Melvin Tenner – a tribute
The Supporters’ Trust was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Melvin Tenner, lifelong Fulham fan, erstwhile Chair of the Supporters’ Club and co-founder of Fulham 2000, the campaign which raised awareness and funds to support the battle to save Craven Cottage from demolition.
His tireless contribution to that cause was fundamental to its success and Melvin never stopped fighting against the plans which would have seen our beloved football ground turned into a site filled with luxury flats.
Melvin was a rather private person with a huge intellect and the driest sense of humour. If you go back to the days of the old Supporters’ Club ‘Meet the Manager’ evenings which were often lively and confrontational in a way that seems impossible to imagine now, you’ll remember him presiding over them with wit and wisdom. You will also remember his late wife, Eva, at a table by the door taking entry fees and selling raffle tickets and Supporters’ Club merchandise. Eva was another outstanding and modest character. To me, the couple represented the best of what football supporters can do in terms of giving their time and energy to maintain a legacy and hand it on to the next in line.
Melvin never sought the limelight for himself but quietly rallied the troops to launch Fulham 2000, a campaign that captured the imagination and gained willing help and financial contributions from thousands of supporters. In addition to the obvious battle against property developers, Melvin’s incredible patience and diplomacy brought together disparate parties within the Club and helped immeasurably to improve the relationship between those and supporters themselves. His dogged persistence and ability to negotiate the most delicate situations was invaluable in a way that perhaps few people appreciated at the time.
It is some comfort that Melvin saw the near completion of the new Riverside stand, a commitment and guarantee if ever there was one, that Craven Cottage is here to stay and that it was all worthwhile.
In the late 1980’s, Supporters’ Club committee meetings were held in an upstairs room at The Golden Lion, just as they had been in Melvin’s schooldays. He always remembered the Secretary of the time, Ted Brimble, who eventually went to live in a care home in Farm Lane. Melvin made a point of visiting Ted to chat about old times and ensure he knew he was remembered and that his contribution meant something. The line continues. The Supporters’ Club is no more, but the Trust intends to continue its spirit of genuine fan involvement and passion for Fulham Football Club. We stand on the shoulders of softly spoken giants.
Rest in peace, Melvin.