2nd March 2013 Burton Albion
March 3, 2013
FROM SC CHAIRMAN
WHATEVER THE FINAL OUTCOME OF WHAT REMAINS, FOR US, A RELEGATION BATTLE THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT ROVERS ARE BACK TOGETHER AND MAKING A PROPER FIGHT TO SHRUG OFF THE DISASTROUS POSITION WE WERE IN AT CHRISTMAS.
Just two months later and the team have moved off the bottom of the Football League, six points adrift of safety and now similarly ahead of the relegation positions but with another very difficult midweek trip to Northampton to come after this column has been written. Some turnaround then thanks to the stewardship of John Ward and it has been interesting to note the approving comments being expounded by those in opposition over recent weeks.
We suffered a narrow first defeat in seven last time out here at the hands of promotion chasing Rotherham United, who gained revenge for our resounding victory in New York three weeks before. Millers boss Steve Evans was glowing in his praise for the way that John had turned things around and said what a great club Rovers are. On leaving Morecambe last Saturday we tuned into Radio Lancashire whose match commentator reported our draw with the ‘Shrimps’ as the best game seen at the Globe Arena so far this season. Their manager also praised Rovers’ fight back and both he and Evans were highly complimentary about our level of support and they also used the phrase ‘Bristol Rovers is a proper football club’!
I’ve already mentioned a very hard away game
at Sixfields last Tuesday and today we have our replacements at the top of the League Two ‘form table’ to contend with. Burton are yet another ‘small club’ who are really making it good in this division, having nothing like the resources to hand for us ‘big city’ teams. The attendances for our last three home games have been brilliant and this is highlighted by the paltry 1,776 who populated the ‘Globe’ last Saturday, some seven thousand less than we enjoyed for the visit of Rotherham! Hopefully another good result came our way at Northampton and we have another bumper crowd at the ‘Mem’ this afternoon. However, it is the volume of the support that matters as much as the undoubted financial benefit from a big Horfield turnout so please get behind the boys in blue again today and let’s get this great club back up to where we should be!
IN ADDITION TO THE REGULAR SUPPORTERS CLUB TRANSPORT TO ALL AWAY GAMES, SEVERN VALE (RATS) HAVE KEPT UP THE VERY FINE RECORD OF RUNNING LOCAL MINI BUS TRANSPORT TO ALL GAMES ON THE ROAD THIS SEASON.
You can book your place before home games at the clubhouse Bristol Room. The Supporters’ Club desk can be found just inside the door with Ralph and Jean in attendance. Ivan (Badger) Stinchcombe, the Severn Vale (RATS) organiser, can be found in the bar area.
London Gas is also very active at away games as well as here at the Mem. Contact Paul Davis for further details. Did you spot the Hibernian banner up at Morecambe last Saturday and wonder what it was all about? My guess is was Gary Olds and Scottish Gas from Edinburgh. Our Bristol exiles up there follow the famous Scotland Premier club when they are not down in the West Country or supporting the Rovers at away fixtures in the North of England.
Don’t forget if you are members at Norton Radstock or Weston-Super-Mare. The Branches are sponsoring games at the Mem during March and hospitality in the Dribuild is up for grabs. Please contact your branch organisers to book your place. As was the case with Norton Radstock, Weston members will be drawn out of a hat to represent the branch as official sponsors at the game and a further table will be booked for members not so lucky in the draw. The draw will take place at the Boro Sports and Social Club in the town on March 16th. The Boro Club will host a Skittles Night on the same evening starting at 8.30 for Branch members and friends. You will find the Boro Club in the centre of the town not far from the railway station along Locking Road.
JACKY CHAPPLE HAS BEEN SELLING 50/50 HALFTIME DRAW TICKETS AND THE AWARD WINNING MATCHDAY `PIRATE’ PROGRAMME FOR A GOOD NUMBER OF SEASONS NOW.
Jacky lives in Mangotsfield and first started supporting the Rovers when she was a tiny four year old back in 1963. Jacky says it seems so long ago that she can’t quite remember her first game. It would have been at Eastville of course and in those Rovers had switched only briefly to play in ‘v’ necked blue and white striped shirts, white shorts and blue and white hooped socks. We are going back to the days of Bert Tann still, Bradford at full back, a young nippy winger called Jarman on the right, Bobby Jones and Alfie Biggs up front, Terry Oldfield, Sykes and Joe Davis at the back and Bernie Hall between the sticks. The old stadium was still in decent nick with well stocked flower borders and the south stand well intact. Back in The Football League Division Three Rovers finished having been relegated in season 1961/62 Rovers finished mid table and enjoyed a good cup run before going out to Manchester United at Old Trafford in the fourth round in front of 55,722. Jacky remembers it well!
Jacky’s real and best memories are a bit later; Smash and Grab, Sammy Igoe’s Wembley goal and all of Rickie Lambert’s goals. As far as the current situation is concerned Jacky is pleased to see John Ward back with us, really pleased with John’s ‘Barmy Army’ and is looking forward to the team maintaining the form until the end on the season, seeing us safe a preparing for a good season 2013/14. Jacky has one big dream, she wants to see her boys play in the Rovers first team; let’s hope so Jacky and thank you for all of your matchday time and sterling work down the years, very much appreciated
THE LEVEL OF PRIZE MONEY FROM THE 50/50 DRAW HAS BEEN VERY DECENT OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF GAMES HERE AT THE MEM.
A stomping £980 was claimed during half time when Wycombe were the visitors on February 16th. The lucky winner was Russell Cundick of Bath. Russell’s ticket was sold to him by Pete Collins from his usual spot along Filton Avenue. Congratulations to Russell and well done to Pete.
Yet another big money prize was claimed under the lights when Rotherham United were our visitors just a few days later on February 19th. This time the ticket was sold by Sue Dry from her location at the Memorial Gates. The lucky winner was Sean Woodward from Woolavington. Sean collected a very handsome 2834. Again, congratulations to Sean and very well done to Sue.
Jim Chappell and Brian Seymour Smith hand over the 50/50 winnings to Sean Woodward at the Rotherham game
All 50/50 proceeds are donation to support Youth Development at the Football Club. We are delighted that the money is being well spent and paying dividends. The Youth team squad are riding high at the top of the Youth Alliance Regional League having lost only one game all season and have reached the final of the Youth Alliance Cup. Bristol Rovers Supporters Club is proud sponsors of Bristol Rovers Youth. Thank you to each and every one for buying draw tickets on match days and to all of our volunteer ticket sellers who are to be found at all areas of the ground; thank you.