Geoff Martin – Obituary

January 1, 2000

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We are sorry that this tribute did not appear earlier this was due to circumstances beyond the control of Executive Committee.

Vice President of the Supporters Club, former committee member of and treasurer of Helpline Geoff Martin aged 81 died peacefully in hospital on Tuesday 29th November. Geoff had been seriously ill for a few weeks following a heart attack.

A lifelong Rovers supporter, Geoff attended the inaugural meeting of the Supporters Club in 1947. In his younger days he was a keen and seemingly gifted sportsman playing football in the winter and taking part in athletics during the summer.

He told me that in the early fifties he decided to almost abandon playing in order to support Rovers as he felt that there was a real chance of them pushing up the Football League to the First Division and it was clear that he enjoyed that period in the club’s history. It prompted him to become a lottery agent for the Club and at one point he was selling so many tickets on a weekly basis that he qualified for a season ticket.

He joined the Supporters Club committee when Rovers moved to Twerton becoming a stalwart member and as a trained accountant his keen eye for financial detail was a real asset to the organisation.

Geoff had a variety of interests in addition to football, these included food, speedway and aviation (he was a navigator in the RAF) he also had a passion for Bristol in particular its history and business, devouring the weekly business and nostalgia pages of the Evening Post on a Tuesday.

He was a very gregarious fellow who thrived on company and had a keen eye for the female form, in his younger days he was very much a “ladies man”, and he had many a tale to tell me about his various “conquests”. To listen to him talk in this way or to hear an anecdote about following Rovers was to capture the very essence of Geoff Martin because he did it with a twinkle in his eye.

Bristol Rovers was a major part of his life and when he first became ill three years ago his great frustration was that he could no longer come to matches. We did manage to get him to a game on his 80th birthday just over 18 months ago when he had an unforgettable day with his friends and family.

Even in his last few days he was keen to know about what was happening at Rovers and this formed the basis of a conversation I had with him the night before he died. When I joined the committee we immediately became firm friends and spent many hours mulling over the various issues that affected the Supporters Club as well as the Football Club.

He will be missed not just by his children Steve and Sue and grandchildren, but by the many people who came to know him through Rovers. I am grateful that my involvement gave me the opportunity to call Geoff Martin my friend.

May he rest in peace.

John Malyckyj

  

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