News from the SC
March 2, 2010
Bristol Rovers Supporters Club compiled by Dennis Payter
From the Chair
Just recently it has been a case of which Rovers team will turn out. At Gillingham it was literally that with many first choice players missing through illness and injury, including the whole spine of the team from goalkeeper through centre-back and central midfielder to striker. The first half was a poor affair with neither side posing much of a threat on another very indifferent pitch. The surfaces we have seen of late both on Rovers’ travels and many witnessed ‘on the box’ just go to show what a brilliant turnaround there has been on the Memorial Stadium pitch this season and all credit is due to Pete Prior and his staff for what they have achieved here in the last couple of years. Back at the Priestfield, when Gillingham stepped up a gear in the second period Rovers were unable to keep up and only a string of bad misses kept us level until the killer blow was eventually struck well into added time.
The Supporters Club’s Executive Committee met up with the Board of Directors last week for our latest quarterly meeting and a variety of subjects were discussed, most of them fairly mundane business matters. Always on the agenda of course is any news on the stadium redevelopment. Well, there is really nothing new to report only that Football Club Chairman Nick Higgs is making progress with securing funding for the project. We supporters of the club, anxious that we all are for the big announcement that work is to start, just have to be patient as everything going on at the present time is, of course, highly confidential. We would all like to know everything but big financial business, as I know from own lifelong job in the shipping industry, does not work like that. We just have to remain patient and back the team to produce the sort of results we know they are capable of – lots of wins to take our minds off the big rebuilding job! That will not be easy today as Colchester have surprised most observers by staying the pace with all the big, former Premiership, clubs who now inhabit our division. However, Rovers did a fine job on one of those big clubs less than a fortnight ago and with your support can do it again this afternoon. So, get behind those boys in blue again as you did against Charlton and let’s see the real Rovers pick up another three points come 5pm!
Good afternoon and welcome to all at the Memorial Stadium for today’s encounter with Colchester United. It is a good travelling distance from the East Anglian town to Bristol and so we appreciate and respect United fans very much for the support and commitment they show to their team. Welcome all; enjoy your day with us and a safe journey home after the game.
There are strong Bristol Rovers connections in the Colchester management team leading out our opponents this afternoon. United manager Adrian Boothroyd is no stranger to our club. He sported the blue and white quarters for two seasons 1909-92. It is always good to see former players and it is especially pleasing when they have gone on to make successful careers in the game as is the case with Adrian.
John Ward needs no introduction to Bristol Rovers fans and he is warmly greeted whenever he returns to our club and in whatever capacity. John is a real football man with a wealth of experience in the game. Not only that, John is a very good and caring man. He spoke so very well of Ron Craig and of our football club at Ron’s funeral service in early December. John and his family are very good friends of this football club and we are pleased to see them and to welcome them once again.
I am writing these notes having not long returned from the game at Gillingham last Saturday. It was a frustrating afternoon in Kent in a number of ways. Football is a game of course but professional football is also a business. The objective of any business must be to generate more income from a larger and well satisfied customer base.
The home supporters who grace the stands and terraces week after week are the mainstay of any professional football club. Visiting supporters are also customers to be valued in my book and in good numbers can be a welcome bonus to match day income especially in the lower leagues.
Gillingham has done well to regenerate their ground. There is quite an extensive abeit temporary and exposed end at Gillingham in which they choose to seat visiting supporters. So there were Gasheads in the extreme top left, at the furthest point from the action, lacking in atmosphere, exposed to the worst of the weather and made to look and feel like movie extras in reserve.
Perhaps it is not all down to the football club. There are other influences and considerations in football we know and maybe the majority suffer the consequences of the actions of the few, but what other business would treat paying customers in such a way; customers who had taken trouble and travelled long to give up of their hard earned money? Thank you Gas. Thank you for supporting Bristol Rovers last Saturday. You are top people.
In at 199
[image2]How about something to occupy the family on cold winter evenings with nothing much on the Tele? The Rovers Poker Sets come in a strong metal case and include all you need for a bit of gambling fun. You will find disc tokens, cards and dice all in the Rovers theme. Cheap at half the price, and they are to, reduced from £29.95 to £20.96.
Something for the little ones and maybe not so little ones at bed time? Big Belly Bed Time Bear is huge and a must at £13.95. Don’t you just fall in love with him as you do everything Rovers. Pop in to the Supporters Club shop at 199, Two Mile Hill, Kingswood, and see the bears, books, DVDs, replica home and away kit and a host of other blue and white items on offer.
Thanks again to the 12th man
Due to the game against Charlton being rearranged I took the opportunity to spend the weekend with my daughter who is at University in Plymouth. On the trip down I stopped at Taunton Deane Services and bumped into the Port Vale team on route to Torquay for their game the following day. I spoke to Sean Rigg and particularly Lewis Haldane who couldn’t stop talking about his time at Rovers and our fantastic fans. He asked to be remembered to everyone and wished us well for the rest of the season. Thanks again to our 12th man. Up the Gas.
Director and Share Scheme Chairman.
Share Scheme News
For those who missed the Charlton programme the current membership at the end of January 2010 stands at:-
The total monthly income is £4,175.
The Supporters Club have now handed over a total of £ 8 27,920 in return for 374,240 shares which represents a shareholding of 7.62%.
Share Scheme – It’s not too late
The Share Scheme runs now runs through to December 2010 and joining information can be found here.
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 David Brain; on (07765) 254110 or [email protected]
Share Scheme Benefits
Can I remind members those entitled to matchday meals (and any of the other benefits) that these need to be booked through Clare McDonagh at Pirate Leisure during office hours on (0117) 909 6648 or e-mail to [email protected] Any members unsure of their entitlement can contact Clare for further advice.
There are only two remaining matches that have been designated for meals for those entitled:-
Share Scheme Signed Shirt Draw
Today we will be presenting Marylyn Palmer with the signed shirt she won in the draw at the Charlton game on Monday 15th February 2010.
At the Charlton game Robert Cooper, the latest winner, was presented with the shirt Robert won in the draw at the Wycombe game on Saturday 30th January 2010.
John Cheetham of Beer, Devon, won £709 in the 50/50 draw at the Charlton game with winning ticket number 27798 which was sold by Ian Brain in the bars.