By Keith Brookman
Rummaging through some old Rovers related photos during one of the lockdown periods we have endured for almost a year now, I came across the ‘team’ photo reproduced on this page.
Whilst I recognised some of the faces of the people gathered around what looked like a giant dining room table, there were others I couldn’t recall.
After passing the photo on to David Thomas he quickly came back with the names of all those present, thanks to Sue Williams, the current Supporters Club Treasurer.
After a little bit more digging on my part I discovered that the photo was taken in the summer of 1979 and was of the newly formed Supporters Club Committee and those present are (L-R); Steve Howard, Jane Browne, Joan Bruton, Bill Brennan, Lindsay Welling, John Kayes, Ron Hicks, Ron Batt, Steve Larkins and Alan Lacock.
Sadly, many of them are no longer with us but the work of the Supporters Club continues, albeit in a quite different manner to the way that committee were used to almost 42 years ago!
At around the same time that photo was taken it was announced that Eric Godfrey was standing down as Chairman and Secretary of the Supporters Club. His involvement stretched back to 1947 and he was Chairman for 30 of his 32 year association.
During the 1950’s the Supporters Club helped raise funds to assist with the building of Eastville’s North Stand and the installation of floodlights at the ground and, when there was a rift between the Football Club and the Supporters Club in the early 1960’s he played a major part in healing that rift.
He was also a Director of the Football Club from 1966 to 1980 and a Vice President from then until his death, at the age of 74, in March 1986.
Discovering the photo of the committee club members also led me to dig out this photo of Eric Godfrey taken in April 1958 when, on behalf of the Supporters Club, he handed over a cheque for £10,000 to John Hare, a Director of the Football Club.
So many volunteers have played a part in the history of the Supporters Club over the years and many more continue to do so in order to support our football club.