Rovers and Plymouth: a history

September 29, 2017

Tomorrow’s game is the 98th meeting of the Pirates and the Pilgrims with our visitors leading the head to head by 37 wins to our 30 with a further 30 being drawn.

The two clubs were both founder members of the Third Division in the 1920-21 season. Our first meeting didn’t actually take place until late April 1921 when Ellis Crompton and Billy Palmer goals gave Rovers a 2-0 Eastville victory. The return was played a week later and despite another Ellis Crompton goal Rovers went down to a 2-1 defeat. Rovers went on to finish the season in 10th place with Plymouth just behind in 11th.

The fixtures played in 1961 were some of the highest scoring games between the two clubs. After a crushing 5-0 defeat at Home Park in April Rovers turned the tables on Plymouth with a 4-3 win at Eastville in the October of the following season with Bobby Jones (2), Geoff Bradford and Peter Hooper scoring our goals.

The Boxing Day clash in 1973 was one of the most if not the most memorable clash.  A Rovers team, on their way to promotion, won the game 4-2 with Alan Warboys (2), Bruce Bannister and Stuart Taylor on target in front of a crowd of 22,353.

What Rovers and Plymouth games will really be remembered for though is the birth of our anthem, Goodnight Irene, which was first sung at the game played at Eastville on 4th November 1950. For the record Rovers won the game 3-1.

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