16th November 2013 Bury
November 12, 2013
compiled by Ken Masters
For both sides, nothing less than three points will do and so with so much at stake, which could see Rovers with back-to-back wins, today promises to be a very open and hard-fought game of football.
Ken Masters and Fans4Life
Today is also a very special day for completely different reasons. I would like to pay tribute to my fellow Fans Director Ken Masters. Ken is an ‘unsung hero’ of this football club and just very quietly gets on with doing an amazing job in helping raise thousands of pounds for local charities as well as the community project at Bristol Rovers FC.
Ken is back on the sponsored walk trail. Yesterday, he started walking from The University of Gloucestershire Cheltenham Park Campus. Supported by Adam Tutton, together with a support minibus and some of our Futsal students, they handed out flyers and promoted the Fans4Life project.
As you will be aware, Bristol Rovers Community Trust is an independent charity working within the community to improve the quality of life for local people.
The Fans4Life project aims to improve the health and well-being of the people of Bristol and South Gloucestershire using an exercise and education programme to target sports fans living in one of the poorest health areas of the South West.
Fans4Life will help sports fans who do very little exercise and are overweight to lead a more active and healthy lifestyle. Research has shown that taking part in this programme could add 6 seasons to a fan’s life. The project has been short-listed for a grant from the People’s Millionsand now we need your help.
Fans4Life desperately needs this funding to support our local communities to access free ways to lead a healthier and more active lifestyle.Soon we will be asking you to vote for Fans4Life 10,000 sports fans and their families can change their lives. Our show will air on ITV’s People’s Millions on Monday, November 25th. Voting takes place from 9am to Midnight.
Today – Day 2, Ken and the team are walking from Almondsbury to the Memorial Stadium. Please give Ken and the team a very warm reception when they arrive at the ground. He and they really deserve it!
During the York game the other night I was asked by several supporters about the use of e-cigarettes in the ground and whether or not they are permitted? The answer is no – either inside the clubhouse or, for that matter, anywhere else indoors smoking of any kind is not permitted. The No Smoking signs state “It is against the law to smoke in these premises”, therefore it is not allowed. The sign does not differentiate between real or electronic cigarettes. An electronic cigarette is still classed as a cigarette.
The concern is that smoking e-cigarettes may encourage other smokers to ‘lite-up’ in other parts of the ground. The safety stewarding staff are briefed on a regular basis that smoking is not allowed in the Stadium except in designated smoking areas. This includes e-cigarettes. Please respect this decision and only smoke in the designated areas.
Charlotte Leslie MP Petition.
Again, may I pay tribute to Paul from the Supporters Club, Dave and Angela and family and all the volunteers who were out in force again, this time for the York game, collecting signatures for Charlotte’s petition. The numbers are going up week by week and I know our Chairman Nick Higgs, will continue to keep you posted on all the latest stadium developments. If you haven’t already signed, then please do so today or go online. Also forms are available to take away for others to sign such as family members and friends. Once again, many thanks for your help and support.
Enjoy the match. UTG!
We return to League action this afternoon with another important game against the ‘Shakers’.
Bury, like Rovers, have found life difficult since dropping back down into the basement division and it’s fair to say that the standard at this level has improved greatly over recent years. However, we need to start picking-up some home wins and victory today would be a timely boost on the back of our unlikely win at Oxford a fortnight ago.
In between, of course, we faced York City in the F.A. Cup last Friday night. It was an exciting game with six goals shared and Rovers’ strikers back on goalscoring form. Unfortunately a late goalkeeping ‘howler’ from the usually dominant and confident Steve Mildenhall means that we face a long trip up to York on Tuesday. With the possibility of extra time and even a dreaded penalty shoot-out an early morning return to Bristol is inevitable and I hope that we don’t face the sort of motorway problems we had on the relatively short trip home from Oxford!
Still, a draw was better than defeat although it did feel like the latter after Rovers had dominated most of the game and twice came from behind to lead with only a few minutes remaining. It was great to have Matt Harrold back and making an immediate impression by equalising with his very first touch and it was interesting to see how he linked up with Eliot Richards, our latest loanee Chris Beardsley and finally Ryan Brunt. Of the regular front-men only David Clarkson left for him to pair with now that they are all fit again and a nice selection headache for John Ward.
What could have capped the evening would have been that fantastic strike from Ollie Clarke who struck the York upright when he could so easily have scored the goal of the night. It’s what we all want to see; Bristol lads out of our Academy making a real name for themselves thanks, in part, to the Supporters Club’s 50/50 Draw. Let’s hope we see some great Bristol-built goals from Rovers this afternoon!
The ‘reward’ for being in the draw for the 2ndround of the Cup is another home tie against Crawley, provided of course we can beat York in the replay. It’s certainly a replay that Rovers can win provided the lads perform to their potential and the Supporters Club will be providing transport as always, please click here for details. I hope to see another big contingent of ‘Gas’ at Bootham cheering Rovers into round two!
For today we have to concentrate on gaining more League points and a much-needed home win but it won’t be easy so please get behind the boys in blue as they strive to climb that table!
Winning 50/50 Ticket
Phil Purvis from Whitecroft, Gloucester was the lucky holder of the winning 50/50 draw ticket at the York City FA Cup game on 8th November.
Although a lower than usual ‘gate’ Phil still picked up £564. Sue Dry again sold the winning ticket at the Memorial Gates station and this time with the number 05486. Congratulations Phil and well done to Sue. Please buy a ticket at the game today; all proceeds to the Bristol Rovers Academy. BRSC are proud sponsors of Bristol Rovers Youth.
Spend and Raise
As we approach Christmas it might be worth checking out the “spend and raise” web site. You will find a link to the site here
My home pre match preparations and activities are just a little bit different for the game today. Normally I get to the training ground/Mem on Friday mornings to wish John Ward, his coaching staff and players all the best, work and have meetings in my role as Chairman of the Bristol Rovers Community Trust, work on BRSC business before doing a couple of hours stint on the Ticket Office and Pirate Leisure switch board from around 3 to5 in the afternoon. I am back at the ground at around 10.30 on matchday Saturday mornings, lend a hand where needed, get around to meet and to talk with as many supporters as possible before and after the game before leaving the Memorial Room at around 7pm.
For this game I set out yesterday, Friday, from the University of Gloucestershire Park Campus in Cheltenham to walk the 19 miles out of Cheltenham, through Longlevens and Gloucester City Centre, out on the A38 through Quedgeley and Hardwicke to Whitminster where I spent the night resting up. Today, Saturday, I set out from Whitminster at 7am to walk the 23 miles past Slimbridge, Stone, Thornbury to Almondsbury and then through Patchway, Filton and Horfield to the Mem. I plan to arrive just before the start of the game. Adam Tutton and the Futsal students will be working as my support team along the route. This time I am not looking for any money donations as I have done on previous walks; I just ask to for a telephone vote to the Peoples Millions on Monday 25th November. Please vote for the Bristol Rovers Community and Men’s Health Project, “Fans4Life”.
The potential Peoples Millions funding is vital to the work of the Bristol Rovers Community Trust’s work in Community and Men’s Health. The University have helped to plan the project, write the bid and they will evaluate the work on the project during and afterwards so that is the reason I am setting out from the Park Campus up in Cheltenham. All I ask for is your telephone text vote. Please watch the People’s Millions programme on ITV West and vote on Monday November 25th. You can vote through the day before and after the TV programme which goes out in the early evening. I have trained very hard for this walk and it’s going to sting a bit, well hurt to be honest so please, please vote for the Bristol Rovers Community and Men’s Health project, “Fans4Life”; thank you so much.
Race Night Tonight
First race will start after the Screen Soccer highlights finish in the Memorial Room match day SC social bar. Place your bets and join in for a fun evening.
Christmas Party Night
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. Please find posters around the Bristol and Memorial rooms.
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.
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.