News from the SC
October 27, 2008
Praise for the Volunteers
One of the Supporters Club’s many match-day activities has not attracted much comment from me for a long while but perhaps deserves one today. I refer to our regular 50/50 half-time draw and I suppose it has been a matter of ‘if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it’! Ever since Rovers returned to Bristol we have run this popular draw here at the Memorial Stadium and it has made many thousands of pounds for the Club whilst sending one supporter home happy every match-day, whatever the result for his or her favourite team! This type of simple draw is replicated by many clubs all over the country, but unlike most we have only ever given one prize each game – exactly half the winnings after a £50 deduction for printing and other expenses. Some clubs give 2nd and even 3rd prizes as well but we think that this devalues the big win, with over £1,000 in cash handed out many times when we have had a decent crowd here. The 50/50 draw requires a dedicated team of volunteers to make it work and some very speedy cash counting and counterfoil tearing takes place whilst most supporters are enjoying the first half! My sincere thanks go to all our sellers, who stand out in all winds and weathers, to Sue, Jane and others who bag the coins and separate the notes and, of course, to all you punters who buy the tickets. To date all the profit from the draw has gone towards providing better facilities for spectators here at what was a very basic stadium when we moved in. The first big project tackled was the roof over the then Clubhouse, now Blackthorn, Terrace. The roof there provided some much-needed cover for our most vocal fans and of course as a consequence improved the sound level significantly – something not lost on our players even to this day. Thereafter followed projects to cover the Family Terrace, help to replace the poor rugby floodlights with something fit for the 21st century, the tannoy system and so on.
With Rovers expected to be developing the stadium at this time, unfortunately delayed at the last minute, the decision was taken last year to divert funds from the draw to Rovers’ youth policy and I’ve had several discussions with Paul Trollope on this over the summer. It has been decided that a new vehicle needs to be purchased for use by Centre of Excellence Manager Stuart Naughton and, when we get one it should nicely compliment the fantastic facilities at the new training centre. So far the draw has raised over £4.000 from six fixtures here at the Mem, the first being the poorly attended friendly against Den Haag, making an average figure of £690 per match. So, by the end of the season I hope we’ll have enough money to purchase whatever vehicle is needed and to have it properly sign-written, with ‘sponsored by BRSC 50/50 Draw’ proudly displayed thereon! I’ll keep you advised on progress as the season goes on. Meantime keep buying the tickets!
These notes were written before last Saturday’s long trip north to Huddersfield so I’m not able to comment on what I hope was a continuation of the team’s recent improvement in form. Certainly the three points we collected from a tense battle against Leyton Orient were most welcome and propelled Rovers into the top half of the table for the first time in many weeks. I guess it was a game that Danny Coles won’t forget for a long time and I’m sure every supporter will wish him a full and speedy recovery from the latest injury he sustained after scoring at both ends!
September has followed the pattern of August with sales at the two retail outlets being slow – hardly surprising with the current economic climate of course. Year to date merchandising is around 30% down on the same period last year although this drop reflects at least in part the fact that last season we had played host to West Ham, Nott’m Forest and Leeds by now – all matches that generate higher than average sales of souvenirs, etc.
On a positive note though, sales of the new anniversary Black Arab shirt are already at the 400 mark providing much needed revenue for the club. Please take the opportunity to pop into Pirate Leisure tonight to have a look at them for yourselves. Alternatively you can view and order online at http://www.brfcdirect.co.uk where you will see all the latest lines, special offers, sale items and even ideas for Christmas – well worth a visit!
I’d like to offer a special welcome to those of you who have taken advantage of the recent 3 for 2 offer covering last Saturdays match against Leyton Orient, tonight’s game and next Saturday’s against Southend United. The take up was around 500 in the end which is a very decent start and gives us a base to work from when looking at similar deals in the future – indeed we are holding talks very soon with the Football Club board to discuss proposals for our next initiative. More will follow on this in due course.
Finally, on a personal note, many thanks to the members who voted for me at the recent elections and for those of you who haven’t yet become members please take the time to do so either at Pirate Leisure or Kingswood in person or by downloading the form from our website – http://www.bristolroverssc.co.uk
Enjoy the game!
UWE Freshers Fair
The recent UWE Freshers Fair felt very positive with a lot of interest shown from students many if whom were new to the area and looking to watch local football. I would like to extend a warm welcome to any students from UWE especially those attending a Rovers game for the first time. Rovers held a ‘Soccer AM’ style competition as part of its marketing stall and 50 free tickets were allocated to those who scored 60 points by kicking a ball through holes in an inflatable target. The free tickets are for tonight’s game against Oldham. A lot of interest was shown in the 6 match season ticket and 17 mini season tickets were bought with many others still considering the deal or promising to come to one off games and take advantage of the student ticket prices which are the same as juveniles as long as they show their student union card. The ticket promotion has been publicised on the UWE intranet.
125th Anniversary Celebrations :
1950’s Night: Friday 7 November 7.30
To kick off the clubs 125th anniversary year, the social committee is planning an evening showing highlights from the clubs halcyon days in the 1950’s under Bert Tann. We have some rare vintage footage with highlights including the 4-3 victory over City in the FA Cup at Ashton Gate, a friendly at the Duke of Beaufort’s estate and Rovers players in training 1950’s style.
Several players from the era have been invited to come and talk about their memories such as the 4-0 victory over the Mighty Busby Babes and the year we almost made it to the old First Division. Admission is free. More details will be announced in the Southend programme and the SC website.
Matthew Gaylard and Adam Hallett of St Annes picked up £854 as our 50/50 winners at the Leyton Orient match. The winner number was 41665 and it was sold by David Hewett at the Memorial Gates.