A Million Thanks To Mo

November 13, 2005

[image1]Mo Bell is a familiar figure to many fans but I wonder if many of those fans have any idea of the hours she has spent over the years working on various initiatives for the Club. For the last seven years Mo has been the driving force behind two of the Club’s best kept secrets – the student membership scheme and the children’s bussing initiative.

The student membership scheme is aimed primarily at newcomers to Bristol, studying at one of the two universities in the city and wanting to watch live football during their stay here, but it is also open to others in further education on full time basis. Membership costs £7 a year for which the students receive a free ticket to a Rovers’ match and thereafter, entrance to all other games at juvenile prices. Mo consistently signed up 350 student members each year – some 5% of the average gate – a remarkable achievement.

We know too that several of the students who joined the scheme over the years have stayed on in Bristol and have become season ticket holders. The scheme was started by the former Chairman’s Committee several years ago. Roger Cooper who was a member of that committee said “The scheme provides a great opportunity for people studying in Bristol to see live football on a regular basis. They may be supporters of other clubs who are perhaps away from their home town for the first time or they may only have seen football on the television before. Either way, we want to encourage them to adopt Bristol Rovers during their time in Bristol.”

The money raised through the student membership scheme is used to fund the children’s bussing initiative – another scheme started by the former Chairman’s Committee. Under this scheme groups of schoolchildren are bussed into the stadium, courtesy of Adrian Ball of Eagle Coaches who provide free transport to the stadium and then take the children home again afterwards. When they arrive the bus is met by two players who make a draw for a signed football and have their photos taken with the children. The excitement shown by the children makes it all worthwhile on its own but of course we hope that the children will come back again as supporters.

Mo has now decided to step down and hand over the reins to Simon Phillips and Dan Wright. She said “Maybe the proverbial seven year itch persuaded me to hand over to Simon and Dan to bring some fresh ideas to what I believe has been a very successful scheme. It has been hard work building links and relationships with various organisations and individuals but it has been good fun too and very rewarding. I wish Simon and Dan all the best in their efforts to grow the schemes further and help lay the foundations for future generations of Rovers’ supporters.”

In recognition of her hard work on these two schemes Director, Colin Williams presented Mo with a decanter and whisky glasses with Rovers’ logo on them, at the match against Northampton last month.

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