1st February 2013 Barnet
February 2, 2013
Pirate volunteer – Dave Bean
FROM SC CHAIRMAN
WHAT A FANTASTIC FEW WEEKS IT HAS PROVED TO BE FOR ALL ROVERS’ SUPPORTERS SINCE THE LAST GAME HERE WAY BACK ON JANUARY 5TH!
Two excellent away wins, both at new grounds hosting promotion chasing teams, has finally lifted us off the bottom of the entire Football League. Whilst recent results and performances in general since the appointment of John Ward has been reason enough for a belated Christmas holiday celebration, the approval of Sainsbury’s planning application for redevelopment of the Memorial Stadium was of even more importance.
The only downside since we narrowly lost here to League leaders Gillingham was the postponement of the home game against Exeter when our upturn in fortunes could have been saluted in style. However, that second fine away victory at high flying Rotherham last Saturday has only served to provide tonight’s vital game against fellow strugglers Barnet even more opportunity for celebration! The granting of permission for Sainsburys to develop the ‘Mem’ means that Rovers will now have the funding to build a super new stadium at UWE. It is perhaps ironic therefore that two important wins on our travels were gained at two other new grounds amongst a host of first time venues for our travelling support since relegation to League Two.
Fleetwood provided a nice modern little ground in keeping perhaps with their current stature but I think we were all impressed with New York! Rotherham’s fine new stadium is just a stone’s throw across the dual carriageway from their old Millmoor ground, which remains basically intact and with all four floodlight pylons standing ‘sentinel’ over an otherwise quite depressing area. It’s amazing how well Rovers have done on first visits to new stadiums over the years and Fleetwood, Rotherham and Morecambe joined a long list featuring the likes of the Madejski, the Britannia and St.Marys and who could ever forget those three! Well, the UWE Stadium will be bigger and better than anything else on offer below the Championship or anywhere in the south west so look forward to some good times ahead!
If we really are to celebrate a major upturn in Rovers’ short and long term fortunes tonight then it is vital that the three points on offer are grabbed firmly with both hands. The manager has brought a new aggression and much needed organisation to the team aided by a few astute signings, all of whom we welcome to the Memorial Stadium for the first time this evening. ‘Forgotten’ men like Lee Brown and Ellis Harrison, feel like new signings as well and the army of travelling Gasheads have been treated to a massive improvement in the style of play on our last three trips. The fans, in turn, have responded in typical Rovers fashion with some terrific vocal support that I’m sure all the players have appreciated. This must now be transferred to the ‘Mem’ where it is vital we try to turn the stadium into a real ‘fortress’ for the last couple of seasons before we move to a new home at UWE. So get behind the boys in blue like never before and let’s celebrate a climb out of the relegation zone to go with that fantastic new home!
THE TWO GAMES AWAY FROM HOME LEADING UP TO THIS GAME HAS RETURNED A VERY HEALTHY SIX POINTS AGAINST TEAMS LOOKING TO FINISH IN THE PLAY OFF PLACES AT THE END OF THE SEASON
The support on the road has been magnificent both in numbers and vocal support. To say that we have well out sung the home support is an understatement. The supporters who helped to clear the New York pitch to enable last Saturday’s game get the go ahead are a credit to Bristol Rovers: thank you.
DAVE BEAN HAS BEEN SELLING 50/50 HALF TIME DRAW TICKETS FOR THE PAST FOUR YEARS; YOU WILL FIND HIM AT THE ENTRANCE TO THE DRIBUILD STAND ON MATCHDAYS.
Dave lives in Patchway and has been supporting Rovers since November 1959. Dave is not sure about his first game so perhaps we can help him to jog his memory.
Rovers were playing in the old Second Division that season, now the Championship. Dave’s first team sheets would have included the names of proper Pirate legends; Radford in goal, Hillard and Watling at full back with defenders Sykes, Pyle and Mabbutt in front of them. Petherbridge and Hooper played on the wings and Biggs, Bradford and Hamilton played up front; great players all of them. Rovers fixtures for the season gives us two home League games against Sheffield United and Derby County respectively. both resulting in home wins in front of gates of around 15.000 spectators.
The season also marked an Eastville attendance record with 38,472 souls turning out for the 3-3 home result in the fourth round of the FA Cup. Preston were a First Division Club at the time finishing tenth in the table.
The famous Rovers legends owe mostly nearing the end of their respective careers, but still finished in a healthy ninth place in the Second Division table. For younger fans we are talking Premier League and Championship football these days.
Notwithstanding, Dave’s best memories are when Alan Warboys and Bruce Bannister came to the club. Alan came to our game at Rotherham ast Saturday and remains a Rovers fan. Alan has promised to come down for a home game before this season closes and is hoping to bring his grandchildren with him; looks like a Warboys family of Gas in the making. There is a good chance of me introducing Dave to one of his Rovers heroes in the not too distant future then.
Alan Warboys with some of the Rovers contingent at Rotherham last week
Dave’s current comments are that he is hoping to get a proper stadium at last. Looks like you have got your wish Dave.
Dave would also like us to beat another football club whatever League we and they are playing in at the time. Well, they say things come in threes; thank you Dave for all of your very good work in support of Bristol Rovers.
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBER DAVE HEWETT IS TAKING PART IN THE STADIUM DASH TO RAISE FUNDS FOR ST PETER’S HOSPICE IN MEMORY OF HIS MUM. Dave will be leaving a sponsorship form in the Supporters Club match day portakabin so please pop in to add your name. Dave can also be found in the Memorial Room after games. Good luck to Dave and all who are taking part in the Stadium Dash challenge.
THE NEXT QUIZ ON WILL TAKE PLACE ON THURSDAY 7TH FEBRUARY IN THE CLUBHOUSE STARTING AT 7.45PM.
Entries are £1 with a maximum of six players in a team. There will be cash prize for the winners as usual and all profits will be paid into the Share Scheme. Please come along to this ever popular social activity. Non members will be made very welcome.