RIP Alan Lacock
January 1, 2000
On Saturday afternoon, just prior to kick off in the game between Rovers and Barnet, a one minute silence was observed, in memory of a very special Bristol Rovers supporter.
It isn’t usual for such a tribute to be made to supporters, but Alan Lacock was no ordinary supporter.
Bristol born Alan, who was 62, passed away on the morning of Friday 18th November, after suffering ill health for some time.
His interest in Rovers started in the late 1950’s .Up until the start of this season he had not missed a home game for fifty years, quite a remarkable record.
As well as the first team Alan regularly watched Rovers Reserve and Youth teams and always followed the progress of those youngsters who made it through to the first team. His favourite Rovers players were Harold Jarman, Bruce Bannister, David Williams, Paul Randall & Marcus Stewart.
While he hadn’t travelled to any away games for a number of years, he followed the fortunes of the club on local radio. He also collected the away programmes, which were added to his growing collection of Rovers programmes, amassed over all those years of following the club.
They were also a source of information for him, as his knowledge and record keeping made him a much sought after individual when anyone had a query regarding not just Rovers, but any team in the country.
Alan had compiled a database recording every lineup of every game ever played by every Football League club and as recently as last season, he was still trying to track down details of the half a dozen or so lineups he needed to complete his not inconsiderable work.
Consequently, he was known to a number of club historians and programme editors up and down the country, as well as the Football League, with whom he was often corresponding regarding lineups and/or goalscorers from some long forgotten game played at the turn of the last century.
He would often show us the responses he received, in the form of photocopies of lineups from the League’s own records, as another piece of the jigsaw was completed.
He was a contributor to the Rovers matchday programme for over thirty years, during which time successive editors of ‘The Pirate’ would beat a path to his door to check their facts, and invariably learn new ones; he really was a mine of information.
With his encyclopaedic knowledge, he often didn’t need to check his database to see, for example, who played in a Rovers fixture some 40 or 50 years ago or even who the referee was; it was all safely stored away in his own memory.
Apart from football, Alan’s other interests were cricket and music and he kept statistics of the summer game as well as his football records
He had amassed what can only be described as a hugely impressive collection of football and cricket programmes books and magazines, along with thousands of vinyl records and a collection of music CD’s that would take an awfully long time to catalogue.
Bristol Rovers, though, were the love of his life and his help to the Supporters Club and to the Football Club will always be remembered with gratitude.
His statistical records were used in a number of Supporters Club Yearbooks in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and, more recently, have been used in a number of other Rovers related publications.
A matchday volunteer, he will be remembered by many as the person who handed out the teamsheets to the press and scouts in the Uplands Stand.
Already suffering with diabetes and acute kidney failure, Alan was admitted to Southmead Hospital in August of this year, just before the start of the new season.
He remained there for almost eleven weeks, and began a course of dialysis whilst he was hospitalised. He suffered a slight heart attack while he was in Southmead, but was well enough to be transferred to a residential care home two weeks ago, and that is where he spent his final days.
He would have been proud that he was remembered by so many people last Saturday, and at this sad time our thoughts go out to his brother Steve and his immediate family, and all of his many friends.