14th January 2012 Crawley Town
January 1, 2000
Whilst our last home game ended in another home defeat the Villa match, Paul Buckle’s dismissal, did at least provide us with a break from the monotony of League losses, a sellout crowd and a return to the fantastic atmosphere that is created by a full house here at the Memorial Stadium.
The atmosphere was made especially poignant by what was supposed to be a one minute silence to mark the passing of Club President and former Chairman Denis Dunford. In fact it developed into a spontaneous outbreak of applause
and a chorus of ‘Goodnight Irene’ that made the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. I was just able to make it in time on to the touchline to join the Club’s Directors from my 50150 Draw duties and it was a minute or so that I will never forget.
Denis and his son Geoff, (so much maligned in the past by certain ignorant sections of so called ‘supporters’), along with colleagues such as another former Chairman, Ron Craig, saved this club from extinction during the 1980’s by taking bold business decisions. No Football League club had ever ground shared with a non League side before we went to Bath but the controversial move saved Rovers. It took a long time, a decade in fact, a lot of hard work and a lot of fruitless and frustrating discussions
with planners, councillors and other officials to bring the club back to Bristol where, incredibly, we now own our own ground with a move to a super new stadium just a couple more planning meetings away! To be in complete control of our own destiny just 25 years after the mess we finally endured at dear old Eastville is a major achievement thanks to a few great Rovers men – none of them greater than Denis Dunford.
RIP Denis – Rovers’ legend!
A record gate for the Memorial Stadium without the South West (Guinness) Stand produced another record according to our Treasurer Sandra Jaques. The 50/50 Draw prize of £1,302 is apparently the biggest in its 15 year history and I’m pleased to report that it went to a ‘regular Gashead’ who travelled up from Weston super Mare on one of our Supporters Club Branch minibuses. The Draw therefore gave a great boost to our support of Rovers’ Youth Scheme that which received some timely praise from Ken Oram in the Villa match programme.
With a late kick off for the benefit of the TV cameras Ken Masters and I had much more time than usual to take in the Youth team’s latest victory at Cribbs Causeway before our usual rush across the north of the city to make it for our first team duties here.
The U-18’s 3-0 victory over Yeovil Town, thanks to a hat-trick from Mitch Harding, was as comprehensive as Villa’s was later to be over Rovers and it took our lads five points clear at the top of the League. My burning desire is that our new manager, whoever he may be, (and hopefully in place by the time you read this), will fully appreciate just what has been achieved here in just two seasons by our Youth Scheme and will continue to bring our home grown talent through into a true Rovers’ first team that is full of Bristolians. Please keep buying the tickets!
Our visitors today, proud leaders of League Two, are the prime example of ‘just what are we doing here?’. After rubbing shoulders in league action over many years, at some time or another against almost every major club in the land, we find ourselves looking up to the likes of Crawley, and on merit I may add! Up and coming former non League teams such as Crawley, Morecambe, Burton and the like, with average home gates less than 25% of our attendance here versus Villa that could have been sold twice over, is very depressing. But, hope springs eternal and, with a new man in charge, possibly today as I said earlier, we can look forward to a brighter future that is more in keeping with a big city club of our stature. Up the Pirates!
Jim Chappell BRSC Chairman
BREAKING NEWS …
Stoke Lane Athletic has been awarded the FA Charter Standard Community Club for season 201112012, well done to everyone at the club.
Our Junior Matchday Parties Scheme is for schools and organised Junior teams who can apply for up to 50 free matchday tickets.
Of the remaining seven home games only Macclesfield and Southend are booked, although four clubs have expressed interest and are currently selecting matches. That, potentially, only leaves one game so please submit your applications in early to avoid disappointment. Please e-mail your applications to:
or phone on 07765 254110
Andreas Spanou of Weston-super-Mare won £1,302 on the 50/50 draw at the Aston Villa game with ticket 59764 sold by Jackie Chapple on the Blackthorn Terrace.
GET BEHIND THE GAS
Good afternoon and welcome to the Memorial Stadium for today’s encounter with newly promoted table toppers Crawley Town.
The Sussex club have done well and, by all accounts, are playing with a good deal of confidence, certainly on their home patch. They played with a lot of energy at their place when we visited them earlier in the season. I am sure we can expect the same today. Welcome to the supporters of Crawley, most if not all will be here at the Mem for the very first time. It was good to see that your team made progress in the FA Cup last weekend. Enjoy your football with the blue two thirds of Bristol and a safe journey home after the game.
At the time of writing we are recovering from a near 11,000 gate for the Aston Villa game and looking forward to a somewhat smaller attendance up at Hereford.
Whoever we play and wherever we go between now and the end of the season we must be up for it. By that I mean supporters as well as players, staff and directors. To my mind we do not have a minute or a game to lose. The new manager with come into a difficult situation not of his own making and we owe it to him to give 110% support and more, home and away.
Our branches continue to organise local transport to games. As I understand it, Norton Radstock members are looking for a full coach to the game at Aldershot on February 4th. Weston super Mare and the Severn Vale Rovers away Travel Service are very active in away travel and support. Gloster Gas link up with Severn Vale for most games; there will be a meet up at Longlevens in the next week or two. Please check the websites for confirmation of date and time and please get along if you live in the North of the Shire.
Fans from Coleford Gas have been demonstrating strong support at away games this season and have been displaying their banner conspicuously and with what would appear to be pride. Would the organisers please get in touch with me or the people at Gloster Gas. We would be very pleased to get to know you and to form links.
On another note it was pleasing to see our U-18’s beat Yeovil so comprehensively last Saturday to open up a five point lead at the top of the Regional Youth Alliance League. They were strong, committed, skilful and together.
Togetherness is a word I have used many times in the past. It is certainly what is needed now at first team level. In August we could have been forgiven for expecting that we would be at the top end, not where we are at this stage. We do not expect to be where we are. We do not want to be where we are. We must be together like never before.
Come on Gas; this is Bristol, come on you Blues.
Ken Masters, BRSC Director
Today we are pleased to welcome Stoke Lane AFC U-12, U-14 U-15 sides who play in the Avon Youth League.
Stoke Lane, based in North Bristol and established in 1979, has over 400 players from U-7 to U-17 boys, and U-10 to U-14 girls. There is also a men’s and ladies team. The teams that join us today are coached by Lee Bryan (U-12), Savy Mastromarino, Paul Russell and James Hillyer (U-14), and Steve Forss and Ian Sweeten (U-15). We extend a warm welcome to them.