1) Why and when did you become a Gashead?
At birth! I was named after Geoff Bradford. It`s in the family blood as most of my relatives support the Rovers. I even had an uncle who played for the Rovers in the 50`s.
2) What is your best memory being a Rovers fan?
Surprisingly there are quite a few but for me the tail end of the 1990 promotion season was magical.
The game at Blackpool stands out as we were already on a super high from beating the City and gaining promotion in the week, the atmosphere generated at Bloomfield Road by 8,000+ Gasheads was electric, we won, got a last minute goal, we were champions, it was scorching hot, we had a JPT final to look forward to and all this on my last season watching the Gas before I emigrated to New Zealand.
The emotional strain was just too much and while it`s said grown men shouldn’t cry I have to admit to shedding a tear or two after the game at Blackpool and the JPT final.
3) If you could bring back one Rovers player at his best, who would it be? So many to choose from but if there’s one player who gave his all in every game and was (and still is I think) 100% a Gashead it would have to be Ian Holloway.
4) How do you think John Ward did last season?
While he saved us form certain relegation and possible oblivion under MM, his crowning achievement for me was helping supporters like myself get some pride back in the team and the club.
5) Best and worst moments of last season?
Best: When I got to see the Gas play and win against Plymouth at the Mem on one of my infrequent trips back to the UK. NOTE: I’ve not seen the Gas lose for 6 years now!!
Worst: Those awful times when it seemed like a real possibility we might be relegated. Just the thought of it was incredibly painful I could not have endured the agony of dropping into the Conference!
6) Do you think Mark McGhee was given too much time, not enough time or was it timed just right?
I have to say that given his experience I thought he was worth a punt as manager. However, after a dozen games or so it was clear he was clueless so for me his departure was way too late!
7) It`s been said only one more player will come in (John Joe O’Toole Maybe) do you think that’s enough?
With JJO`T on board I think we will have a good season but given the amount of preseason injuries we have there is very little fat left in the squad and we should be looking for more covering players.
8) Any players you would like to see leave Rovers?
It`s hard for me to say. Given it`s a 24,000 mile round trip I don`t get to too many games these days. Like a lot of Gasheads I like to see a player give 100% for the shirt so any who doesn`t can go as far as I`m concerned.
9) Favourite current Rovers player?
I saw JJO`T play against Plymouth last season (I think it may have been his debut?). He had a great game that day and he will be a crowd favourite for sure so I`ll go with the flow and say JJO`T.
10) Favourite player of all time?
Again so many players for so many different reasons. One that always stands out for me is Dick Sheppard. He was a fantastic keeper (who could forget the penalty saved in the Watney Cup final!) but I always remember as a kid he picked up me and a few makes in his car while we were walking to a game at Eastville. As youngsters we were awestruck he became and has stayed as my favourite player ever since!
11) What our your expectations for the coming season?
I have a feeling this is going to be our season. Top class Manager, good crop of youngsters, JJO`T on board. I`m going for at least a playoff place or better.
12) Your opinion on Nick Higgs and the board?
I have been critical of Nick Higgs in the past but you have to admire and applaud what he has achieved with the UWE and his part in keeping the club solvent in these difficult times.
The jury is still out on the rest of the board. While I`m sure they contribute in some way to the progress and operations of the club it is not transparent to the supporters so we are left to form our own conclusions of what value they add? or not.
13) With the build of the UWE to start soon, what would you like to see added to the design?
I like the idea someone made on the Independent forum. A room/bar/museum with a history of BRFC theme. Lots of memorabilia, shirts, scarves, programs videos, pictures etc. And make sure there is a section on and about the Rovers fans over the decades.
Vital Gas Interviews: Jeffnz
1) Why and when did you become a Gashead?