24th November 2012 Bradford City
November 25, 2012
Former players Phil Purnell, Devon White and Bob Bloomer accepted a Supporters’ Club invitation to attend the game against Chesterfield.
Pirate volunteer – Ralph Shaw
FROM SC CHAIRMAN
TODAY IS ‘BRADFORD DAY’ AT THE MEMORIAL STADIUM WHERE
THE FOOTBALL AND SUPPORTERS CLUBS HAVE JOINED FORCES WITH MIKE JAY AND IAN HADRELL, CO WRITERS OF A NEW BOOK ON THE ONLY MAN TO HAVE BEEN ‘CAPPED’ FOR ENGLAND WHILST PLAYING FOR ROVERS, THE BOOK BEING LAUNCHED ON THE BRADFORD CITY VISIT TO BRISTOL.
Several of Geoff’s former team mates will be attending as guests of the club, along with his two daughters Nichola and Lynn.
The majority of today’s audience would not have had the chance to see Geoff in action and there is very little film of the great man playing, either for Rovers or England. There are many, like me, who only started watching Rovers during Geoff’s 15 year long stay with his only club and the great man had already suffered his two major career threatening knee injuries by the time I ‘caught the bug’ so perhaps I did not see the very best of him. However, I saw enough to realise what a wonderful player he was and, as a young ball boy, had the great privilege to retrieve the ball from the Muller Road end net after Geoff had struck the last of his 242 goals for Rovers, and that against the City in an excellent 4-0 victory at dear old Eastville. What a way to finish!
For those who never saw him play I can only describe Bradford as a two footed RickieLambert with a lot more pace – enough speed in fact to finish his career playing on the wing well into his thirties! After he retired from football Geoff became an tanker driver for Shell Mex and BR a company that my ship agency looked after in Avonmouth and so later on in life I had the opportunity to chat with him. A more modest and affable man you could not wish to meet.
After a somewhat fortunate first win in five here a fortnight ago against Chesterfield an equally hard working performance at Spotland last Saturday proved insufficient to take any points as things did not go for us and another two players received ‘marching orders’.
Just as the injury crisis was starting to come to an end with the welcome return of Danny Woodards for his first game of the season at Rochdale.
Keep behind the boys in blue this afternoon and perhaps a special day will also be a successful one.
THE SHARE SCHEME HOME SHIRT WINNER AT THE CHESTERFIELD GAME WAS KEVIN TULLY.
Well done Kevin and thank you and all Share Scheme members for your continuing support.
Also at the Chesterfield game the 50/50 ticket winner was Mark Carpenter from Kingswood. Mark picked up a cool 2713. Hannah Hawkins sold the winning ticket number 12974 to Mark at the main gate.
Thank you to all 50/50 ticket purchasers.
WE HAVE A LADIES OUTING FROM SCOTTISH GAS AT THE GAME TODAY. GARY ‘FYVIE’ OLDS LIVES AND WORKS IN EDINBURGH BUT CANNOT GET THE ROVERS OUT OF HIS SYSTEM.
Last season Gary’s company, ITS Ltd, drew out for the away kit sponsorship and this season Gary has taken three boxes to ensure that his support remains long lasting and strong.
Today is one of those box days and five Scotland ladies have made the trip down to be joined by seven friends living in Bristol. Gary’s other half Deborah ‘Fyvie’ Olds, Lynn Mothersole, Angela Mason, Fiona Milne, Sarah McCall, Jeanette Harris, Katherine Porter, Sian Bush, Verity Britton, Amanda Heath, Denise Stevens, Laura Backholer have been looking forward to their get together for some time and are pleased to find the strong Scottish contingent in the Rovers set up this season. The next planned trips for Gary and Scottish Gas are for our away games at York and Rotherham in December. Look forward to seeing them there; top members and supporters.
RALPH SHAW (PICTURED ABOVE) WAS BORN AND BROUGHT UP IN WEST YORKSHIRE, BUT MET AND MARRIED JEAN FROM BRISTOL AND HAS LIVED IN THE WEST COUNTRY EVER SINCE. The couple, from Bishopsworth, can be found in the Bristol Room on matchdays from around 11.30am where Ralph organises membership and the Supporters Club travel service. The commitment to the cause started over forty years ago when Ralph adopted Rovers at the start of the 1970/71 season. The season started with an away draw up at Rochdale in League Division Three. The following week
at home saw a 2-2 draw with Shrewsbury Town at Eastville, Robin Stubbs and Carl Gilbert scoring the first of many Rovers goals Ralph has enjoyed over the years.
Ralph has a proud record of twenty five years as a SC committee member and counts Harold Jarman as a family member (Harold’s brother married Jean’s sister) but admits to supporting Leeds United as a boy. Ralph still keeps an eye on Leeds and when his home club visited the Mem a few seasons ago in League One, Ralph wondered how he would react and who he would be supporting on the day. It was Ralph’s long time affiliation to Rovers that won the day and so there is definitely no going back now, Ralph is sticking with Rovers.
Ralph and Jean rate Rovers three Wembley appearances as their best memories plus the Watney Cup win over Sheffield United. Ralph also remembers the occasion when Jean’s
heart throb Frankie Prince threw his socks into the crowd. Jean grabbed them and gave them to daughter Kim for safe keeping. As I understand it Kim still has them today, washed or unwashed I don’t know!
Currently Ralph just wants to Rovers to win football matches. He dreams of everything; new ground, top flight English football, European football, the lot. Not too much to ask for such a long standing and loyal club servant. Thank you very much Ralph and Jean.
MEMBERS AT WESTON SUPER MARE ENJOYED A REALLY GOOD EVENING AT THE WINDSOR CASTLE FOR THE WESTON GAS AGM A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO.
The turnout was strong and after the formal business of the evening, branch organisers were joined by Director Barry Bradshaw, Youth Coach Alan Walsh, SC Chairman Jim Chappell and me for an intensive and stimulating question and answer session. Members have worked hard yet again over the past year to raise considerable sums for local good causes in the community and for Bristol Rovers Youth. A cheque for £1,000 was written on the night and this was presented to U-18 team scholars at half time of the Chesterfield game two weeks ago. Members are reminded to book for the Christmas meal and also about the Race Night at the Windsor Castle on Boxing evening. Organisers and members can be found at the top end of the clubroom as usual before the game today.
Members met at the Crown at Clapton near Midsomer Norton two weeks ago on the Friday night before the Chesterfield game. The turnout was very good and the evening was very enjoyable. The main business was the Norton Radstock Gas Match Sponsorship. The chosen game is Rochdale on March 13th. Members can win one of a possible four places at the pre match three course carvery meal by buying a raffle ticket for just £1. Tickets may only be purchased by those attending a Branch meeting or on a Norton Radstock away travel trip. The draw will take place in January, date to be confirmed. Those unlucky in the draw can book a place at the table for £45 Onc VAT). Please call or text Carolyn on 07761 182977. Remember members around the lunch table get to choose the Man of the Match and enjoy the licensed bar after the game.
Matt Macey and Sam Kamara receive the cheque from Weston Gas