News from the SC
March 25, 2009
From the Chair
These notes are penned before the ‘hat trick’ of away trips to Hereford, Walsall and Crewe, all of which I should have attended but without the use of my computer during the period when I would normally write the column! Strange that both games against League 1’s most prestigious club should result in 2-2 draws but I must say that both were absorbing matches and justice was done on each occasion. Let’s hope our good form has continued meantime on those three aforementioned trips!
The Leeds game was the one at which us contributors were informed that The Pirate had, for the sixth time running and ninth time overall, won the accolade of Divisional Winner of Programme of the Year, a fantastic achievement considering the financial constraints placed upon it and also a series of problems encountered by our printers and their staff throughout the season.
Most of The Pirate’s contributors are members of the Supporters Club and the Executive Committee has had a column therein since our days at Twerton Park. This now extends to the two-page spread you are now reading and I hope the news that we include helps to contribute to the publication’s interesting content. With the exception of our esteemed editor everyone who writes for the programme does so on a voluntary basis and I’m sure this adds a little spice as it is done out of love for the Rovers and not for payment. In addition of course the Supporters Club does all the sales for The Pirate, again everyone involved being a volunteer, most of us getting a good soaking from time to time in reward for our efforts! My thanks go especially those behind the scenes, people who most punters never even see, such as Ron Thorne, Jane Browne, Phil Draper and Sue Williams who between them handle every programme or every pound paid for it! Also of course all our sellers, (Ron again included as he does two jobs!), who brave all winds and weathers for the benefit of the club. They deserve the honour as much as those of us who write in League 1’s best programme!
Those of us who made the long trip east to London Road for the early kick-off last September will never forget the televised nine-goal thriller we witnessed as both Gas and Posh defences seemingly took the day off! It was great entertainment of course but I’ll settle for a single goal and three points if possible this time round. Get behind the boy in blue this afternoon as this is going to be a very tough match! Up the Pirates!
How Big a Club
Good afternoon and a warm welcome to all at the Memorial Stadium for today’s fixture with highly rated Peterborough United. I was visiting a school in Peterborough in only this last week and so I know first hand just how much the supporters of The Posh are excited about their season in general and about their visit to the Mem in particular, especially after the high scoring televised game earlier in the season at London Road.
It is good to be back in Bristol having faced three trips to away venues in the past two weeks. I am writing these notes ahead of the Crewe game and still recovering from the performances and excitement of the games at Hereford and Walsall respectively. A very good friend and former colleague of mine who is a Walsall fan phoned me last Saturday morning and said that he was pleased to see our Hereford result because we hardly see two high scoring away performances in quick succession from any club; sorry mate!
Speaking of good friends, the way that our Supporters Club members were received and made welcome by members of the Walsall Supporters Club in the Saddlers Bar was so very heartening. It was a warm and friendly environment and in stark contrast to the way we were treated on our trip to Leicester City. Sorry to harp on about it but to be pulled off a motorway and to spend two enforced hours in a remote services area was not funny for decent travelling families, older people and all travelling with our official and well controlled organisation. I am pleased to have a good number of honest law abiding Leicester City fans close to where I live who thoroughly agree with me and who have gone out of their way to tell me so; fair play to them.
Calm down, it is time to put the issue to bed Kenneth. I was especially pleased last Saturday for our Norton Radstock Branch official party whose day out was much better this time around. It was great to see organised coach transport from Weston-super Mare, Yate and Sodbury as well as from Bristol meeting up and mixing with Walsall supporters in a way that all decent law abiding people should be allowed to do.
The numbers of us on the road to Hereford and Walsall was massive and demonstrates yet again how big a club we really can be. I know it is easy to sing when the score line becomes emphatic in our favour but it is the same wherever we go and no matter what the score. Thank you very much indeed for your support on the road over the past couple of weeks. It is greatly appreciated by all connected with the club and by the Directors not least. Thank you most sincerely. There is so much dedication and energy that goes into the running of Bristol Rovers by a relatively small band of very hard working people. Your support makes it all worthwhile.
Today is another day and another game. It is our turn to receive and greet our visitors with warmth, in a safe environment and with the respect for supporters of local professional football. It is so easy to take the short train journey from Peterborough to London, so much more difficult to drive from East Anglia to the West Country to support your team. Welcome Posh fans, enjoy your day with us and a safe journey home after the game.
Organised Juniors Matchday Parties
Today we are joined by Mark Crew and the Hanham Athletic Youth Football Club. The club currently has nine teams ranging in age groups from under 11’s to under 18’s. These teams compete in The Hanham Minor League, Avon Youth League and Bristol under 18 Combination League.
From next season they will be starting under 8, under 9 and under 10 sides. Hanham are a community club and are always looking for players of all abilities to join them. If any players are interested in joining this ever expanding local junior football club please give their secretary Angela a ring on 0796 850 1287.