BRSC Player Of The Year Evening

May 9, 2006

[image1] With the football season finally concluded Saturday against Macclesfield, the last job left on the Supporters Club social calendar for the season was the annual Player of the Season awards evening last night.

This year the event was held in the Bristol Room to accommodate the demand and ensure access to all. There was a good turn out from both players and management and again, the evening was a sell out.

Supporters Club Chair John Malyckyj compered the evening, ably assisted by Director Kim Stuckey. Events were started off with a Nick Day warm up special. (That meant getting your hand in your pocket!) It was basically an exercise to get everybodys’ attention and the eventual winner ended up £50 the richer.

Highlights From Yesteryear

John and Kim then went straight into the evenings’ entertainment with some footage from Rovers past seasons. This went down well, as many of those present had never seen some of that which was shown and the quirkiness that comes with historic footage always raises a smile. The players were less keen though when they saw an old Rovers pre season from the ‘50’s and the players were expected to make their own beds! As if that would happen these days…..

During the evening, Supporters Club committee members circulated the room selling raffle tickets with the first prize being a signed Rovers shirt. Nick Day won the shirt and was kind enough to sell it on the spot and donate the money to the BRSC Share Scheme.

Goal Of The Season Award

As per last year, Screen Soccer came through for us once again, providing edited footage of the best goals for those present to vote for their goal of the season. Many had Richard Walkers’ turn and strike at Boston earlier in the season, but sadly there was no footage available so it could not be considered. There is no truth in the rumour that Richard is now organising his own personal camera crew to catch his away goals in the hope of winning the prize next year!

Once all the goals were shown, people then had a chance to vote on their best goal of the season. There were 17 goals to choose from, 13 received at least one vote from those present.

In joint third place was the fine overhead kick from Richard Walker in the home game against Wycombe Wanderers on New Years Eve and the last goal scored by Rovers in the 2005-2006 season from Lewis Haldane in the home game versus Macclesfield.

In second place was the 25-yard screamer from Craig Disley in the home game against Carlisle. This goal pushed the eventual winner very hard in votes.

[image2] With these three goals already setting the bar high, the winner had to be something special. We were not to be disappointed, as the 2005-2006 Supporters Club Goal of the Season was the stunning goal by Junior Agogo in the away game at Plainmoor against Torquay. After a Ricky Villa like dribble through the area, Junior finished with a cool right foot clip over the Torquay keeper to send the travelling Gasheads behind the goal wild with excitement, and a deserved goal of the season winner.

The Awards Presentation

After the raffle had been drawn, the evening moved towards the business of presenting the awards for the season.

[image3] First up were two special awards from the Supporters Club to two of our youngest helpers. Laura Pugh and Ben Trotman had been two of the biggest helpers with the scooter raffle ticket sales. They had been doing this every match day this season supervised by Commercial Chair Ian Pugh. “Their enthusiasm was infectious”, said Ian. “With so many people selling something or collecting money for charity or trying to sign you up to something on a match day, another ticket seller has a hard job on their hands. Despite countless ‘No’s’ and “Not interested thanks”, they both kept going and were a credit to the club and themselves. It was a pleasure to give them a small token to thank them for their hard work this season.”

[image4] Next up was Keith Brookman receiving an award for his fund raising for the Supporters Club Share Scheme via the Bid on the side he does in the match day programme, The Pirate. His initiative has raised over £2000 for the share scheme and the Supporters Club thanked him with a nice bottle of champagne and a share certificate.

Keith was straight back up for the next award. Rovers kit man Roger Harding came up to speak about the kit man of the year award, a fictitious award. He presented Keith with a small token as a thank-you for standing in for him earlier in the season when he had to take a leave of absence.

Young Player Of The Year

Next up was the award for Young player of the year. Paul Trollope came up to present the trophies for the top three. In reverse order, they were as follows

3rd was Darren Mullings
2nd was Chris Lines
And the winner once again was Lewis Haldane.

The Steve Larkin Merit Shield

[image5] This award is presented to an individual who has gone that extra mile to help either the football club or the Supporters Club. With so many willing and unpaid volunteers, it is a hard job to pick out any one individual, as there are so many deserving of the award. This year the award was presented to Alison Gibson for her outstanding contribution to the BRSC retail operation. Alison looked surprised and delighted in equal measure to receive the award, which was presented by Jane Browne.

A Special Presentation To Jane Browne

[image6] Jane was next up to receive an award herself. As she nears retirement, she will be giving up her day-to-day role within the BRSC retail operation as retail manager. She feels the time is right to step back and let a new face come in to take this on, though she will be continuing with her match day duties. In recognition of her long and loyal service to the Supporters Club, on behalf of the Committee Director of Football Lennie Lawrence presented her with a Bristol Blue Glass ships decanter engraved with a suitable message. We wish Jane well in her retirement.

The Supporters Club Player Of The Season Award

[image7] Finally, the time had arrived to present the Supporters Club player of the season awards.
In third place was Junior Agogo, though having been selected to play for Ghana in their last World Cup warm up match; he was sadly not there to collect it. We all wish him all the best for this match and the chance it may earn him a call up for the World Cup. Junior has scored some fantastic goals for us this season and terrorised defences all over the country with both his pace and guile. One wonders if he had not suffered a three-match ban late into the season whether or not we would be preparing for the play offs now.

[image8] In second place was Steve Elliott, practically an ever present this season and a firm fans favourite. A player that wears his heart on his sleeve and always gives his all. It was noted however, that the online voting contained quite a number of voters also with the name Elliott, though it must surely have been a coincidence!

Finally it was time to present the Player of the Year award. This year we had a new trophy commissioned for this purpose. Following the passing of a true Rovers legend and gentleman of the highest order Ray Kendall, there were many requests for the Supporters Club to do something as a permanent tribute to the man. It seemed fitting as he always had such a special relationship with the players that the player of the season trophy should bear his name.

[image9] This seasons’ winner was a worthy one. He too, is a modest gentleman who keeps his head down and gets on with his job to the best of his ability. He enjoys the good times and works through the hard times and the terrace experts’ criticisms with the objective of coming out the other side all the stronger for the experience. This years’ Supporters Club Player Of The Season is Richard Walker and he received his award from Geoff Martin, former stalwart of the Supporters Club, and 81 years old on the day.

Richard was a popular winner, and as Rovers top scorer this season has had a good one. He took the microphone to make a short speech and was clearly thrilled, as were we too.

In all, it was a great night and no wonder it was sold out. I just cannot imagine what the event will be like when we finally find some form and start to head further up the football league, as the attendance was so very good last night after a comparatively modest season.


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