Millwall programme notes
January 1, 2000
Bristol Rovers Supporters Club Notes compiled by Dennis Payter
From the chair
At Cardiff five of our so-called ‘fans’ were arrested at the railway station for allegedly trying to break through a police cordon to get at home supporters. One was a youth of 15 and another a man of 43. How pathetic is that!
Needless to say, the Supporters Club will continue to ban any individual whose name is notified to us by the Football Club for being convicted in relation to such behaviour but of course the vast majority of ‘Gasheads’ would never get involved. I guess the same can be said of our infamous visitors today but unfortunately all clubs get tarnished by the lurid newspaper headlines such as ‘5 Rovers fans arrested’ etc. They are not fans of football or any club of course but they are fans of anti-social behaviour and unfortunately our great game is the vehicle these morons travel on. The events of the last week or so go to prove that the terrible problems of the 1970’s have not completely disappeared and we must all remain vigilant in an effort to finally rid the game of these individuals – if only!
On a more positive note regarding away travel, the Supporters Club took nine coaches to Cardiff, a venue easily reached otherwise by train and car, and Rovers’ contingent was twice that of the City, whose supporters had to travel in a ‘bubble’ to the same ground three days earlier in the Championship. I was always against this form of restricted travel in what is supposed to be a free society but there is no doubt that Police-escorted coach conveys do make these pressure-cooker ‘derbies’ much safer games to go to. Having said that obviously many hundreds travelled individually and mixed happily with Cardiff fans before and after the game without the need for it to be ‘bubbled’. Long may that continue! Forgive the pun but, ‘on those lines’, the S.C. Executive last week took the decision to run a train to Norwich for one of our longest and most difficult to get to away matches on October 3rd. This will be the first train we have run to a League match since we visited Watford in 1991, although we have since run one to London for the 1995 play-off final at the old Wembley.
The long trip to Norwich is very much a gamble on our part but as Rovers have not played at Carrow Road for about 30 years we think it will be worthwhile this time. The fare is likely to be around £40/45 which is half of what the cheapest scheduled ticket will cost you and of course the train will be direct.
If we do sell every train seat then we’ll make a profit which will of course eventually pass on to the Football Club but, if it is not a commercial success then at least we will have given Rovers the maximum possible support for what is bound to be a very difficult game!
Enjoy a trouble-free and entertaining game today.
Strength and Numbers
We extend a warm welcome to the genuine football supporters of The Lions. It is our wish that you enjoy your football with us this afternoon, support your team as all law abiding fans should be entitled to do and in a safe and secure environment. I have friends who are Millwall supporters who are a lovely family and support their team through thick and thin, in the good times and in the times when the going is rather more difficult. They are season ticket holders at the New Den who travel to London for all of Millwall’s home games and take in as many away games as they can.
There are thousands of football supporters like them; proper supporters of Millwall, Bristol Rovers and all other clubs up and down the land. Like the football club itself they do not deserve to be tarnished with the images that we saw a couple of weeks ago. Millwall Football Club’s work with its local community in London is entirely noteworthy and praiseworthy. Those responsible for violence and public disorder inside and outside of grounds on match days or at any other time are not welcome here. Nor are they at any football ground, anywhere.
My message to them is simple. Go away, stay away and leave us to enjoy our sport in good company and with like minds.
We enjoyed a terrific following at Wycombe. True, Adams Park it is one of the easier of away grounds for us to get to, albeit not the closest. The strength and numbers of our following demonstrated yet again just how big a football club we can be. Thank you very much for travelling and for being there with us. Chris Lines goal on 25 minutes gave us hope of a third away win on the trot but in the end it was not to be.
Talking of strength and numbers I want to praise The Norton Radstock branch for their continuing efforts to forge a growing and successful group. Meetings are informal and more social in nature. They take place at The Crown in Clapton near Midsomer Norton on the first Thursday in each month from 8 o clock onwards. If you live in the North East Somerset area please come along. Activity wise the next up for the branch is a coach trip to the away game at Southampton on Tuesday September 29th. Interest is very high and the coach is already close to being fully booked. Still, worth a try in case there are last minute cancellations.
I have to make a plea again. Gloucestershire, please help me to get a branch underway. The support we have in The Shire is so strong. It takes only three or four to get things up and running to begin with; somewhere around Dursley, Stonehouse, Berkeley, Cam or up Gloucester itself. Please come forward to help me.
Train to Norwich
We are awaiting the final go-ahead from the train operators. They need to obtain clearance from Network Rail who have to consider many issues including the timetabling and “pathing” of the train as well as scheduled engineering works.
From a financial perspective it is a bit of a gamble as once we have “pressed the button” we are contractually committed. However, from my canvassing of fans at the last few games both home and away, I am confident we can be successful in this venture. If we do have a good take-up I would like to think this is something we can look at again later on in the season depending on the fixture list.
We have set the fare at £45 (£48 for non-members) which we believe is exceptionally good value compared with standard fares, particularly in light of the fact that fans will travel in comfortable first class seating all the way with no changing of trains required.
We could have pitched the fare higher but we see this as a service to members rather than an opportunity to make large profits. That said, we still need to maximise sales so please take a look at the posters around the ground and details can also be found on our website
I’ll be pleased to take any queries from fans before or after the game in the Members bar or by e-mail:
Organised Junior Match day parties
This scheme is for schools and organised junior teams who can apply for up to 50 free match day tickets in the Becks Stand or Family Enclosure. This will include for some parents to supervise them. Eagle Coaches have again agreed to provide a free bus within the Bristol area and will go further a field for a subsidised cost. As an example Yate and other areas on the fringes of Bristol will cost £125 with places further afield such as Bath or Frome at £150.
Applications to [email protected] or (07765) 254110. There will only be one coach per game so priority will be given on a first come first serve basis but we will also give higher consideration to parties who will fill the coach. We would also be pleased to hear from smaller parties who can make their own way to the ground.
Director and Share Scheme Chairman.
Mike Daly of Filton won £869 in the 50/50 draw against Huddersfield with ticket no 02471, sold by Marc Radford.