Tranmere programme notes

February 24, 2008

[image1]Great support!

What a great day we had here last Saturday!

We got lucky with the winning goal but Rovers played so well that the team fully deserved Ricky Lambert’s deflected free kick, which made up for his disallowed header a few minutes earlier. Southampton just weren’t at the races and Lennie & Trolls must be proud of the continuing determination shown by their charges who just never give up. I must say also that the support was fantastic and there was no sign of the few dissenters I had complained about after the Port Vale game. Just in case they were only keeping quiet for the TV cameras it is worth reminding them that, for the third consecutive home game, the match was won after a late ‘Trolls’ substitution.

The roof almost came off the Clubhouse terrace when ‘Lambo’ finally found the net and every supporter can be proud of the part they played in getting our club into the Quarter Finals for the first time in 50 years. The evening before Radio 5 Live paid us a visit with a 2½  hour long show focussed in the Clubhouse bar where a large group of supporters gathered to preview the big game and to look back, courtesy of the Screen Soccer archives, on the last time we defeated the ‘Saints’ at Eastville thirty years previously. It was great to play host to some of the heroes from that other great day, Manager Bobby Campbell, defenders Stuart Taylor, Graham Day and Peter Aitken plus, of course, the goalscoring hero, Paul Randall. Paul was the Club’s guest the following day and did the honour of drawing our 50/50 winner, the lucky man this time being Tony Stone who eventually walked away with a massive £1,340, our biggest prize of the season to date.

I say eventually because Mr. Stone was still in the bar along with a couple of hundred Gasheads still celebrating when I left to watch Man U dispose of Arsenal well past 5pm! And so to last Monday when I joined all our staff, most of the Directors and a couple of players for the Quarter Final draw live on Sky TV in the Uplands Suite. I have never seen so many TV and radio stations represented at Rovers before and it just goes to show what an impact our lads are making at the present time. Long may it continue and, continue it just might with another home draw against Championship high-flyers West Bromwich Albion. No matter who we were to come up against Rovers were bound to be underdogs but, another Championship side, albeit a very good one, at home was the best we could hope for. There will be lots more spoken and written about our historic clash with the ‘Baggies’ to come in the near future. Meantime, we have an equally difficult task here today against those other Rovers from Tranmere. If we are to catch up on the play-off candidates with all the games we have in hand then Tranmere are one of the sides we will need to beat. The lads wearing the quarters have shown what can be achieved, especially with the vociferous support they can receive here. So, let’s have that roof lifted again this afternoon. Up the Pirates!

Jim Chappell, chairman

Pride and Joy

Good afternoon and a warm Memorial Stadium welcome to yet another Rovers outfit. A couple of weeks ago we played away at Doncaster. Most if not all of our travelling Pirates found it very strange to be facing up to a Red Rovers. All three other Rovers in League Football do not have such a problem of course. Blackburn’s kit is so like our own and north of the border Albion and Raith both play in blue.

Welcome to the White Rovers from Prenton Park. From wherever you have travelled to Bristol today, albeit the North West or from other parts, have a safe journey home after the game. Tranmere have always been known as the third football club on Merseyside. It is an enormous credit to their supporters that they keep with their local Birkenhead club.

Football supporters from the West Country are prone to follow Liverpool and the like and so it must be very tempting when so close as Tranmere fans are. Well done indeed to the travelling supporters at the game today and thank you for being with us. The other Rovers were formed about the same time as The Black Arabs back in 1884 and apart from one season in 1938-39 had to wait until 1991 before playing their football in the second tier. One bit of history of note, Rovers beat Oldham Athletic by a record breaking 13 goals to 4 in the 1935-36 season. A game played in the old Division Three North.

After the game against Southampton last Saturday we agreed in the Boardroom and generally in the Supporters Club that a winnable quarterfinal tie would be our preferred choice. Realistically that meant a Championship club at home here at the Mem. We want to go as far as we can in the competition. A semi final place is a tough ask but not beyond the realm of possibility. West Bromwich Albion are a good footballing side who look to be in with a great chance of a return to the Premier League. We can beat them on our day and who knows what can follow. Looking at the sides left in the hat you have to think that this is the best ever chance we have ever had of reaching the Final itself. Bring it on!

Feet on the ground, but I feel most happy for our younger fans who have not experienced success like this before at Bristol Rovers. They can hold their heads up high and boast of being a Bristol Rovers Supporter with pride and joy. National media attention and a universal view that we deserve to be in the last eight cannot be bad. I well remember going to Boston last season and getting beat. We have come a long way in a short period of time.

Our supporters have played their part of that there is no doubt. The atmosphere around the stadium again last week was electric. Trolls acknowledged the fan’s contribution in a television interview after the draw was made on Monday. Top man; top coach! The very tiny number of so called supporters who seem to enjoy getting on his back during home games must surly be eating humble pie.

I am not going to ignore the financial side of things. We are doing very well but the consultant’s fees have to be met and whilst we are away from Bristol we will be paying rent and not taking it. It is a big risk but it is taking us to where we want to be in the foreseeable future; a Championship Club in a Championship Stadium. After that we will take stock and look to push on still further. Why not, this is Bristol.

Back to the League action today and three more points up for grabs. Up the Pirates.

Ken Masters, Supporters Club board director

  
Membership Closed

Applications to join the Supporters Club have been temporarily suspended. This is to safeguard current members in the allocation of tickets for the FA Cup matches

It prevents non-members taking advantage of group 2 ticket sales. We have around 9,500 tickets available for home supporters. Groups 1 and 2 combined already account for 8,469 of those. It is therefore only fair to give priority to those supporters who renewed their memberships before the cup run started.

The membership will be reopened when the cup run ends.

Jim Chappell

 

Stadium Regeneration – thank you

I would like to give a big thank you to all those who wrote a personal letter of support, to Bristol City Council, in respect of the revised plans submitted by Rovers. The latest stadium news can now be found in the stadium regeneration section of the official club website and includes a frequently asked questions section explaining the requirement to resubmit the planning application.

The Supporters Club will now be turning its attention to fitting out some areas of the new stadium such as the Supporters Club bar and the retail area. The Supporters Club has traditionally had fundraising, to help the football club, as one of its major aims and there will be no change as we plan to move back into a brand new stadium. Not only do we want to help the club financially but we would like to influence some of the internal design. We have already said that there will be a commemorative plaque to list all those fans that have, over a six year period, supported the share scheme. In addition we are considering giving fans the chance to ‘buy a brick’ with their name on it or maybe sponsor some artwork. We would also like to consider a museum or area to depict the Supporters Club history possibly within the supporters bar.  Perhaps you have some ideas? We would be pleased to hear from you with any suggestions.
 

Share Scheme

Despite the success of the team in the FA Cup it is vital that we continue to run successful fund raising promotions at the club like the Share Scheme.

It’s not too late to join and have your name on the ‘roll of honor’ which is to be displayed in the supporter’s bar of the rebuilt memorial Stadium. Get you name added to those who have helped our club at the time it was needed most.

For individuals weekly membership of the scheme begins at less than the price of a pint of beer. There are four different ordinary levels and a corporate level. These options are:

·        Bronze Option – £10.83 per month

·        Silver Option – £21.67 per month

·        Gold Option – £43.34 per month

·        Platinum Option – £83.34 per month.

·        Corporate Option – £100.00 per month.
 
The current membership at the end of January 2008 stands at:-

Bronze     262
 
Silver           79
 
Gold            11
 
Platinum       3
 
Corporate     1
 
Total         356
 
The total monthly income was £5,849

If you would like to join or introduce someone else please contact Clare McDonagh at Pirate Leisure on (0117) 952 4001 [email protected] If you would simply like to now more about the scheme then please contact me:- [email protected]
 

Organised Juniors Matchday Parties

Today we would like to welcome a party of under 11/12’s form Yate.

Many thanks again to Eagle Coaches

David Brain, Supporters Club board director

 
Record 50/50 draw

Tony Stone of Westbury-on-Trym picked  up an amazing £1,340 for the 50/50 at the Southampton game. His winning ticket number was 78383. The ticket sellers were Clive Laybourn and Henry Burridge on Filton Avenue.

 

 

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