How long have you been following Rovers and what was your first game?
My first game at Eastville was definitely against Orient and Jimmy Bloomfield was in charge of the opposition. I know that because my dad was a big Leicester fan and I reckon one of the main reasons for going was because he wanted to see the ex-Leicester manager. A quick trawl of soccerbase tells me that it was either February 11th 1978 or 21st October 1978 – either way we won 2-1. If it was the former I celebrated my 30th anniversary of watching Rovers by seeing them beat Southampton in the cup live on the Beeb earlier this year. If it`s the latter I can look forward to celebrating my 30th anniversary on a Tuesday night at home to Oldham. Let`s hope it was the former.
What is your most memorable moment following the gas?
I`d probably have to say the Wembley play-off final against Huddersfield in 1996. In those days I barely used to miss a game home or away and I remember it completely ruining my summer. I really should have got over it by now but the fact that I was absolutely ecstatic when Ronnie Jepson got Gillingham relegated a couple of seasons back shows I haven`t really. Horrible, horrible man.
So many to choose from but I`m struggling to think of anything better than that Garry Smart moment. I`ll never forget the look on the face of the rather large gentleman in a turquoise shellsuit who was at the foot of the Dolman Stand at the time kindly asking the away end if they fancied a post-match discussion of the game in the park?.
Who is your all time favourite player?
There`s no better sight in football than a tricky winger on top of his game terrorising a full back. Lee Archer, Tony Pounder, Worrell Sterling and Frankie Bennett all had their moments, Mike Wyatt, Paul Smith and Richard “Key Man” Evans didn`t. If I`d been slightly younger then no question it would have been Phil “Percy`s Done It!” Purnell – an absolute little wizard IMHO. But I was lucky enough to see Mickey Barrett before he was cruelly taken from us at such a young age and he was different class. God bless him.
I was brought up on a Rovers team that punched way above its weight in the late 80s and early 90s. In those days we had a team of low budget battlers who played for the shirt while City were a set of big time charlies who were only interested in the size of the pay cheque. I used to love that, but it also made it all the harder to stomach any big time charlies who turned up in the blue and white quarters. The two Justin`s – Skinner and Channing – were good examples of that, the former once telling Gasheads in the Friends of Bath Room at Twerton “I wouldn`t tell you how to sweep factory floors so don`t tell me how to play football”. However, they almost paled into insignificance with the class of 2000/01. Seeing David Hillier and Andy Thomson getting into their cars and driving home at noon because they weren`t picked for a key relegation battle against Exeter was particularly galling, as was listening to Hillier in the Blues Bar after the Wrexham game telling all and sundry that he was refusing to play in a reserves game because it was the end of the season. Marcus Bignot was pretty high on the w**ker list for me as well.
What would you say is the best goal you have seen us score?
For sheer absolutely madness in the away end I`d say Holloway`s last second winner at Northampton on poll tax riot day back in 1990. Pitch invasions are frowned on these days but that one was a classic. I`ll now be a soppy b*****d and say that Sammy Igoe`s equaliser in the JPT Final brought it home just how much Rovers means. I was on a stag do in Sofia with a few other gasheads – to see all the players and all your friends and loved ones going mad behind that goal made you realise just how big a part of your life it is and how many great friendships you`ve made over the years. Sometimes you have to look in from the outside to realise the scale of it all.
Best away ground visited?
Liverpool was obviously a great night out but everyone`s said that. Goodison in the League Cup was also a very good night out. Safe to say it wasn`t Hitchin Town.
What are your thoughts on the proposed new stadium?
They spent two years telling us everything was fine and on course when it blatantly wasn`t and as a result they were forced to make embarrassing u-turns on at least two separate occasions. It`ll take a lot to restore my faith in the credibility of any statements coming out of the boardroom but there does at least seem to have been a change in approach since Nick Higgs took over the hot seat. Truth and honesty are all that`s required – we just want to know where we stand (or sit if it comes off). I`d still like to see a Fans` Advisory group made up of a true cross-section of supporters who can ask challenging questions of the Board and then report back to the supporters fully and frankly.
Which player(s) would you like to see us sign (realistically)?
We haven`t had any real out and out wingers for a while now and it`s shown – pace down the flanks combined with delivery could be the final piece of the jigsaw for Trolls. I`m struggling to think of any league players I`ve seen who fit the bill, but there were a couple of players I saw last season at non-league level who might be worth a look. There`s a guy at AFC Wimbledon – Tony Finn – who can be absolutely infuriating in terms of his final ball but when he`s on song he`s electric. They also had a young lad on loan from QPR called Ramon Rose who was lively and very very quick – he might be worth looking at if QPR start spending big as his first team opportunities could be limited.
Which player would you like to see leave the club?
That number 12 – Gasheads. Never seen him have a good game.
What are your thoughts on how last season ended and how did it compare to your expectations?
The end to the season was obviously disappointing and I`m still a bit concerned that teams that finish seasons like we did usually struggle in the following one. Against that, though, the fixture backlog from the cup run (which constituted a good season on its own) was a key contributory factor and we weren`t helped by the loan signings going down like flies.
What are your expectations for next season?
See above. Whatever the mitigating factors, the end to last season has placed some pressure on the management team. We look to have strengthened in the right areas and have one of the best young coaches around so I hope that our Board don`t get trigger happy if we have a slow start.
Where do you sit at the Ground?
I stand in the West Stand Enclosure, down near the players` tunnel.
Name the celebrity you would most like to bang
I`ve spent most of my adult life lusting after Clare Grogan, so why change the habit of a lifetime. Mind you, she seriously blotted her copybook a few years back by kopping off with Ian Beale on Eastenders.
SWIFT AND SURE INTERVIEW
FORDINGBRIDGE PIRATE INTERVIEW
ECLECTIC BLUE INTERVIEW
PETER PARKER INTERVIEW
MESA BOOGIE INTERVIEW
BS7 BOD INTERVIEW
JAFFA GAS INTERVIEW
PIRATE 1985 INTERVIEW
VAN DER GAS INTERVIEW
CHRIS GAS INTERVIEW
JOHN V MALYCKYJ INTERVIEW
THE 39 STEPS INTERVIEW
J HO INTERVIEW
EDWARD TEACH INTERVIEW
CLIVE FARQUHAR INTERVIEW
BEDMINSTER LAW GAS INTERVIEW
Fans Interview: Sometimes I Live In The Country
How long have you been following Rovers and what was your first game?