Portsmouth programme notes
January 2, 2018
Good afternoon to all at the Memorial Stadium this New Years day fixture with Portsmouth. We extend a warm welcome to the supporters, players, staff and officials from the South Coast. Enjoy your football with us in the West Country and a safe journey after the game.
Happy New Year
May 2018 bring you all that you wish for; a very happy and prosperous New Year to everyone.
The Way We Were
Three short years ago Stuart Sinclair featured on the front page of the official Bristol Rovers match day programme. It was not a Football League programme, it was a non-League programme and the thought of that still hurts. We went into the festive period facing an away game at Torquay United on Boxing Day, a home return with our West Country rivals on New Years Day and in between a home game with second placed Macclesfield.
We went down to Torquay in good enough spirits; happy enough to be third placed in the table 9 points behind Barnet who led the way and two points behind Macca in second. Before us lay the task of overhauling the Cheshire club and chasing down our rivals from North London. It was a daunting task in many ways but not one that we thought impossible. Perhaps the hurt was driving us forward, driving us onwards and upwards.
There is no question that our supporters were playing their full part. No less than one thousand, one hundred and forty five travelling Gas made it to Plainmoor to make up an attendance figure of 3,755; a magnificent effort. We won the game 2.1 and the stage was set for the festive home game top of the table clash with Macclesfield. Six thousand nine hundred and forty three supporters understood the significance of the game in what turned out to be a dream result. The 4-0 victory moved us to a position where Barnet were just about in our sites and thoughts of an immediate return to The Football League was a realistic proposition.
Attendances were not faltering and 8206 were there for the New Year game 2015. Lee Mannsell stepped up to secure a point against his former club. Torquay were a determined side on the day and frustrated our progress just a touch. Little did Lee know what was ahead of him especially, the players, the manager and all of us on that fateful day at Wembley half a season later. That was the way we were and it was just three short years ago. It is worth us all remembering that as we look ahead to where we want to be.
For the record, as of 17th December, Barnet were 3rd bottom of League Two, Torquay were 3rd bottom of the National League and Macclesfield are still battling away and sat top of the non league pile.
Where We Want To Be
We have come a good way from the dark days of just three years ago. All of us in the Bristol Rovers family want us to move forward. Let us be clear; to do this we need to improve the amenities and facilities for all; supporters, players, staff and management. We have ambitions for at least Championship Football; we are the second biggest city in the South of England outside of London. We are big enough, we have a massive fan base and the potential has been there for all to see for a very long time. What is more and for our supporters not least, we must close the gap!
The support given to our football club over the past three years has been magnificent. Season ticket sales have been high and attendances have remained strong. Support on the road has been extraordinary. As we go into the New Year we remember and respect all of those of our Bristol Rovers family of the past, we enjoy the Bristol Rovers family of the present but we must keep up and we must leave a legacy for the Bristol Rovers family still to come.
A developed training ground to accommodate all that we do on the playing side is not just desirable it is essential. A stadium that befits our city and our region, one that is designed and built to 21st century standards and requirements, one that enables us to complete on a level playing field is just not desirable it is essential. We must work hard and work together to make the progress we all want and to close that gap.
Thank you for supporting Bristol Rovers Football Club. Your support is so very much appreciated.
Another Grand Winner
Many congratulations to Teresa Croker from Kingswood. Teresa added her name to a growing list of “Grand Winners” by collecting £1,025 at half time during the Southend game with 50/50 ticket number 035097. Well done to Ray Exton who sold Teresa her ticket from his station in the car park at the top of the Poplar Stand walk way. Bob Crocker collected the prize on Teresa’s behalf.
The second fixed prize of £100 was claimed by Will Morrison of Ashley Down. Will came forward ticket number 032350. Well done Will and very well done to James Rudman who sold Will his ticket at the main gate entrance to the stadium.
The Bristol Rovers Supporters Club Quiz nights are already planned for the early months of 2018; first up Thursday 8th February and followed by Thursday 12th April. Both quiz nights will take place in the clubhouse at the Memorial Stadium, 7.30 for a 8pm start. Phil and Janet will be on hand with the questions, answers and of course
Janet’s most wonderful raffle. Are you clever enough to beat our regular winners? New players and teams always welcome.
Over thirty Share Scheme members came together to enjoy a pre match get together and buffet on the evening of the Swindon Town game. In the order of £2,500 is still being raised every month. Continuing donations are very much appreciated and the total raised as at November 2017 was a staggering £1,148,749.
A Bid on the Side
Remember that goal? You will be pleased with this item.
Item 1. Sammy Igoe, away shirt.
Just the one item for you this week, but! It’s a great one. As you will no doubt remember Sammy scored one of Rovers most iconic goals when he raced virtually the entire length of the Wembley pitch to score the 3rd goal against Shrewsbury Town in May 2007. Here we have his shirt from (2006-07) I can’t be 100% sure that he wore it in a match but it’s very likely. It is in extremely good condition comes with the Football League patches and is size XL. What is more Sammy has signed the shirt.
This item has been auctioned on Ebay since Thursday the 28th of December and will be available for 10 days. The minimum price is just 99 pence each item and the highest bidder wins.
Links to the auction will be found at http://bristolroversmemorabilia.weebly.com/
If any other Rovers fans have any rare or interesting Rovers related items that they would be happy to donate, please pass the item(s) on to 199 Two Mile Hill Road, or pop in to the Supporters Club match day shop in the car park by the Dribuild Stand.
Christmas Quiz Answers
Answers to our Christmas “West Country Managers” Quiz set in the Doncaster Rovers programme on Saturday 23rd December 2017.
1. Peter Shilton. 2. Mark McGhee. 3.Steve Coppell. 4. Gerry Francis. 5. Tony Pulis. 6. Leroy Rosenior. 7. Malcolm Allison. 8. Paul Trollope. 9. Steve Cotterill. 10. Billy Bingham. 11. Neil Warnock. 12. Glen Hoddle. 13. Mark Cooper. 14. Frank O’Farrell. 15. Gary Johnson. 16. Peter Reid. 17. Joe Jordon. 18. Paolo Di Canio. 19. Bill Dodgin Snr. 20. Bert Tann.