to All that is more important than football.

  • Dogface, if you believe your wife is in a better place the blow of losing her will not seem as hard. Stay strong my friend. You will meet again

  • jambug

    Dogface. May your faith keep you strong. My thoughts are with you and your family at this difficult time.

  • rantetta

    Walter

    I started looking for your email address when I saw the news on Dogface’s timelime. I don’t so twitter/follow so I couldn’t send commiserations to him. I’m so glad you’ve published this article.

    Dogface, until I saw on your timeline that your wife had passed away, I had no idea she had cancer, or that you and your children were suffering. May your wife rest in peace.

    I also pray that somehow – you’re able to grieve, with your children, in some way that allows, with time – the pain to pass.

    I want to say how much I appreciate what you’ve done for Untold Arsenal. Your refwatch previews were the best I’ve ever seen. And I’ve learned so much I wouldn’t have known – from yourself and others on your timeline – about certain political things, like the selling off of NHS/corruption in football, and many other things. I’ve always seen you as the unsung hero here on Untold Arsenal.

    I can’t imagine what you’re going through, but again, I wish you Peace.

  • Andrew Crawshaw

    Dogface, you and your family are in my prayers

  • Nelson Wong

    Thank you Dogface for your contribution and condolences to you and your family.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Thank you for highlighting Dogface’s contribution to the RefWatch and Referee Review on Untold , Walter .
    To Dogface and family , I do hope that God will guide and direct you all in this trying time . Stay strong , brother .

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love.
    Leo Buscaglia.

    When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.
    Author Unknown

  • My condolences to Dogface and his family.

  • MAY THE ALMIGHTY GIVES YOU STREGTH IN THIS HARD TIME, GOD BLESS.

  • LRV

    Dogface, I had quietly wondered where you went. I did not know what you and your family were going through. You, along with a few others, I consider to be my ‘untold family’. Even though we have not had the pleasure of meeting, I feel quite honoured to call you, along with Tony and Walter, Friend. You guys inspired me to join AISA.

    Please accept my condolence. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. My the Good Lord grant you the fortitude with which to bear this loss. Amen.

  • Lekan Gunner

    I wish him comfort, strength and peace.
    May God give u d strength, comfort and peace

  • Mandy Dodd

    Dogface, very best wishes to you and your family at this time.
    And huge respect for what you have done on this site, for our club, and the game as a whole.

  • Ian Jenkinson

    Dogface, all my thoughts and prayers are with you and your children. Such a loss is hard to take. Stay strong and be brave. The Untold Arsenal family are all right behind you.

  • Nakew

    My condolences go to Dogface and his family.
    May God give him the strength to bear the loss
    and complete the rest of his journey?

  • Take heart DogFace,

    I truly understand what you’re going through. I lost my wife ten months ago. It’s really painful.

    We just take things in perspective now.
    May her soul rest in peace.

  • ClockEndRider

    Dogface,
    Deepest condolences for your loss, sir.

  • Adam

    @Dogface,

    Unlike football there is no rule book on what your going through or have been through, there is no right or wrong way to go about dealing with the death of a loved one.

    I would like you to know that others have felt a terrible loss, and as painful as it is, we get through these tough times with the support and love of those closest to us.

    I’m sure you will find comfort with your friends and family, but also wish to extend my hand of friendship, and want you to know that myself and all of Untold’s regular readers have you in their thoughts and prayers.

    My deepest regards & condolences.

    Adam Brogden.

  • Rufusstan

    After giving my condolences in the thread yesterday, all I can offer is my continuing good wishes in such a difficult time.

    At moments like these words seem so inadequate. All I can hope is the knowledge that you are in the thoughts of so many will give you a moment’s solace, or a little extra strength to deal with the days to come.

  • Arvind

    Stay strong Dogface. Words are poor comforters at times like these and if there is anything any of us here can do (I take the liberty of speaking for many here) for you to help out – just send us an Email.

  • bjtgooner

    My deepest sympathy to you and your family at this difficult time. May God bless and comfort all.

  • Dogface,

    My condolences to you and your family. I wish for you the fortitude to bear and cope with the loss.

    Stay strong my friend.

  • insideright

    As far as I know, Dogface, we’ve never met. But our links are strong and my thoughts are with you and your family.

  • Mick

    Dogface,
    Heartfelt condolences for your loss. I am sure you will find the strength to come through this and time will soothe the pain.

  • Gonnerjoe

    Sorry for your loss Dogface.

  • Thank you for all the kind words my friends – they mean a lot to me during this time and give me some support.

    9jagunnerdoc – I’m sorry for your loss too.

  • Strus

    Wow. What story, what a hero. Thank WAlter for letting us know what happened. This site is better than many families. Dogface, may God bless you in your life’s drama.

  • dan

    Sorry to hear of your loss, stay strong.

  • nicky

    DogFace,
    At this sad time it may not be apparent that you and the family are not alone. But you have the thoughts and prayers of so many to be a consolation in your loss.
    Rest assured my friend that your darling is now in a better place, free of all pain, from where she will watch over all of you, in sure and certain hope that one day you will all be united.
    Bear in mind that thankfully, children are by nature very resistant and they will be of great comfort to you during your own time of mourning.
    Although losing a loved one is never easy to bear, it will become less hard, believe me, and I truly hope you will find happiness again in time….the great healer. healer.

  • Unbelievable belief

    Truly sorry to hear of your loss,
    Dogface.

  • kaius

    For Dogface,

    My sincerest condolences. You will find the strength and wisdom to keep going.

  • robl

    @ Dogface, there’s nothing we can say to take the pain away, but you are in all of our thoughts and prayers.

  • Pat

    Thank you, Dogface, for all the work you have put in for us Untold readers.

    So very sorry to hear your sad news. Heartfelt condolences to you and your children.

  • Pete

    Dogface – my deepest sympathies to you and your family.

  • rantetta

    For those interested I’m posting a brilliant article presented by Dogface 2 years ago. It’s about our Mikey D. 4th ref is A. Taylor:

    RefWatch – Tottenham Hotspur Vs Arsenal (02-10-2011 – 16:00)
    http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/14953

  • Tasos

    Sorry to hear such sad news.

    My condolences.

  • sebjob

    its good that you are standing behind him, and I hope he gets all the support he needs. Dogface, my condolences and wish you resilience to get through this

  • OMGArsenal

    Dogface or whatever your real name is, rest assured that the ENTIRE Arsenal family are behind you at this difficult moment. We eagerly await your return but also send our prayers and positive thoughts to you and your children. I will say an extra special prayer in Church this Sunday in memory of your wife and for the ongoing grace you will need.

  • marcus

    My heartfelt condolences Dogface.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    My condolences.

  • Gooner Murphy

    @ Dogface
    My condolences on your terrible lost for you & your Family you’re in my prayers may your darling wife Rest In Peace God bless you all.

  • Mahdain

    @Dogface my deepest condolences. Thoughts go out to you and your family. Stay strong

  • Tjekem

    I know that words are not enough Dogface, but know that we feel your pain and will pray that you get the strenght for you kids and yourself.

    My condolences…

  • soglorious

    …Faith can sing in time of sorrows; all will be well… My thoughts and condolences with you my friend, brother, fellow gooner and UntoldArsenal family member.

  • ARSENAL 13

    Condolences

  • blacksheep63

    very sorry to hear this news, my thoughts are also with you @Dogface

  • Kentetsu

    DogFace, my condolences for your loss. I hope you will find strength and support from your friends and family in this difficult time.

  • Jon

    Hi DogFace. Truly sorry to hear about your loss. My utmost condolences and like so many have said on here already, we’re all behind you. Best wishes to you and your family.

  • That’s terrible news and although I do not know you I send my sincerest condolences. Cancer is a dreadful disease and try your best to be positive, as she is no longer suffering.

  • elkieno

    My condolences Dogface.
    Perspective this does bring, I only had a daughter 18months ago and my wife is pregnant with a boy, we only know too well how strong, important and needed women, wives and mothers are. I would die just about, if I lost my wife (knock on wood, tap, tap, tap) my daughter loves her mum so much I feel about to cry just thinking about it.
    Rest in Peace, Dogfaces wife, rest in peace!
    And may you and the kids come stronger at the other end.
    Oh and COYG we can win it for dogface!

  • AL

    My sincere condolences Dogface, stay strong.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    …all condolences and thoughts to you Dogface. Hope you can find some peace somehow.

  • Ben L

    My prayers to you and your family through these sad times. I for one will look forward to your return to Untold. May you find strength through all these messages of support from us Gooners.