Bristol Fans Derby Press Release

April 2, 2006

[image1] This years Bristol Fans Derby takes place at Ashton Gate on 20th April and has a new name. The Stoke Bishop firm, Great Bristol Vehicle Leasing has sponsored the event, renaming it The Great Bristol Fans Derby.

Kick off is at 7pm and admission is FREE, with bucket collections taking donations on arrival and parking in the stadium car park only £1.

The game is the 4th annual contest between the fans of Bristol City & Bristol Rovers, with the Rovers side victorious on two out of the three previous years. This year however, the Bristol Rovers squad has been hit hard by player retirements. In fact, there will be a maximum of only 4 or 5 players from last years 16 appearing in 2006. Many of the the more experienced, senior members of the squad have stepped down, so this years team will consist largely of young and inexperienced players. Every cloud has a silver lining and Rovers’ inexperience on the field could well be balanced by the fact that taking charge of the Rovers team will be none other than Lenny Lawrence.

The Rovers fans team also boast a manager with Premier League experience. “We’re absolutely delighted that Lenny has agreed to manage us”, said Rovers organiser and player, Simon Matthews. “We have lots of young players this year and his experience and expertise will be vital if we’re to have any chance of competing with a City team that’s been playing together for several years.”

Of course, the main beneficiaries of these games are local children’s charities and the event this year is in aid of Children’s Hospice South West. The money raised will go towards building a children’s hospice near Bristol at Charlton Farm, Wraxall.
The hospice is currently under construction and CHSW are hoping that enough funds are raised in 2006 to enable it to open Charlton Farm’s doors in the spring of 2007. It is hoped that the event can raise in excess of £5,000 as in past years, taking the total amount of money raised past the £20,000 mark, which is a fantastic achievement.

Last year, Richard Walker and City’s Scott Murray were the referee’s assistants and similar support from the staff at both clubs has been given this year. Matthews added “The staff at Rovers and City have been incredibly generous, using both their time and influence to help get this game on. I’d particually like to thank Kevin Spencer, a man who knows how to get things done. On the City side, a massive amount of thanks should go to Steve Lansdown, Colin Sextone and also the understanding of the City groundsman Craig who all played their part in staging this game and I, along with the other organisers, would like to offer them all our personal thanks for their efforts”.
The game has been put together with a tremendous amount of hard work and credit must also go to Rich Mckinnon and Tom Ford on the Bristol City side and to Rob Bayliss & Mat James from our side.

So, all Rovers fans are urged to make the effort to get to Ashton Gate on the 20th April and show their support for their team and also the local supported charity. This year promises to be the best so far and it can only be achieved with the support of the fans to roar the Gas onto a third consecutive derby victory!

Anybody wishing to sponsor a player or donate, please visit the Bristol Fans Derby website

Please also take a moment to learn more about the Children’s Hospice.

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