This column was penned before last Saturday’s tough trip to Lincoln where, hopefully, Rovers picked up their first goals and points of this season’s campaign on the road! Our last game here turned out to be yet another disappointment against Accrington. It’s amazing how these ‘bogey teams’ develop over the years when there is no logical reason for them. At least we got a valuable point but Johnson Clarke Harris’s fantastic overhead kick really deserved to be the winner of any match and will surely be a candidate for a repeat ‘Goal of the Season’ award!
Apart from JCH’s fantastic strike the Accrington game was notable for a couple of presentations involving the Supporters Club. Firstly it was my privilege to present Dave Jeal, Rovers’ former Club Chaplin, with our award of ‘Clubman of the Year’ for last season. The Accrington game marked Dave’s first return to the ‘Mem’ since he joined the Royal Marines so it was nice to take the chance to make the presentation on the pitch whilst he caught up with old friends.
There was a second ‘presentation’ of sorts that afternoon when the Supporters Club sponsored ‘Gas Girls’ were paraded around the ground at half-time prior to the two ladies team’s opening matches the following day in the Gloucestershire County League. They got a great reception from the fans and certainly did not disappoint on the Sunday when both teams got off to a brilliant start – the first team thrashed last season’s Division 1 runner’s-up 5-0 and the ‘development’ team also romped to victory 5-2 in Division 2, both sides away from home too! So, great beginnings for the girls and let’s hope our sponsorship continues to pay dividends throughout the campaign. Keep buying those 50/50 tickets!
I would like to take the chance to thank all my friends in our great Rovers ‘family’ for all the messages of sympathy and support following the death of my oldest Grandson last month from a very rare and aggressive form of brain cancer at the age of just 10 years. Oddly, Nathan was never much interested in football, unlike his parents, my eldest son Chris and his wife Sue who, along with Sue’s parents Lynne and Alun Ashton, ran the Rovers fanzine ‘The Black Arab’ for many years back in the ‘noughties’. Chris was also a member of the ‘Screen Soccer’ commentry team that showed match highlights in the Clubhouse after every home game up until the end of last season. We are all extremely grateful for the support that our other ‘family’ has given us during a very difficult time and it was great to see so many old Rovers’ friends travel to the funeral in Risca last Monday. Sincere thanks to you all.