Oh, no, you just missed the 3rd Annual Former Players Dinner which danced its way into town on 28th March 2019, and then lumbered out in a slightly more merry haze.
This year’s Special Guest was none other than former Rovers, Liverpool and England striker Sir Rickie Lambert – back of the net!
The sold out event featured, in the end, 27 former players and first team members of staff, boasting 5,518 appearances and 479 gas goals between them!
Included in the group was the man we believe is the oldest living Rovers player, John ‘Josser’ Watling, alongside someone who only retired very recently, Lee Mansell. Josser is 93 but still pretty fit and even drove himself to the stadium and back. Howard Radford, at the age of 88, is not too far behind Josser, and he stayed and also joined us at the Luton game.
A special 20 page match night programme was produced by Martin Bull & Keith Brookman and a PDF of it is available to view or download for FREE > BRFPA Annual Dinner 2019 – Match Night Programme. It not only introduces each player, including a page on Rickie’s debut for Rovers, but also features the work we do, and remembers Joe Davis who sadly passed away this season.
In agreement with Joe’s family, and the Bristol Rovers Community Trust, a new ‘Joe Davis Achievement Award’ will be presented annually to a student on one of the Bristol Rovers education courses who has pushed themselves to their full potential during the previous academic year. This will not necessarily be just for academic achievement, but for a student who has shown passion, resilience, hard work, teamwork and motivation.
Just before the event officially opened we helped Geoff Twentyman present his weekly BBC Radio Bristol show ‘Having A Gas’ live from the stadium, where he got to chat with our President Billy Clark, and exchanged serious banter with Tom Stanton, Justin Skinner, Gavin Kelly, Manse, Byron Anthony, Lambo, Craig Hinton, Steve Elliott, and Bobby Gould. You can listen here for free – https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0726kc1
The others were given a chance to chat freely together, before joining the supporters in the Poplar Insulation Hospitality Suite. This team consisted of Peter Aitken, Bob Bloomer, Simon Bryant, Trevor Challis, Lewis Hogg, Dave Gilroy, Harold Jarman, Vaughan Jones, Christian McClean, Phil Purnell, Paul Randall, Tom Ramasut, Andy Reece and Dave Wilcox.
And last but not least, Graham Coughlan joined us for a great evening of camaraderie and mingling with supporters.
Keep an eye on our website and social media accounts for our next events, especially the forthcoming 2019 Golf Day on 13th June at the beautiful Kendleshire Golf Club. Booking is now open and we are expecting a lot of great names to join us, including several of the above. If you’re not a golfer you can join us just for the early evening presentations and food.
All slideshow images by the amazing Neil Brookman