Rovers on this Day – December

By Keith Brookman

Today we continue our new monthly feature by seeing what happened ‘on this day’ in December.

DECEMBER 1st

Happy Birthday to the former Rovers players born on this day; Gary Emmanuel (1954), Ian Hazel (1967) and Frankie Prince (1949).

Frankie Prince 1st Dec - Photo courtesy of Alan Marshall
Frankie Prince  [Photo courtesy of Alan Marshall]
Happy Birthday, also, to current Rovers player Cameron Hargreaves, born on this day in 1998.

Tom Parrinello and Matt Groves made their senior Rovers debuts on this day in 2007, an FA Cup second round tie against Rushden & Diamonds at the Memorial Stadium which Rovers won 5-1.

Alex Munro made his Rovers league debut on this day in 1962, a 3-3 draw against Bradford Park Avenue at Eastville.

DECEMBER 2ND

Happy Birthday to former Rovers players Allen Clarke and Aaron Lescott, born on this day in 1952 and 1978 respectively.

Dave Bumpstead made his Rovers league debut on this day in 1961, a goalless draw in an away game against Walsall.

Jeff Coombes made his league debut for The Gas on this day in 1972, a 5-1 win against Scunthorpe United atEastville.

Martin Boyle and Lee Howells never appeared in a league game for Rovers, but both made their senior debut in a Gloucestershire Cup game against Bristol City on this day in 1987 which Rovers lost 2-1 at Eastville.

DECEMBER 3RD

Happy Birthday to former Rovers players Steve Foster and Tom Lockyer, born on this day in 1974 and 1994 respectively.

Tom, of course, is now playing for Charlton Athletic in the Championship and has become a regular in the Welsh side in recent months.

Former Rovers stalwart Geoff Fox died on this day in 1993.

DECEMBER 4TH

Happy Birthday to former Rovers player Michele di Piedi, born on this day in 1980.

Happy Birthday, also, to current Rovers players Rollin Menayese and Tyler Smith, born on this day in 1997 and 1998 respectively.

Former Rovers goalkeeper Ron Nicholls was born on this day in 1933.

Darren Jefferies made his senior debut for Rovers on this day in 2011 when going on as a second half substitute in our 6-1 win against AFC Totton in the FA Cup.

DECEMBER 5TH

Happy Birthday to former Rovers player Paul Tovey, born on this day in 1973.

Paul is currently Assistant Manager of Paulton Rovers.

Former Rovers goalkeeper Ian Bearpark died on this day in 1997.

DECEMBER 6TH

Happy Birthday to former player and manager (twice) Gerry Francis, born on this day in 1951.

Happy Birthday, also, to former Rovers striker Jamie Lucas, born on this day in 1995

Ralph Jones made his Rovers league debut on this day in 1947, a 3-0 away defeat at Bournemouth.

On this day in 1958 Ian Hamilton made his Rovers debut in a 4-3 defeat against Charlton Athletic at The Valley.

Steven Williams’ Rovers debut came in a 1-0 home defeat against Wrexham on this day in 1980.

Goalkeeper Fabian Speiss was between the posts for the first time in a Rovers shirt on this day in 2014 when he kept a clean sheet in a goalless draw.

Gerry Francis - Photo courtesy of Alan Marshall
Gerry Francis during the 2001 return  [Photo courtesy of Alan Marshall]
DECEMBER 7TH

Former Rovers player Jamie Clapham was born on this day in 1975.

Three Rovers players made their debuts on this day in 1946 when Rovers drew 0-0 against Brighton & Hove Albion at Eastville. The three players were; John Cook, Fred Leamon and Wynffrwd Morgan.

DECEMBER 8TH

Happy Birthday to the Rovers players born on this day, namely Gary Smart (1963), Bradley Andrews (1979) and Matt Somner (1982)

DECEMBER 9TH

Happy Birthday to the former Rovers players born on this day; Malcolm John (1950), Stuart Campbell (1977) and Marc Bola (1997).

Former Rovers player Francis McCourt was born on this day in 1925.

Paul Petts made his Rovers debut on this day in 1978, a 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Millwall.

Former Rovers defender Norman Sykes died on this day in 2009, at the age of 73.

DECEMBER 10TH

Happy Birthday to former Rovers players Tom McAlister and Simon Stapleton, born on this day in 1952 and 1968 respectively.

DECEMBER 11TH

Happy Birthday to former Rovers players Matt Groves and Cristian Montano, born on this day in 1988 and 1991 respectively.

Matt is currently playing for Bitton and Cristian for Port Vale.

Martin Paul made his Rovers debut on this day in 1993, a 1-1 draw against Leyton Orient at Twerton Park.

DECEMBER 12TH

The following former Rovers players were born on this day; Robert Watkins (1946), David Pyle (1936) and Kevin Austin (1973).

Luke Basford made his first appearance in a Rovers shirt on this day in 1997, a 4-0 home defeat at the hands of Grimsby Town.

Mark McKeever and Mike Trought made their Rovers debuts on this day in in 1998 in a goalless draw against Manchester City at Maine Road.

DECEMBER 13TH

On this day in 1958 defender Doug Hillard made his Rovers debut in a 1-1 draw against Sheffield United at Eastville.

Tony Ford made his Rovers debut on this day in 1969, a 3-1 defeat against Fulham at Craven Cottage.

DECEMBER 14TH

Happy Birthday to former Rovers players Lee Thorpe and Liam Lawrence, born on this day in 1975 and 1981 respectively.

Richard Rose made his Rovers debut on this day in 2002, a 2-0 home defeat against Oxford United at the Memorial Stadium.

Lee Thorpe 14th December - Photo Courtesy of Alan Marshall
Lee Thorpe   [Photo Courtesy of Alan Marshall]
DECEMBER 15TH

Happy Birthday to former Rovers player James Quinn, born on this day in 1974.

Matt Groves made his Rovers league debut on this day in 2007, a 2-1 away defeat against Huddersfield Town.

DECEMBER 16TH

Two former Rovers managers were born on this day, Paul Buckle in 1970 and Darrell Clarke in 1977.

Gary Mabbutt’s first league game for Rovers came on this day in 1978, a 2-0 defeat by Burnley at Turf Moor.

Graham Barrett, then on loan from Arsenal, made his Rovers debut on this day in 2000, a
3-0 home defeat at the hands of Stoke City.

DECEMBER 17TH

Happy Birthday to former Rovers skipper James Hunt, born on this day in 1976.

Birthday greetings, also, to former goalkeeper Mikkel Andersen, currently playing for Danish side FC Midtjylland, born on this day in 1988.

James Hunt - Dec 17th - Photo courtesy of Alan Marshall
James Hunt  [Photo courtesy of Alan Marshall]
DECEMBER 18TH

Happy Birthday to former Rovers players Phil Lythgoe and Rob Trees, born on this day in 1959 and 1977 respectively.

Jimmy Hamilton made his Rovers debut on this day in 1976, a 3-2 win against Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

Goalkeeper Martyn Margetson, the current Swansea City and England goalkeeping coach, made his Rovers debut on this day in 1993. On loan from Manchester City, he kept a clean sheet as Rovers beat Fulham 1-0 at Craven Cottage.

DECEMBER 19TH

Happy Birthday to former Rovers midfielder David Hillier, born on this day in 1969.

Republic of Ireland international Joe Haverty made his Rovers debut on this day in 1964 in a 3-2 win against Luton Town at Eastville.

Garry Pendrey’s debut, and only game for Rovers, came on this day in 1981 when Rovers lost 1-0 against Carlisle United at Eastville.

DECEMBER 20TH

Former Rovers player Robert Watkins was born on this day in 1946.

Goalkeeper Malcolm Norman made his Rovers league debut on this day in 1958, a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Leyton Orient.

DECEMBER 21ST

Happy Birthday to former Rovers loanee Robert Wolleaston, born on this day in 1979.

Charles Windle made his Rovers league debut on this day in 1946, a goalless home draw against Port Vale.

Bobby Brown made a goalscoring Rovers league debut on this day in 1968 when Rovers recorded a 2-0 away win against Gillingham.

Sonny Parker made his Rovers league debut on this day in 2002, a 3-1 defeat against Cambridge United at the Abbey Stadium.

DECEMBER 22ND

Happy Birthday to former Rovers midfielder/player coach/acting manager Steve Cross, born on this day in 1959.

Former Rovers defender Brian Doyle died on this day in 1992.

Steve Cross - Dec 22nd - No credit
Steve Cross

DECEMBER 23RD

Happy Birthday to former Rovers striker and Bristol Rovers Former Players Association Committee member Dave Gilroy, born on this day in 1982.

Former Rovers winger Maurice Lockier died on this day in 2001.

Dave Gilroy - Dec 23rd - Photo courtesy of Alan Marshall
Dave Gilroy [Photo courtesy of Alan Marshall]
DECEMBER 24TH

A very, very rare day when nothing gas happened!

DECEMBER 25TH

Happy Birthday to former Rovers player Rik Lopez, born on this day in 1979.

Former Rovers players Harry Cranfield and Chris Weller were born on this day in 1917 and 1939 respectively.

DECEMBER 26TH

Happy Birthday to former Rovers loan player Clayton McDonald, born on this day in 1988.

Since the Second World War no fewer than seven players have made their Rovers league debuts on this day.

Pride of place goes to Harold Jarman, whose debut came on Boxing Day 1959 when he was in the side that beat Swansea Town 3-1 at Eastville. The photo of Harold used here was kindly supplied by Harold’s son, Richard, and shows Harold on the pitch in that game sixty years ago.

Harold Jarman, pictured on his Boxing Day debut against Swansea Town in 1959. Photo courtesy of Harold’s son, Richard
Harold Jarman, pictured on his Boxing Day debut against Swansea Town in 1959.   Photo courtesy of Harold’s son, Richard

Norman Sykes first pulled on a blue and white quartered shirt on this day in 1956, when Rovers were 6-1 winners against Bury at Eastville.

It was the turn of Carl Gilbert to make his Rovers debut on Boxing Day 1969 and he made a goalscoring debut in the 1-1 draw against Reading.

Gary Emmanuel also made his debut on Boxing Day, in 1978, a 1-0 win against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Goalkeeper Ray Cashley was on the losing side on his debut, as Oxford United were 3-2 winners at the Manor Ground on Boxing Day 1983.

Scott Sinclair made his Rovers debut, a fleeting appearance as a substitute on this day in 2004, when we drew 1-1 with Orient at the Mem.

Kayne McLaggon made his one and only league appearance for The Gas as recently as 2011 in a 3-2 home defeat by Plymouth Argyle.

DECEMBER 27TH

Former Rovers player Johnny Williams made his debut on this day in 1966, a 1-0 home win against Orient.

DECEMBER 28TH

Happy Birthday to former Rovers loan player Chris Dickson, born on this day in 1984.

On this day in 1946 Cliff Baker and Ken Wookey made their league debuts for Rovers in a 1-1 draw against Reading at Elm Park.

Robert Watkins made his one and only Rovers league appearance on this day in 1965, a 1-0 defeat against AFC Bournemouth at Dean Court.

Former Rovers goalkeeper Tim Carter made his first Rovers appearance on this day in 1985, a 2-0 defeat against Reading at Eastville.

Richard Dryden and Ian Weston made their league debuts for Rovers on this day in 1986, a 2-1 win against Brentford at Griffin Park.

It was the turn of David John Lee to make his Rovers debut on this day in 1998. He was in the side that beat Colchester United 3-0 at Layer Road.

DECEMBER 29TH

Happy Birthday to former Rovers players Dave Stone and Paul Heffernan, born on this day in 1942 and 1981 respectively.

Bernard Mensah, currently on loan at Maidenhead United, was born on this day in 1994, so it’s also Happy Birthday to him.

On this day in 1976 Ray Guscott made his Rovers debut in a 2-1 away defeat against Southampton.

Josh Klein-Davies and Charlie Reece made their debuts for Rovers on this day in 2007, a 3-0 win against Carlisle United at the Mem.

Elliott Ward ‘s first Rovers appearance, a very brief one, came at Cheltenham Town on this day in 2004 which ended 1-1.

DECEMBER 30TH

Happy Birthday to former Rovers players Ijah Anderson and Alex Jeannin, born on this day in 1975 and 1977 respectively.

Former Rovers legend Geoff Bradford died on this day in 1994 at the age of 67. He scored 242 goals in 461 league games for Rovers and remains the only player to be capped by England whilst still with the club, scoring on his one and only appearance for his country in 1955.

DECEMBER 31ST

Happy Birthday to former Rovers defender Tim Parkin, born on this day in 1957.

Tim Parkin 31st Dec - Photo courtesy of Alan Marshall
Tim Parkin  [Photo courtesy of Alan Marshall]
Goalkeeper Ron Nicholls was between the posts for the first time for Rovers on this day in 1955 when Rovers were 4-2 winners against Sheffield Wednesday at Eastville.

Darren Mullings, now playing for Salisbury, made his Rovers debut on this day in 2005, a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Wycombe Wanderers.

Lance Cronin, a goalkeeper signed by Paul Buckle, made his one and only Rovers appearance on this day in 2011 when he played the second half of the 5-2 home defeat at the hands of Crewe Alexandra.

Former Rovers defender Geoff Fox, who appeared in 276 league games for the club, died on this day in 1993.