26th October 2013 Chesterfield
October 23, 2013
Andy Rammell with Chairman Nick Higgs and some founder members of the Share Scheme
BRSC NEWS compiled by Ken Masters
No matter what your views are on players or tactics there is no doubt that Rovers are not getting the rub of the green at present. I am writing after our latest home defeat to Wycombe and before the long Tuesday night trek up to Accrington where, I desperately hope, we were able to pick up some valuable points. After a fine display at Mansfield, where Rovers really deserved all the points instead of just one, we had to contend with the in-form ‘Chairboys’ with Matt Harrold injured and absent again and Ryan Brunt still struggling to regain full match fitness after his lay-off. David Clarkson, who had performed so well at Field Mill, got himself an ‘early bath’ thanks to an elbowing offence that really only merited a yellow card in my mind and Rovers were more or less done thanks to a lack of attacking prowess, despite some decent play otherwise. I have never seen Rovers win at the Crown Field but Tuesday night was a great opportunity if ever there was one as Stanley had yet to register a win of any kind this season so I hope not to have ‘put the mockers on it’!
Today’s visitors would have made a tough fixture in any case but, with so many players still out injured perhaps there could have been a better time to face the ‘Spireites’. However, the fixture list is what it is and we just have to get on with it as it is not all bad despite a very disappointing league position at the present time. We are still seeing some decent football as I said before and all the youngsters who have come into the side on the back of a horrendous injury list have performed well. But, there is no substitute for experience of course and missing the likes of Mark McCrystal, Danny Woodards and David Clarkson, along with the other absentees is not what we needed today.
Last Saturday saw the debuts of both recent loan signings in the shape of Alex Henshall and Will Packwood, to whom I extend a belated welcome to the Memorial Stadium where I hope they will both have a very successful time. The latter of course got off to a flying start in this respect when Packwood was voted ‘Man-of-the-Match’ for a sound first performance as a replacement centre-back for McCrystal. Will was chosen by ‘Platinum’ and ‘Gold’ members of the Supporters Club’s Share Scheme who were guests of the Football Club thanks to the scheme reaching the fantastic milestone of raising a million pounds. I had to take time out from my usual match-day duties to attend along with our guest of honour, Andy Rammell, who was of course the first player purchased thanks to the scheme and it was his goals, although just half-a-dozen, that kept Rovers in the Football League a decade ago. It was great to meet Andy and his wife Wendy again and of course those long term members of the scheme who have invested so much money into Rovers in the past ten years, along with past Share Scheme Chairmen and helpers who have done so much to help us survive as a League club.
It is truly sad that we are back almost in the same position in League 2 today but I’m sure that situation will not last long with John Ward at the helm and, the club’s financial position is now so much healthier thanks, in part at least, to the Share Scheme. My thanks go to all those who have contributed at whatever level over the ensuing decade and especially to Ken Masters who did so much to make the day such a success, whilst Brian Seymour Smith was in hospital. I am proud that you great supporters have stuck behind the Rovers team that has been so badly affected by injuries so far this season. There has been a ‘togetherness’ that must have been appreciated, especially by the youngsters who have been thrust in as replacements and I’m sure they will all benefit from the experience in years to come. You will not have seen a better or more mature debutant in a quartered shirt than Tom Lockyer and, as Ken and I regularly watch the Youth team, we know there are more to come. Keep the faith and keep supporting as you have done. Our luck must change soon!
50/50 Draw Winner
Congratulations to Mike Mason from Stockwood, pictured left. Mike’s ticket came out of the half time bag to literally bag Mike a very handsome £893 last time out on October 19th. The winning number was 02548 and the seller was Jackie Hawkins from her station just outside the clubhouse bars. Well done Mike and well done Jackie.
Post Match Entertainment
A good number of members have asked for evening entertainment in the Memorial Room on Saturday nights after home games.
First up a Race Nite: Sat 16 November after the Bury game. The event will start after the Screen Soccer highlights finish in the Memorial Room match day SC social bar. More details to follow. More details to follow SC and FC web sites.
Second up a Christmas Party Live Music Nite: Appearing in the Memorial Room on the evening following the Portsmouth game on Saturday 21st December are BAK2BAK a musical duo that has been established for over ten years with Linda on vocals and John on guitar and vocals.
Two great evening entertainment events arranged for your diaries. Look out for posters web site postings.
Last week, we welcomed back Andy Rammell to celebrate the £1m mark of the Share Scheme. It was a fantastic return (apart from the result) and I know Andy was overwhelmed by the reception he received from both ours and Wycombe supporters throughout his visit.
Last Saturday one of our supporters kindly handed me a two-side list of all the former players he wanted to see return to the Mem. There were definitely some great names on there and I will obviously do what I can to oblige. Our aim is to invite back former players at least once a month if possible, but it does depend on their availability and the fixture list at the time.
May I pay tribute to Paul from the Supporters Club and all the volunteers who are here today to support Charlotte Leslie MP and her team collect signatures for her petition re: plans for the Sainsbury’s redevelopment of the Mem. Last week over 800 signatures were collected by just five people. That was absolutely tremendous and is yet another demonstration of how dedicated people are who give up their time, often free of charge, to support every aspect of this football club. If you haven’t already signed Charlotte’s petition then please do so today or go online to http://www.bristolsnottrash.bristolpetitions.com/
As with all matters, if you wish to contact me, then please either leave a message on our forum, or contact me at [email protected] or on twitter @BriSeymourSmith.
May I wish you a wonderful afternoon and enjoy the match. UTG!
This year’s AGM will take place on Thursday 14th November in the function room at the Windsor Castle at 7.45pm. After the formal visit Head of Academy Tom Curtis will giving members an in depth insight into the Bristol Rovers Academy and Youth Scholars programmes. Marcus Stewart and Alan Walsh will also be attending what promises to be a highly informative and entertaining evening. Members will find and agenda in the post shortly before the event.
The Christmas dinner will take place on Saturday 21st December at the Windsor Castle. Look out for a booking form and menu to be sent out to all members shortly. Bookings are also being taken for the away trips to Oxford, Cheltenham and Torquay. A trip to Portsmouth is also in the pipe line. Find Weston-super-Mare Gas on Facebook.
Share Scheme Hospitality
A number of members are enjoying hospitality at the game today. Thank you very much indeed for your valuable and continuing support which is so very much appreciated.
The following games have been allocated for our Share Scheme members to take advantage of their Complimentary Carvery Meal entitlement.
Bury – 16th October
AFC Wimbledon – 30th November
Accrington Stanley – 28th January 2014
Oxford United – 8th February 2014.
Please contact Clare McDonagh on 0117 9524001 to book and enjoy.