October 25, 2018
This particular column was written last week in order to meet the necessary printing deadlines so the match against Oxford is still to come as I put ‘pen to paper’. Let’s hope that three valuable points came our way last Saturday as they were badly needed!
So instead of commenting on what happened on the pitch the chance presents itself to give the Supporters Club’s small army of matchday volunteers another big ‘thank you’ for their efforts in what has not been a very pleasant season to date. Not only have Rovers suffered a series of home defeats (four such League reverses being unprecedented at this stage of the season) but we have also not enjoyed the best of weather either with a couple of good unseasonal soakings for those working outside. So I would just like to pay tribute to those who help this football club to function on a matchday, many of whom will be familiar faces to most fans in and around the stadium.
Ron Thorne is a well known example as he sells programmes up on Filton Avenue alongside 50/50 seller, Pete Collins. Both of them are very important members of the team because of the volume of their respective sales but few people know that Ron is usually ‘first on duty’ as he is always in early to sort the programmes and load up the trollies ready for the other sellers when they arrive for duty. On a bad day, like the previous two Saturdays have been, Ron has already had a good soaking before anyone else arrives! Not all get wet of course – Phil Draper, Janet Wooster and Jamie Howarth man our matchday cabin and Phil is another early attender and is also one of the last to leave after cashing-up.
Hidden out of sight in our office cabin are Sue Williams and Samantha Parsons who sort the cash and 50/50 tickets and who now curse the new family stand that completely blocks our already-restricted view of the pitch. So they see nothing of the game until we can get the half-time draw done and dusted and then it’s back to work finishing-up after the final whistle. I could mention others who miss a lot of what we really have come to see, the Rovers playing football, but when things are not going so well with the team it is timely to thank all our helpers for their efforts and the sacrifices they make – rain or shine!