6th August 2013 Watford
August 8, 2013
WELCOME all to the start of what promises to be an exciting season for Bristol Rovers.
It is certainly an important nine months that lie ahead as we start our third campaign back in League Two. We start with a fresh management team and our manager is well known and respected by all at the club. Sureiy it will come right this time round; we certainly hope so.
I was very sad with the news of the passing of Ralph Shaw. Ralph was a good friend a long serving and highly valued travel steward and former committee member. My sincere condolences to his wife Jean and all of Ralph’s family; Ralph will be sadly missed by us all.
As this column is penned before the season opener at Exeter I don’t know if we have got off to the winning start we all crave but, one thing is for sure, we could not have picked a tougher game to begin our home campaign with.
As last season’s losing Championship play-off finalists Watford are the highest ranked opposition available so Rovers will have their work cut out to make round two.
However, with a big Memorial crowd in full voice we can be a match for any team so get behind the boys in blue tonight and let’s get the new season off to a great start at the Mem.
Up the Pirates!
COLIN Smith from Street was the lucky winner of the final 50/50 draw of last season.
Colin’s ticket was drawn out of the hat by former player Bob Bloomer during half time of the game against Accrington. Phii Draper sold winning ticket, number 40207, in the clubhouse area; the prize was a massive £1,242. Well done Colin.
50/50 winner against Accrington was Colin Smith, seen here receiving his winnings from Jim Chappell
ROGER HARDING, RALPH SHAW AND COLIN HOWLETT
AS we start the new season at the Mem, our thoughts will be with three Gasheads who unfortunately will be unable to join us. I refer of course to Roger Harding, Ralph Shaw and Colin Howlett.
We will pay our tribute to Roger on Saturday.
Colin was a much loved and well known broadcaster with the BBC and columnist. I know there will be a tribute to him in the Scunthorpe programme by someone who knew him extremely well; a True Blue who will be greatly missed.
Ralph was known by everyone, particularly those who travelled on the Supporters Club coaches. Born in Yorkshire, he married Jean from Bristol and lived in the West Country from then on. Both Ralph and Jean could always be found in the Bristol Room on match days where Ralph organised membership and the Supporters Club travel service.
Ralph’s commitment began over 40 years ago and offered a proud record of 25 years as a SC committee member, counting Harold Jarman as a family member (Harold’s brother married Jean’s sister). Rovers’ three Wembley appearances were their best memories plus the Watney Cup win over Sheffield United.
Ralph’s dream and ambition for Rovers was a new ground and top flight English and European football. Sadly he won’t be there to see it. However, when we open our new stadium and play our first game there, I know our thoughts will be with Ralph and Colin, as well as all other family and friends who have passed away with their Rovers dreams.
Ralph’s funeral take’s place tomorrow at the South Bristol Crematorium, off the A38 on Bedminster Down, at 1.00pm tomorrow (Wednesday 7th August). You are welcome to attend but the family request no flowers or black dress.
RIP Roger, Ralph and Colin from everyone at Bristol Rovers – you will all be greatly missed!
Brian Seymour-Smith, BRFC Director