Gas Legends Sparkle At The Mem
March 12, 2006
Despite the result not going Rovers way, fans were delighted to be able to honour several Gas legends who received a rapturous welcome from supporters at half time.
First up was Devon White, performing the half time draws. The supporters club caught a photograph of Devon and fellow 1989-90 Championship winner Phil Purnell in the Centenary Stand before the match. Devon played 240 games for Rovers and scored 60 goals, including Rovers first ever goal at Wembley. Phil Purnell played 187 times for the Gas and scored 22 times.
[image2] There then followed a parade of stars from the 50’s and three of the five survivors of the “Magnificent 7 ” – the seven Rovers players who have scored more than 100 goals for the club.
First compere Nick Day introduced Bill Roost. He played in a FA Cup quarter final and the replay for Bristol Rovers against the eventual cup winners, Newcastle United in 1951. 100,000 people besieged Stapleton Road for tickets to watch the replay – and this man was on the pitch. He played 178 games for Rovers and scored 49 goals, and he still watches Rovers
The second Gas Legend was George Petherbridge, a man with a road off Muller Road named after him! He played in the promotion winning team of 1952-53 and in the match against Manchester United in 1956. He played for Rovers for an incredible 16 seasons. He played a total of 496 games and scored 92 goals from the wing, standing just 5 ft 4 inches in height. He is the only player ever in the football league to have scored for the same club in each of those 16 seasons he played football.
[image3] It was great to welcome back Howard Radford. He was a goalkeeper who played 10 games in Rovers 1952-53 promotion winning season, and was unfortunate to miss the Manchester United FA Cup game through injury. He went on to play 258 games in goal for Rovers over 11 seasons.
Next up were 3 of only 7 players who have scored more than 100 goals for Rovers.
[image4] The first 100 goal scorer was Peter Hooper. He also played in the famous FA Cup win over Manchester United in 1956. He arrived at Rovers in 1953 from Devon, where he spent the summer months when not playing for Rovers being a deck chair attendant. He went on to play 321 games for Rovers over 9 seasons and playing on the wing scored an incredible 107 goals for Rovers. This is the man reckoned to have the most powerful shot ever seen in Bristol football.
Harold Jarman needed no introduction to any of you who were in the North Stand enclosure at Eastville. He played for the club for 14 seasons and dazzled the Eastville crowd and the opposition with his wing play on either flank. He made an incredible 515 appearances for the Gas and scored 143 goals for the club, a is a man forever associated with Bristol Rovers.
[image5] Finally Nick introduced Paul Randall. He is the man when you think of FA Cup ties, snow covered Eastville pitches and long balls over the top for a pacey striker to finish with ease. He played six seasons for Rovers, was sold to Stoke City and then brought back To Rovers with help from the supporters. In all he played 277 games for the Rovers and scored 106 goals,
all of them memorable.
It brought back so many memories seeing all these legends today, and we hope to introduce more to the home crowd over the next few months.