Ron Hicks: a tribute

Dec 27, 2021 | News

I was very saddened to learn of the passing of my former committee colleague and, of course, Chairman of the Supporters Club, Ron Hicks.
I believe Ron became Chairman after Ron Batt had stood down, I think it must have been in the early 1980’s when the club was, we thought at the time, on it’s ‘beam ends’. Rovers were however still a division higher than we are now but the financial situation was dire. I always remember Ron telling me that as the club’s Groundsman he was instructed by the then Chairman, Graham Holmes, to go into the smouldering ruins of the South Stand at Eastville after the big fire that brought it down in 1980, and rescue all the copper piping from the dressing rooms that had recently been renovated. Ron was not impressed and I don’t know what the insurance company had to say – that’s if it was insured at all – things were so bad!
Ron was Chairman of the SC and I was Vice Chairman when the Dunford Board took the big gamble to take the club out of the crumbling but still magical Eastville Stadium in 1986 and we went on an evening exploration to Twerton Park to see what the Supporters Club needed to play our part in rescuing Rovers from what looked like extinction at the time. The result of that trip was he and I spending the whole summer converting the wreck of an old builders cabin that had been abandoned on the Bath-end terrace and turning it into a match-day shop. We had a lot of laughs and a good view of the Supporters Club’s army of volunteers clearing stone chippings off the pitch and painting the main stand in a variety of colours as a result of cheap/donations of any paint we could lay our hands on! The result of that move is of course now legendary in Rovers’ long history and it’s because of great blokes like Ron that the ‘Pirates’ survive today.
R.I.P. Ron and thanks for the memories!
Jim Chappell,
Former Chairman.