Hartlepool programme notes
April 6, 2008
Rovers in the Museum
A special Museum of Bristol is being set up in the City of Bristol Museum and Rovers fans are being invited to make their contribution.
Space in the museum is being dedicated to Football in Bristol. I am sure you will be anxious to see that we get as good a coverage as any other club in the city.
Julia Carver, the Assistant Curator of Fine Art at the museum has invited us to contribute so please try and help with you answers to her questions:
What’s it like to be a Bristol Rovers fan?
Do you remember your first match, and, if you were very young, who took you?
Do you come from a family of supporters? Did your father/mother/grandfather etc support Rovers?
What are your memories of the grounds?
Who’s your favourite player and why? Did you ever see them play?
Have you any other stories you’d like to share?
If people are interested in sharing some stories they can contact Julia Carver on 0117 922 3581, or at [email protected]
From the Chair
It is hard to believe how Rovers’ fortunes have changed since exactly a year ago and our visit to the Millennium Stadium for the JPT Final. Just as seasons come and go so too do players and I want to say ‘thanks for the memory’ to Sammy Igoe who has left on loan to Hereford in what hopefully for him will result in a permanent transfer. The sight of him being chased by a gathering pack of Shrewsbury defenders in the last minute of that dramatic play-off final almost the full length of the Wembley pitch will last forever in the minds of the 45,000 in blue & white that great day. The best of luck Sammy, except of course if you come back with the ‘Bulls’ next season!
During our great run in the FA Cup I got used to receiving phone calls from all sorts of media parties wanting the official Supporters Club view, some from radio and TV stations I have never heard of. I even had the surreal experience of taking part in a live phone-in with two ex-professional players on Anglia TV of all stations, and that whilst I was trying to watch my own tele on ‘mute’ – quite bizarre but an indication of the incredible coverage Rovers received as a result of their achievements!
The City of Bristol Museum’s interest in Bristol Rovers is timely also as both the Football and Supporters Clubs are looking to piece together memorabilia for the last match to be played here against Brighton, the Rovers’ 125th Anniversary, which falls in December and, of course, the return to a rebuilt Memorial Stadium when we want to put our archives on permanent display in the new social club/bars. If you have any stories or anecdotes about supporting the club please send them to us at the Supporters Club. Likewise any old photographs or programmes that we could borrow for one or more of the above mentioned events would be most gratefully received and well taken care of. We have promised Julia our support in providing material for the new Museum of Bristol when that opens, perhaps around the same time as the new Mem! Let’s make sure that the north Bristol club is better represented than the one on the Museum’s doorstep!
A day in the life of a Supporters Director
David Brain describes what it is like being a Supporters director and what the role Involves.
I have always said that it is a privilege and an honor and that has not changed during the 2½ years I have been in the board room. What is equally true is that it is a big commitment that carries a lot of responsibility and expectation from some supporters. The role of supporter’s director is quite clearly to represent supporters. Some perceive that the responsibility extends to keeping them informed of every discussion and piece of information emanating from board meetings. That is the hardest part of my job, the confidential information that I cannot share with fellow supporters. Fans also expect me to report back on how decisions have been made and which director supported or voted against an idea wanting me to publicly question every decision made by the board that they disagree with. The reality is that I am bound by boardroom confidentiality and fans have to trust me to represent their views.
The stadium regeneration project has been particularly difficult not to be open about. As a long suffering supporter I know how important it is to our fans and from my time in the boardroom I have come to realise just how important a new stadium is if the club is to develop.
The funding approach, which has made this redevelopment possible, has added to the complexities and difficulties of this project. By the time you read this I hope the next hurdle has been cleared and the revised planning consent achieved.
The team is another area where I am constantly being asked what is happening. It is a privilege to be kept informed of our transfer targets but that information is also a burden. When I hear our frustrated fans doubting that we are looking for a striker I want to correct them and share my information.
To balance against these issues are days that I will always treasure. Attending the team photo shoot at the start of a season was very special. Being able to travel on the team bus to an away game is an experience many fans would envy. Going into the changing rooms to share the celebrations is a wonderful experience.
I have met many characters along the way including Trevor Brooking, John Terry, Geoff Hurst, Ron Atkinson Harry Redknap, and one of my favorites Barry Fry because above all else he is passionate about our game. I have met many celebrities and dignitaries. But most of all I have enjoyed meeting many former players that I idolised from the Muller Road End before I migrated to the Tote End in my teens including Alfie Biggs, Frankie Prince,, Ian Holloway, Gerry Francis, Wayne Jones and Paul Randall and some of my late father’s heroes including Bill Roost and Jackie Pitt.
I am looking forward to meeting Bruce Bannister and Alan Warboys at the Brighton game in a few weeks.
I will not forget walking the terraces to sell the share scheme and one former player I intend to meet again is Andy Rammell. I hope he will be able to unveil the share scheme roll of honour in the new stadium because if we had slipped out of the league who knows where we would be now and you the fans are to thank for that achievement. “Together we made a difference”.
The role as a director is very demanding. I use up at least 10 days of my annual leave and work form 6.30am to 6pm most days so that I can get some time off to attend meetings.
There are monthly board meetings and weekly management meetings, special meetings, AGM’s, EGM’s and press conferences. There are Supporter’s Club and Business Committee meetings which take up many evenings. We have board and committee reports to write, programme articles to complete but being a director is a largely enjoyable experience.
Organised Juniors Matchday Parties
Today we welcome Longwell Green Juniors. The remaining games are booked up and we thank Eagle Coaches for providing a free bus within Bristol and a subsidised bus from further a field.
Please Come Forward
Good afternoon and an especially warm welcome to supporters of The Pool who have travelled a long distance to be with us today.
Formed in 1908 the club played for 37 years in the old Division Three North before becoming founder members of Division Four in 1958. Originally known as Hartlepools United the club became singular in 1968 when they dropped the “s” and the “United” and were renamed as Hartlepool. The United stag was reclaimed just nine years later.
Hartlepool has probably enjoyed its best time in recent years following the redevelopment of the Victoria Ground; which is another example of stadium regeneration and improved performance on the playing side going hand in hand. Managers come and go in football but Brian Clough, Cyril Knowles and Keith Houchen spring to mind as of course does our old mate and present incumbent Danny Wilson.
It has been a long season for programme contributors with our FA Cup run and, although it can be difficult at times I go to some length to make sure that I do cover the same ground too many times and fall into the habit of repeating myself. On this occasion I apologise without reservation.
In my last programme notes I appealed to supporters in the areas around Bristol to help us to form satellite branches of the Supporters Club. Building on the really excellent work in Weston-super-Mare, I suggested that there may be opportunities in Mid-Gloucestershire, North East Somerset and around the West Wiltshire towns.
Please come forward if you can help. I am around the ground on match days and seldom leave the Supporters Club Memorial Room bar until at least 6.30 to 7pm. Jim Chappell is also in the vicinity after games. If you can leave a note for either of us at Pirate Leisure, that would also be very helpful and we will be in touch very soon. It is so important that we that we do this, especially with our pending period away on home match days. There are so many good people out there; please make contact with us. We will not be starting entirely from scratch, as our friends at Weston Gas are a great team and will help us from their experience.
Talking of after game meet ups, I have to say that, understandably in the light of announcements and events, the sessions after the Huddersfield game were quite heavy. I do not mind this in the least. So long as people don’t get personal with me, and in the Supporters Club bar they never have, I see it as my role and duty. I try to take on board your opinions and to answer your questions as honestly and as fairly as I can. I said when I was elected that I would never hide from our supporters and I intend to keep to my word always. I have made many good friends over the past season and a half in addition to those that I already enjoyed. I appreciate your contributions, help and friendship very much indeed and take this opportunity to thank you for it.
Is this £797 yours?
The 50/50 draw prize from our last home game against Huddersfield Town of £797 has not been claimed.
Check to see if you still have ticket number 25496 which was sold by Marc Radford in the DAS West Stand. Anybody claiming the prize should call into Pirate Leisure at the stadium.