Jim’s Jottings

October 31, 2017

It was on the way up to Rochdale last Saturday that I received the call from Ken that I had been expecting for some while but one that I had been dreading and that was to learn of the passing of former Rovers Chairman Geoff Dunford. We had been aware for some time that Geoff, who had recovered from cancer before, was now gravely ill again and I made reference to it at the Supporters Club’s A.G.M. that took place here the previous Thurssday. But sadly this time it was not to be a recovery for brave Geoff who had flatly refused to admit to his suffering despite the obvious signs and Rovers have lost a truly great man and a humble servant. I feel devastated as must do all his other friends and of course his family who have stood by him through Geoff’s terrible illness. At least he is at peace now.

Geoff, like his dad Dennis, was a great friend and indeed a lifelong member of the Supporters Club and I am very proud to have known him and to have worked with him in a voluntary capacity for the past thirty years or so. I’m sure that there will be totally respectful minute’s silence for Geoff this afternoon and that the club will give him the send-off that he deserves so much. Without Geoff Dunford and his family Rovers would not exist today and we would not be here watching those famous quarters playing in Bristol. R.I.P. Geoff – a truly great Rovers legend, in fact the greatest.

Thanks for all that you have done for us.

Geoff’s passing was just the worst possible ending to a bad week for Bristol Rovers with three defeats inside eight days although I must say that the single goal losses to Oxford here at the Mem and to Rochdale up at Spotland, either side of the forty-minute ‘drubbing’ at Shrewsbury were hardly deserved. However it is worrying that not a single goal was scored in those three games after thumping in six at Sixfields and we are certainly missing the injured Billy Bodin who unlocks so many games for us, not just with his goals but with his incisive passes as well. The six goals conceded in those three matches maintains an average of two per game so that also needs to be addressed so let’s hope we can keep a clean sheet at least this afternoon!

The A.G.M. went off quite well I thought with a good attendance of members who posed the Committee some searching questions that I trust we were able to answer. Following the business part of the meeting we held what turned out to be a lively ‘question & answer’ session with our guests from the Football Club, namely Chairman Steve Hamer, new Commercial Director Tom Gorringe and Assistant Manager Marcus Stewart. All three were equally called to task and each gave very forthright answers on a whole variety of Rovers’ subjects. We hope to publish full details of these here in this column and on our website in the near future if you were not in attendance. Meantime my grateful thanks go to Steve, Tom and Marcus for helping to make it a very interesting evening.

Rovers need to get back on track this afternoon when our thoughts are likely to be elsewhere perhaps than on the pitch. Let’s hope the boys can give Geoff Dunford the send-off he so richly deserves so please get behind them again and make this a day of real celebration!

Jim Chappell.

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