Harry Bamford’s Cap to be presented today

Apr 6, 2023 | Cap Initiative, News

This afternoon sees a very special cap presentation to Hilary Lewis, daughter of the late former Rovers defender Harry Bamford.

Bristol born Harry spent time in India during the Second World War, with the First Battalion of the Gloucestershire Regiment, and joined Rovers in December 1945.

He appeared in 19 games in 1945/46 when the club resumed playing after the war, in the unofficial Third Division (South) League and Cup competitions.

When League Football resumed, in 1946/47, Harry was in the starting XI for the first game of that season, a 2-2 draw against Reading at Eastville. He was one of seven players making their League bow for the club that day and the first of those seven alphabetically, meaning he was the 260th player to appear for the club in the League.

It was the first of 486 league games in the famous blue and white quarters and he also appeared in 38 FA Cup ties and nine Gloucestershire Cup Finals.

A gifted full back, never flustered when on the ball and preferring to play his way out of trouble, he quickly became a popular player with both his team mates and the club’s supporters.

Although Rovers were a Third Division (South) side, in 1951 he was selected to tour Australia with a Football Association squad, which took in 20 games over a period of ten weeks.

He appeared in all 11 FA Cup ties, as the club reached the quarter final of the competition for the first time, in 1950/51, and was an ever present in the Third Division (South) Championship side of 1952/53.

He continued to be first choice right back in the side during those early days in the Second Division and was an ever present again in 1955/56 and 1957/58.

Harry was injured in a road accident on his way to take a coaching session with schoolboys at Clark’s Grammar School and died of his injuries three days later, on 31st October 1958. He was 38 years old.

Described as Bristol’s first gentleman of football, his name lives on with the annual award of the Harry Bamford Memorial Trophy, a fitting legacy to one of the club’s greatest players and it will be a privilege to present his cap to his daughter at half time today.