Rovers on this Day – July

By Keith Brookman

JULY 1ST

Happy Birthday to former Rovers defender Jon Bass, born on this day in 1976.

Made 68 league appearances for Birmingham City after turning professional with them in 1994, Jon enjoyed loan spells with Carlisle United and Gillingham before joining Hartlepool United in July 2001.

He signed for Rovers in March 2005 after a season spent in Malaysia and appeared in 12 league games for the Gas.

Happy Birthday, also, to Angelo Balanta, born on this day in 1990.

The first Colombian born player to appear for Rovers started out at Queens Park Rangers and had played, on loan, for Wycombe Wanderers, MK Dons and Yeovil Town before arriving in BS7 in September 2014.

Made a goalscoring debut against Barnet in November of that year and scored in the penalty shootout in the Conference play off final against Grimsby Town in May 2015. Joined Carlisle United that summer and ended last season with National League side Dagenham & Redbridge.

JULY 2ND

Happy Birthday to former Rovers striker Nathan Ellington, born on this day in 1981.

Joined Rovers in February 1999 from Walton & Hersham for a reported fee of £150,000 and went on to score 35 goals in 116 league games for the club. Both he, and Rovers, made the national headlines in January 2002 when he scored a hat trick as Fourth Division Rovers beat Premiership side Derby County 3-1, at Pride Park, in the FA Cup.

Nathan Ellington [Photo Credit – Alan Marshall]

Moved to Wigan for a fee of £1.2m in March 2002 and helped them to the Second Division title in 2002/03 and fees in the region of £3m changed hands when he signed for West Bromwich Albion in August 2005 and Watford two years later.

He later played for Derby County, on loan and spent time playing in Greece before another loan spell, at Preston North End. Towards the end of his career he also played league football for Ipswich Town, Scunthorpe United and Crewe Alexandra.

JULY 3RD

Former Rovers defender Herbert Richard Winter-Alsop died on this day in 2007.

Known, it seems, as Bert Winters, he joined Rovers in July 1946 and appeared in 13 league games for the club. Made his debut in a 2-0 away win against Queens Park Rangers in October 1946.

Bert appeared in seven games in 1946/47 and six the following season and continued to play for the reserves until he left the club in 1952.

JULY 4TH

Happy Birthday to former Rovers defender John Scales, born on this day in 1966.

Signed from Leeds United in July 1985, he went on to score twice in 72 league appearances for Rovers before leaving for Wimbledon in 1987 for a fee in the region of £75,000.

Appeared in the 1988 FA Cup Final, going on as a substitute in the Dons’ win against Liverpool and played in 240 league games whilst at Plough lane.

There was a big money move (in excess of £3m) in 1994 and he appeared in their 1995 League Cup Final win against Bolton Wanderers and went on to win three full international caps for England.

Joined Tottenham Hotspur for a fee of £2.5m in December 1996 and Ipswich Town, his final league club, in July 2000.

Former Rovers striker Vic Lambden died on this day in 1996.

Turned professional with Rovers in 1945 and scored 21 goals in 34 appearances in the unofficial 1945/46 Division Three (South) league and cup campaign.

He appeared in the club’s first post war Football League match, scoring in the 2-2home draw against Reading and his Rovers career took in 268 league games in which he scored 117 goals.

Ever present in the Third Division (South) Championship side of 1952/53, he scored in the first nine post war seasons and twice scored four goals in a match, against Aldershot in 1948 and Colchester United in 1952.

After leaving Rovers in 1955 he went on to score 150 goals for Trowbridge Town and was later manager of local side Oldland.

JULY 5TH

Happy Birthday to former Rovers defender Gary Sawyer, born on this day in 1985.

Began his career with Plymouth Argyle and turned professional with them in 2004. A brief loan spell with Weymouth preceded a move to Exeter City and another brief loan spell with Bristol City.

Joined Rovers in the summer of 2010 and appeared in 61 league games for the Gas before signing for Orient in 2012. After three years, one goal and 69 league games at Brisbane Road, he rejoined Plymouth in June 2015 and skippered last season’s promotion winning side.

JULY 6TH

Happy Birthday to former Rovers goalkeeper Nick Culkin, born on this day in 1978.

Played against Rovers, for Manchester United, in Lee Martin’s testimonial match at the Mem in July 1999 and joined the Gas one year later on a season long loan.

Hugely popular figure during that time when he missed only one league game. Later played for Livingston and Queens Park Rangers where an injury sustained in a game against Swindon Town brought about an early retirement from the pro game.

Nick Culkin [Photo Credit – Alan Marshall]

Happy Birthday, also, to former Rovers striker Josh Klein-Davies, born on this day in 1989.

Was with Bristol City as a youngster but joined Rovers in May 2007 and scored once in 10 league games, as well as scoring all four goals in the club’s tour game against MABI Malmo in July 2008.

Capped by Wales at U-17 and U-19 levels, he ended last season with Skelmersdale United.

Former Rovers goalkeeper Bert Hoyle died on this day in 2003.

Following 82 league appearances for Exeter City, Bert signed for Rovers in May 1950 and went on to appear in 104 league games whilst at Eastville.

He had appeared in 29 games for the club in the promotion season of 1952/53 before being injured in a car crash in February 1953 and those injuries brought an end to his playing career.

JULY 7TH

Happy Birthday to former Rovers goalkeeping coach Steve Book, born on this day in 1969.

Enjoyed a lengthy playing career with Cheltenham Town and appeared in their first ever Football League match and was a member of the side that won promotion to Division Two in 2000/01.

Joined Rovers in July 2005 and was called into action as a player following an injury to Scott Shearer. His only appearance as a player for the club came in a 1-0 defeat by Notts County, at the Mem, on 11th March 2006.

Returned to Cheltenham as their goalkeeping coach in 2010 and has now completed ten years in that capacity with the Robins.

Happy Birthday, also, to former Rovers forward Clinton Ellis, born on this day in 1977.

A former Chelsea trainee, he joined Rovers in June 2000 and went on to score once in 15 league games for the club after making his debut against Peterborough United in August 2000.

Left Rovers in July 2001 and enjoyed a brief spell playing football in France.

JULY 8TH

Happy Birthday to former Rovers goalkeeper Bernard Hall, born on this day in 1942.

Joined Rovers in 1958 and turned professional a year later, making his debut in April 1962 against Charlton Athletic.

Went on to appear in 163 league games for the club and was ever present in seasons 1963/64 & 1965/66 but his career ended on New Year’s Eve 1966 when an accidental collision with Middlesbrough striker John O’Rourke left him unconscious and he remained in a coma for 16 days.

Thankfully, he recovered, though was unable to play football again. A crowd of 9,000 turned up for his testimonial match, against West Ham United, in October 1967.

Bernard Hall

Happy Birthday, also, to former Rovers striker John Akinde, born on this day in 1989

Joined Rovers, on loan from Bristol City, in August 2010 and went on to appear in 14 league games for the club.

Since leaving City in 2011 he has played for a number of clubs, most notably Barnet, for whom he scored 87 goals in 166 games, form which earned him a move to Lincoln City in July 2018. There was a further move, to Rovers League One rivals Gillingham, in January of this year.

JULY 9TH

Happy Birthday to former Rovers forward David Hudd, born on this day in 1944.

Turned professional with the club in 1963 and made a goalscoring debut against Port Vale in January 1965. That was to be his only goal in five league games for the club.

Former Rovers stalwart Peter Sampson was born on this day in 1927.

After making his debut in 1948 he went on to appear in 340 league games for the club and was an ever present in three seasons.

Also a member of the Third Division Championship of 1952/53, he was never booked during his Rovers career.

JULY 10TH

Happy Birthday to former Rovers forward Phil Coggins, born on this day in 1940.

Bristol born Phil joined Bristol City in 1958 and appeared in four league games for them before a move across town to join Rovers, in July 1960.

Appeared in four league games during his time at Eastville during his one year with the club and later played for Wellington Town, Taunton Town, Glastonbury Town and Glastonbury

Happy Birthday, also, to former Rovers player Ian Willmott, born on this day in 1968.

Joined Rovers in December 1988 and made his league debut for the club against Brentford in August 1989, going on to become a valuable member of the 1989/90 squad that clinched the Third Division title.

Appeared in 22 league games for the club before going on to play locally, for Weston, Clevedon, Yeovil and Mangotsfield.

Happy Birthday, also, to Tom Parrinello, born on this day in 1989.

Tom turned professional with Rovers in the summer of 2006 and although he didn’t make a league appearance for the club, he made his senior debut in the FA Cup when going on as a substitute in our game against Rushden & Diamonds in December 2007.

Later played for Weston, Gloucester City and Mangotsfield United before returning to Rovers as an Academy coach in 2014. He is now Lead Professional Development Phase Coach in the Academy.

JULY 12TH

Happy Birthday to former Rovers player and manager Terry Cooper, born on this day in 1944.

Capped 20 times by England, Terry made 250 league appearances for Leeds United and another 105 for Middlesbrough before signing for Bristol City. Moved across Bristol, to Rovers, in August 1979, as player/coach before becoming player/manager and turning out for Rovers in 59 league games.

There were 20 league games for Doncaster Rovers before a return to Bristol as player/manager of City and after his playing days he managed Birmingham City and Exeter City.

Terry Cooper [Photo Credit – Alan Marshall]

Happy Birthday, also, to former Rovers midfielder Ryan Morgan, born on this day in 1978.

Bristol born Ryan spent six months on the books of Norwich City as a youngster but turned professional with Rovers in March 1997 and made his only league appearance for the club that same month, against Watford.

Finally, Happy Birthday to former Rovers midfielder Danny Williams, born on this day in 1979.

Began his career with Liverpool but was unable to make the breakthrough into the first team and moved to Wrexham in March 1999.

A loan spell with Doncaster Rovers preceded a permanent move to Kidderminster Harriers, and there was a loan spell with Chester City before he moved to Rovers, also on loan, on transfer deadline day 2004.

The holder of nine Welsh U-23 caps, he rejoined Wrexham that summer and stayed at the Racecourse Ground until May 2008 before winding down his playing career in non league football.

JULY 13TH

Happy Birthday to former Rovers defender Marcus Andreasson, born on this day in 1978.

He first joined Rovers in July 1998 from Swedish Club Osters IF and made his league debut, against Burnley, in August. Missed much of the season through injury and returned to Sweden to play for Kalmar FF in the summer of 1999.

In March 2000 he returned to Rovers for a second time, which lasted until August 2001 and his two spells with the club yielded one goal in 15 league appearances.

Former Rovers forward John Timmins died on this day in 2006.

He had made five appearances for Plymouth Argyle before joining Rovers in August 1958 and made four league appearances for the club before being released, in July 1961.

JULY 14TH

Happy Birthday to former Rovers defender Daniel Jones, born on this day in 1986.

Began his career with Wolves for whom he made 10 league appearances. Played, on loan, for Northampton Town, Oldham Athletic and Notts County before arriving at the Mem for another loan spell in February 2010 and appeared in 17 league games for the Gas.

Joined Sheffield Wednesday that summer and went on to play for Port Vale and Chesterfield and returned to Notts County, on a permanent deal, in July 2017. Spent last season with Cambridge United and was loaned to National League side Solihull Moors just before the coronavirus pandemic, so never actually played for them.

Former Rovers defender David Lawrence died on this day in 2006.

Born in Poole, David joined Rovers from Poole Town in June 1955 and made five league appearances for the club between then and June 1957 when he signed for Reading, where he appeared in 23 league games.

JULY 15TH

Former Rovers defender Brian Doyle was born on this day in 1930.

By the time he joined the club, in June 1957, he had appeared in 17 league games for Stoke City and 100 for Exeter City.

Made his Rovers league debut against Sheffield United in January 1958 and scored once in 43 league games for the club. He went on to coach Rovers’ Colts side and became assistant trainer in 1962.

Left to coach at Carlisle in 1966 and was later manager at Workington, Blackpool and Stockport County.

Former Rovers defender Denzil ‘Paddy’ Hale died on this day in 2004.

Born in Clevedon, he joined Rovers in April 1951 and signed professional forms in February 1952 and made a goalscoring league debut in November 1953 in a 3-0 home win against Leicester City.

He was in the Rovers side that beat Manchester United 4-0 in the FA Cup in January 1956 and scored against Burnley in another FA Cup tie, two years later.

Signed for Bath City in July 1959 after a Rovers career that saw him score 12 goals in 120 league games.

JULY 16TH

Former Rovers forward Dai Ward was born on this day in 1934.

Joined Rovers in November 1954 after playing just twice for Barry Town and made his league debut, against Nottingham Forest, in April 1955.

That was his only league appearance of the season, but his career really took off in the 1955/56 campaign when he scored 16 goals in 27 league matches. That total included scoring in eight consecutive games.

His total of 19 league goals, again in 27 games, the following season included a four minute hat trick in a 6-1 win against Doncaster Rovers. For that feat he was presented with an inscribed cigarette lighter.

Dai Ward

Another 14 goals followed in 1957/58, but his best season for goals in a Rovers shirt was 1958/59, with 26 in just 37 league games. His form that season saw win his first full Welsh Cap and he played against England in a 2-2 draw at Villa Park.

He scored after just seven seconds of the 1959 Gloucestershire Cup Final, against Bristol City, and there were 12 more league goals in 1959/60. He had scored three more by the time of his transfer to Cardiff City in February 1961.

Whilst at Cardiff, he won a second cap for Wales and he scored 18 goals in 35 games for them. There were subsequent moves to Watford (31 goals), in June 1962 and to Brentford (11 goals) before he signed for Worcester City in August 1965.

There followed a short spell as a player with Bath City and he went on to coach at Cambridge United and Kettering Town.

JULY 18TH

Former Rovers striker Geoff Bradford was born on this day in 1927.

There’s nothing new I can add to the story of this Bristol Rovers legend that hasn’t been told before.

Bristol born, Geoff only ever played league football for Rovers and made his league debut for the club on 24th September 1949 in a 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace.

We can only imagine what his career might have been like had he not suffered two serious leg injuries during his career. The first, in 1953, the second in 1956 by which time he had played for England, winning his solitary cap in a 5-1 win against Denmark and scoring his country’s fifth goal.

The incomparable Geoff Bradford

The best word to sum up his Rovers goalscoring record is prolific, for he managed 242 goals in 461 league games, scoring hat tricks on no fewer than 11 occasions. In addition, there were 15 goals in 38 FA Cup ties and three in 12 appearances in the League Cup.

He scored 33 goals in the promotion winning season of 1952/53 and a hat trick in the club’s first ever Second Division game in a 4-4 draw, against Fulham, in August 1953.

He was the club’s top goalscorer in no fewer than five different seasons, scored against Manchester United in the famous FA Cup win in 1956 and scored in both FA Cup quarter finals played by the club in the 1950’s.

Although capped only once, he also travelled abroad with England, on an FA tour of the West Indies in May 1955 and it goes without saying that he scored goals! There were two separate hat tricks against the Jamaican national side on that tour.

The first winner of the Harry Bamford Memorial Trophy, he was awarded a testimonial match on his retirement when a crowd of 12,000 were at Eastville to see Rovers take on an international XI.

He was 67 years old when he died, on 30th December 1994.

JULY 19TH

Happy Birthday to current Rovers midfielder Luke Russe, born on this day in 1999.

Made his senior debut in an EFL Trophy tie against Wycombe Wanderers in August 2017 and his league debut against MK Dons in March 2018.

Has spent time on loan with Gloucester City and ended last season with a loan spell at Chippenham Town.

JULY 20TH

Happy Birthday to former Rovers midfielder Gavin Williams, born on this day in 1980.

Played for Hereford United and Yeovil Town before big money moves to West Ham United and Ipswich Town. Joined Bristol City in June 2008 and scored three goals in 52 league games whilst at Ashton Gate.

Moved back to Yeovil, on loan, in March 2010 and signed for Rovers in January 2011. Went on to appear in 19 league games, scoring twice, before joining Yeovil for a third time in June 2011.

Later played for Woking and Merthry Town and was appointed manager of the Welsh club in May 2016. Had two former Rovers players. Ben Swallow and Eliot Richards, with him at Merthyr last season.

Former Rovers forward Geoffrey Taylor died on this day in 2007.

In his playing career, he made ten league appearances for six clubs. Three of those appearances came for Rovers in the 1951/52 season.

Went on to coach in France, Switzerland and Germany and was living in Germany at the time of his death, aged 84.

JULY 21ST

Happy Birthday to former Rovers player, and manager, Ray Graydon, born on this day in 1947.

Signed as a professional with Rovers in June 1963 and went on score 33 goals in 133 league games before a transfer to Aston Villa in May 1971.

Ray Graydon, as a playing Pirate [Photo Credit – Alan Marshall]

At Villa Park helped his side to the Third Division title in 1971/72 and promotion to the First Division in 1974/75 as well as scoring the only goal of the game in the 1975 League Cup Final as Villa beat Norwich City.

Joined Coventry City in July 1977 and enjoyed a spell in America in 1978, where he played for Washington Diplomats. On his return to these shores he played for Oxford United, going on to become youth team coach, coach and assistant manager once his playing career was over.

Enjoyed coaching/ staff roles at Watford, Southampton, QPR and Port Vale before becoming manager of Walsall in May 1998. Appointed manager of Rovers in April 2002 and was in charge for almost two seasons.

Happy Birthday, also, to Anthony Pulis, born on this day in 1984.

The son of former Rovers player Tony, he signed for Rovers in February 2008 on loan from Stoke City having previously made a handful of league appearances for Stoke, Torquay United, Plymouth Argyle and Grimsby Town.

His one league appearance for Rovers was at Doncaster Rovers on 9th February 2008 lasted just 14 minutes when he went on as a substitute for David Pipe. Rovers were beaten 2-0 that day.

There were games for Lincoln City, Stockport County, Barnet and Aldershot Town before a 2012 move to America and Orlando City where he was appointed youth coach in September 2014.

Went on to become head coach of St Louis FC and is now assistant coach with Inter Miami CF, the side co-owned by David Beckham.

Current Rovers striker Jonson Clark-Harris was born on this day in 1994 and so it’s Happy Birthday to him as well.

Joined Rovers on transfer deadline day January 2019 having previously turned out for Coventry City, Peterborough United, Southend United, Bury, Oldham Athletic, Rotherham United, MK Dons, Doncaster Rovers and Coventry City again.

Rovers were one place off the foot of the table when he arrived in BS7 and his 11 goals between then and the end of the season staved off the threat of relegation.

There were 13 more league goals last season which brought his tally to 24 in just 42 league games for the Gas whilst he has scored three more in 10 cup games.

Former Rovers midfielder Brian Carter died on this day in 2019, aged 80.

Began his career with Weymouth before a move to Portsmouth, in January 1956. He made 45 league appearances for Portsmouth in five years at Fratton Park.

Signed for Rovers in the summer of 1961 and made four league appearances during his time at Eastville. Played for a number of local clubs after leaving Rovers in March 1962.

JULY 22ND

Happy Birthday to former Rovers midfielder Carlos Sanchez-Lopez, born on this day in 1979.

Carlos, a right sided midfielder, joined Rovers from the Madrid based side Getafe Club de Futbol. He arrived in Bristol prior to Christmas 2001 with two other Spanish players hoping for a chance with an English club but returned home without signing.

He returned early in 2002 but faced a long wait for the necessary paperwork to be sorted before he eventually became a Rovers player. The delay was down to Getafe’s reluctance to release him and it wasn’t until 8th February that everything was deemed to be in order.

He made his debut against Hartlepool four days later, a game that Rovers lost 1-0 at the Mem. He must have made an impression, as he picked up the sponsor’s Man of the Match Award!

It was the first of his six appearances in a Rovers shirt, the final one coming in the last game of the season at Rochdale.

Speaking before that game, he said; ‘I love it here and whatever happens, whether I go or whether I stay, I’ll always remember my time here at Bristol Rovers as it’s been a fantastic experience for me.’

Carlos was released after that game and returned to Spain, where he played in the Spanish Second Division, for Cartogonova and, later, Toledo.

Bobby Jones

Former Rovers stalwart Bobby Jones died on this day in 2015.

Joined Rovers, from local club Soundwell, in May 1956 and made and scored twice on his league debut against Middlesbrough in November 1957.

Joined Northampton Town in September 1966 and Swindon Town in February 1967 but returned to Eastville after short spells with both clubs.

His Rovers career took in 101 goals in 421 league games. Only eight players have made more league appearances for the club and he is one of only nine players to have appeared for the club in three separate decades.

Enjoyed a lengthy career in local football after leaving Eastville, which included spells as manager of Bath City, Mangotsfield United, Yate Town and Oldland.

JULY 23RD

Happy Birthday to former Rovers defender Steve Harding, born on this day in 1956.

Turned professional with Bristol City in July 1974 and made two league appearances for them. Spent time on loan at Southend United and Grimsby Town during his time at Ashton gate before signing for Rovers in May 1977.

Went on to score once in 38 league games for Rovers and also made four appearances for Brentford in a loan spell at Griffin Park.

Played for Trowbridge Town, Gloucester City, Paulton Rovers and Mangotsfield United after leaving Rovers.

Happy Birthday, also, to former Rovers forward Kaid Mohamed, born on this day in 1984.

Having played for a number of clubs prior to joining Rovers, on loan, in January 2014 he made a goalscoring debut against Newport County, one of his former clubs, two days after arriving in BS7.

Went on to score six goals in 21 league games in that relegation campaign and moved on to Northampton Town in the summer of 2014.

Has continued his somewhat nomadic career since leaving Northampton in 2015 and turned out for Afan Lido last season.

In addition, Happy Birthday to former Rovers goalkeeper Mike Green, born on this day in 1989.

Made just two league appearances for Rovers but was the club’s back up keeper for some five years and was on the bench at the Millennium Stadium and Wembley in the successful 2006/07 campaign.

Played, on loan, for Mangotsfield United, Clevedon Town and Gloucester City whilst with Rovers and after leaving the club in 2011 again featured for Gloucester and Mangotsfield and also turned out for Cirencester Town.

Former Rovers goalkeeper Ron Nicholls died on this day in 1994.

Appeared in 71 league games for the club after signing in July 1954. Joined Cardiff City, where he played in another 51 league games, in July 1958 and appeared in 39 league games for Bristol City following a move to Ashton Gate in July 1961. His final club was Cheltenham Town, for whom he appeared in 34 games.

Ron Nicholls was also a gifted cricketer and played in 534 first class matches for Gloucestershire.

JULY 25TH

Happy Birthday to former Rovers striker Matt Harrold, born on this day in 1984.

The Leyton born player appeared in non league football for a number of clubs before signing for Brentford in July 2003 and went on to score twice in 32 league games whilst at Griffin Park.

There were loan spells with Dagenham & Redbridge and Grimsby Town before he joined Yeovil Town, in 2005. Moves to Southend United, Wycombe wanderers and Shrewsbury Town followed and it was from the Shrews that he joined Rovers, in June 2011.

His three years at the Mem was interrupted by an anterior cruciate ligament injury but when he departed, for Crawley Town, he had scored 24 goals in 76 league appearances.

There was a loan spell with Cambridge United in 2015 and he joined Leyton Orient in August 2017 and was still playing for them last season, making a return to the Mem in their colours in the EFL Trophy.

Former Rovers forward Patrick ‘Paddy’ Leonard was born on this day in 1929.

Joined the club, from Bath City, in July 1952 and made his debut, against Shrewsbury Town, the following month and went on to appear in six league games during that promotion season.

In all he scored twice in 14 league appearances before a move to Colchester United in June 1954. Played for Tonbridge in 1955/56 before retiring from the game.

JULY 26TH

Happy Birthday to former Rovers striker Len Drake, born on this day in 1937.

Played for Dorchester Town and Weymouth before signing for Rovers in May 1957. His time at the club was interrupted by his National Service and it wasn’t until February 1959 that he made his Rovers league debut, against Stoke City. He went on to score once in eight league appearances for the club.

Returned to Dorchester Town on leaving Eastville and also played for Weymouth again, Barnstaple Town and Portland United and later became the first man to manage both Dorchester and Weymouth.

He was featured in the Dorchester Town matchday programme when we played them in a fourth qualifying round FA Cup tie in October 2014 when he was also a guest of the Dorset side.

JULY 28TH

On this day in 2007 Rovers played the final game of their three match pre-season tour of Scotland, against Airdrie United.

Paul Trollope had selected a 20 man squad for the tour, a figure which included former Manchester United trainee Danny Rose. The midfielder had started against Cowdenbeath just a few days earlier and was an unused substitute for this match.

Airdrie took a first half lead in this match when Kevin McDonald scored just before the break. Second half goals from Richard Walker and Rickie Lambert put Rovers ahead, but Airdrie equalised from the penalty spot after he had been brought down by Steve Elliott.

Rovers: Phillips, Lescott, Anthony, Elliott, Carruthers (Jacobson, 58), Igoe (Rigg, 66), Campbell, Disley, Haldane (Sandell, 58), Walker, Lambert

JULY 29TH

Happy Birthday to former Rovers forward John Brown, born on this day in 1940.

Born in Wadebridge, Cornwall, Brown played for Wadebridge Town and after a trial with Arsenal, joined Plymouth Argyle for whom he would score twice in nine league appearances.

Joined Rovers in July 1963 and went on to score 32 goals in 156 league games. Two of those goals came on his debut, against Peterborough United, in September 1963.

Decided to go part time in 1966 to enable him to help out on the family farm and left Rovers in 1967 to run the farm due to his father’s illness, though he did spend a year as manager of Wadebridge Town before concentrating on farming.

JULY 30TH

Happy Birthday to former Rovers midfielder Dave Savage, born on this day in 1973.

Dublin born Dave played for Greenford United and Kilkenny City before joining Brighton & Hove Albion in March 1991. Failed to make any league appearances for them and returned to Ireland to play for Longford Town in May 1991.

Joined Millwall two years later and made over 100 league appearances for them before signing for Northampton Town in October 1998 for whom he scored 18 goals in 113 league games.

Another 85 league appearances for Oxford United followed before he joined Rovers, in July 2003 and his two years at the Mem yielded three goals in 65 league games.

Played for Rushden & Diamonds, Brackley Town and Oxford City after leaving BS7.

Dave Savage [Photo Credit – Neil Brookman]

Former Rovers midfielder Graham Ricketts was born on this day in 1939.

Joined Rovers in July 1954 and turned professional in August 1956. Made his league debut in a 3-0 home win against Notts County on 9th February 1957 and by the time he left the club, in July 1961, he had made 32 league appearances.

Appeared in 119 league games for Stockport County, 151 for Doncaster Rovers and 50 for Peterborough United before a move to Kings Lynn in 1970.

JULY 31ST

Eight years ago today, Rovers travelled to play Tamworth in a pre-season friendly and ran out 2-1 winners thanks to goals from Eliot Richards and Shaquille Hunter.

Rovers, skippered by Jim Paterson, fell behind after only 18 minutes when Scott Barrow cut in from the left and fired in a right foot shot that took a wicked deflection off of Wayne Brown on its way past goalkeeper Conor Gough.

Rovers were awarded a penalty on 69 minutes when Hunter was brought down by Barrow, but goalkeeper Tony Breedon saved David Clarkson’s spot kick.

With 11 minutes remaining Richards equalised for Mark McGhee’s side when he swept the ball past Breedon from Mitch Harding’s ball into the box.

Harding turned provider again two minutes from time when his cross into the box was met by Hunter who beat Breedon from ten yards out.

Marcus Law, a former Rovers goalkeeper, was in charge of Tamworth, who fielded former Rovers loanee Sam Oji and future Rovers loanee Adam Cunnington in their starting XI.

Rovers: Gough, Harding, Lockyer, Paterson, Staley, Brown, Norburn, Goddard (Hunter, 46), Richards, Clarkson (Kamara, 70), Aniyinsah (Clucas, 53). Substitute: Macey