Bees No1 made headlines while on holiday in Thailand in June with Chinese man he saved now a dedicated fan of the Championship side
But the keeper dived into a swimming pool to save a drowning man’s LIFE while on holiday in Thailand in June.
Dan Bentley has been back in training for Brentford ahead of the new season
Dan Bentley and Wang Jue, the man he saved from drowning at the bottom of a swimming pool in Thailand
Bentley’s heroics made the headlines, which he still finds strange as he feels “anyone would have done it.”
But thanks to his bravery the Bees have gained at least one new fan in Shanghai, with grateful Wang Jue promising to support his rescuer and his club as a thank you.
Embarrassed to talk about what he considers “nothing”, humble Bentley told SunSport: “I was in Ko Samui, the missus and I just had a cocktail on the side of the infinity pool.
“All of a sudden, I heard this vigorous splashing.
“I turned round and this guy had his head up and was waving his arms.
“I said to Laura, ‘I don’t know if he’s drowning?’ She turned around and said ‘He’s drowning, you need to go and save him!’
Dan Bentley celebrates as Brentford score a goal
“So I dived in and pulled him towards the shallow end and, as I was pulling him, it felt like he was pushing back against me!
“But when I lived in Hong Kong as a kid, they taught me life-saving techniques.
“He grabbed me really hard, and I was thinking ‘What’s this guy doing?’
“But afterwards, I realised he must just have been so scared that he just grabbed on to anything he could to try to help himself.
“I said to him, ‘Are you all right?’ He was coughing and then said, ‘Yeah, I’m fine’. So I said, ‘You do know that’s two-and-a-half metres deep there, if you can’t swim then stay away from it’.
“He was obviously in shock because he was really pale.
“He said he was fine and then walked off — but came back 15 minutes later and thanked me, shook my hand.
“He asked me what I do and I told him I was a footballer.
“He said, ‘Brentford have got a new fan now, I will watch you from afar’.”
The number crunchers at Griffin Park will no doubt have been delighted to see their keeper’s heroics drum up some good PR in the Far East.
Though Bees fans will just be happy to know Jue did not try to coax Bentley into joining the Chinese Super League!
And as you would expect with boot-room banter, Bentley, 24, still did not escape a good-natured ribbing by his team-mates when they all returned for pre-season training.
He explained: “The first day of training it was all, ‘Here comes the hero’ and I said ‘Yeah, yeah, OK, I’ll let you have that one’.
“It was all good and the lads were interested to be fair, even asking questions.
“The first day back, the manager Dean Smith said, ‘I hope you’ve all had a good holiday.
“I understand some of you have had a busy summer saving lives and taking selfies on Instagram, I won’t mention any names’.”
And if new fan Jue as done his homework, he will know that Brentford are one of the Championship’s most entertaining sides.
Bentley expects more free-flowing football this term but hopes to keep it tighter at the back than last season, when they finished tenth.
The ex-Southend stopper said: “We weren’t happy about the amount of goals we shipped.
“But the main thing is the team and, if we’re winning 4-3, we’re still winning.
“We need a bit more nous and experience. To be a bit more clever in our approach to certain games. But in terms of how we play, it’s great to be behind it and involved in it.
“You can expect more of the same going forward — we just can’t concede as many goals.”
Brentford have boosted their squad with more hidden gems from the lower divisions, such as striker Ollie Watkins, 21, signed this summer from Exeter.
And Bentley is now targeting promotion.
He said: “The feeling in the camp is, ‘Let’s go up’. Why not? Look at what Bournemouth did a couple of years ago.
“They’re not a massive team but they utilised their qualities and skills in the right way and now they’re sustaining themselves in the Premier League.
“Now we’ve also got a new stadium on the horizon and, as a club, everyone is pulling in the right direction.”
There could be more heroic chapters to be added to the story of Bentley’s season yet.
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