Bristol Rovers Club Profile
Bristol Rovers : Quick Links
Click on the links below to go directly to the relevant parts of the guide :

Club Background; We've Met Before; Club News; Club Statistics; Club Information; Who are the Pirates?; Directions To The Ground; Web Resources; Food And Drink.


Bristol Rovers : Club Background
Back in ye olden non-league days, many folk living in the Yeovil area had a "favourite Bristol club". It was a sort of a way of supporting a regional club that was apparently bigger than the Glovers, yet could still give you that street cred of claiming "well at least I don't support a First Division/Premier League team that I've only ever seen on TV" whilst adopting a club that was playing at a middle level in the Football League and occasionally rubbed shoulders with the real big boys. So ask a Yeovil fan in the 1980s or 1990s and many of them would have professed to having an affinity with the blue half of the city or the red half of the city. How times have changed - there's not too many that would own up to that now. This is the story of the blue side of that city ...

In 1883 a club was formed on the eastern side of Bristol by the unlikely name of the Black Arabs. It went through several more name changes before emerging as Bristol Rovers in 1898, the year after it went professional and finally setled down in Eastville - a ground that was to last them 89 years. In 1899 they joined the Southern League and remained there, winning one championship, until becoming one of the founder members of the Third Division (which split into North and South the following season) in 1920. In the 1952-53 season they won their first ever promotion and spent nearly a decade in Division Two before going back down again in 1962.

In 1974 manager Don Megson took them up again from a runners-up spot but they were back in the doldrums through the eighties after relegation in 1980-81, with a constantly revolving managerial door until Gerry Francis arrived for his first spell in charge. By this time the consequences of a disasterous fire at Eastville, and a financial crisis, meant that Rovers were having to suffer the humiliation of being tenants at an embarrassing dump called Twerton Park. Supposedly of a temporary nature The Gas faithful had to endure the trek out to Barf for ten long years. Schemes to rennovate Eastville, or build a new stadium, came and went (the Pirates' fans swear to a man and woman that Bristol Council planning department is staffed entirely by City supporters) until in 1996 they found a new home back near their roots, at the Memorial Stadium with Bristol RFC. This they now own, the rugby club having become their tenants after hitting the financial rocks.

At first, Rovers only ever saw the Memorial Stadium as a temporary home again, and they continued to hunt for alternative development land in an attempt to create a stadium that looked a little bit more like a football stadium than some of the rather unorthodox-looking Memorial Stadium stands look. But eventually they began to focus in on the possibility of completely redeveloping the existing stadium. Once again the plans dragged until in January 2007, Rovers were given planning permission to build an 18,500 capacity all seater stadium at a cost of £35 million pounds, including an 84-room hotel, 105 student flats and all kinds of other additional facilities.

That development was meant to commence in January 2008, meaning that Rovers would relocate to Cheltenham Town's Whaddon Road ground, but that never happened with delays being blamed upon final contractual arrangements, although there were persistent rumours at the time that Rovers were struggling to fund the project, despite claiming that the hotel and flats would make the venture entirely self-sufficient. At the end of the season they declared once again that they were off to ground share with Cheltenham. All the arrangements were made, the rugby club sorted out its own ground share in Newport, and season tickets were still being sold for Whaddon Road as the whole edifice came crashing down around their ears.

Despite initial claims it was all just a temporary 'blip' and the plans were still on, everything slowed down significantly. In October 2008 revised plans were presented that wouldn't require them to move to a temporary ground after all, but without any actual firm commitment as to when things would be recommenced. The big announcement was due in March 2009, but on the last day of March, all Rovers could tell its fans was "things will be ready to start as soon as the agreements are finalised. We were expecting to be able to make a further announcement around now ... hopefully we will be able to tell you more in the coming weeks."

Then came a long period of silence until the Rovers board switched to Plan C (we think!) which was for them to build a brand new stadium on Bristol's UWE campus. The plan had been for Sainsbury's to buy up the Mem, and for Rovers to use the proceeds to fund a 21,700 capacity all-seater stadium, at a total cost of £40 million. Sainsbury's agreed a deal in principle in 2011, then planning permission was obtained in January 2013. Unfortunately for Rovers, a local protest group managed to force a judicial review of the application, delaying things further and by mid-2014, Sainsbury's had cold feet and pulled out, citing that the deal had time-lapsed and that the planning permission contained clauses that were no longer attractive to them. Rovers tried to sue, but lost the case, and then in 2016, lost the Court of Appeal case. In theory the UWE project is still alive, but without a buyer for the Mem, the question is how they plan to fund it.

The West Stand
The West Stand, a mix of hospitality boxes, seats and terracing.
Photo © 2003-10 Ciderspace

Anyway back to the main story.

Gerry Francis took Rovers to the play-off finals in 1989 and, although they lost that one, the following season he clinched the Third Division Championship. They also went to Wembley that year for the Leyland Daf Trophy Final. Then, after one season in Division Two, Francis departed for bigger things at his old stamping ground of QPR. Rovers went through a procession of four managers in two seasons. The last of these, John Ward, could only watch the club (now a Division 1 side through the re-structuring for the formation of the Premiership) go down again, before starting the rebuilding process. Ward got the Pirates to another play-off final in 1994-95, but they lost again.

Long-time favourite Ian Holloway was the next man to have a go. He also got Rovers to a play-off berth in his second season. This time they didn't make the Final. In 1999-2000 they were up near the top competing for an automatic promotion place for most of the season, but a disasterous run-in saw them fail to secure even a play-off slot. The writing was on the wall for Holloway and a less than inspired campaign saw assistant Gary Thompson taking over in the middle of the 2000-01 season. Rovers had slid into the relegation zone at Christmas, and just never strung enough results together to get back out. They finshed 21st and went down to the Third Division. Gerry Francis was brought back to restore the fortunes of The Gas. It seemed pretty clear that it wasn't a task he really wanted, but he answered the call. After a decent start things soon began to slide and, frustrated by the lack of resources, Francis made way for former Walsall boss Ray Graydon. 2002-03, their first full season under Graydon, saw the Gas mired at the wrong end of the table for most of the campaign, only a late surge taking them to 20th position, a mere 3 points from relegation to the Conference. During the season Graydon deemed a young striker/winger was surplus to requirements at the Memorial, the player eventually ending up at Huish Park where he went on to score 14 goals in 14 games to help the Glovers clinch the Conference championship title - thank you very much Gas for Kevin Gall.

Things had to get better in 2003-04? Although the table looked a little less desperate by the autumn Rovers were making redundancies. And then in the New Year all hell broke loose. Graydon was booted out / resigned (read it as you wish), the chairman later followed up with an extraordinary tirade on the club's official message board, and on a number of occasions publicly condemned his ex-manager as a liar. Phil Bater, assisted by Tony Ricketts, had taken over in a caretaking capacity but results did not really improve. A 4-0 massacre at Huish Park was the final straw and Bater was told he was out after the next game whatever. Kevan Broadhurst and Russell Osman were the next drafted in to keep the Pirates afloat, but meanwhile behind the scenes get another saviour was being tapped up. The trouble was he already had a job, as manager of divisonal rivals Oxford United. The full truth will probably never out as Bristol and Oxford continued to maintain very different stories. The long and the short of it was that Ian Atkins was officially named as Rover's new manager on April 26th 2004, though many suspected he had been pulling the strings for some weeks before that. Four or five (depending how you count) managers in one season........ Bristol Rovers probably did well to finish 15th considering.

The arrival of Atkins meant that things got decidedly fruitier than they had been between Rovers and Yeovil Town. Prior to this, although the Glovers had done the double over Rovers, there wasn't quite the bite of a local derby to the two games, but all of that was to change radically. With Atkins having already wound up many at Huish Park with his dismissive remarks of Yeovil Town's footballing abilities following a 1998 FA Cup win over Northampton Town, it didn't take much for Glovers boss Gary Johnson's "history" with Ian Atkins, dating back to their Cambridge United days, for the proverbial hand grenade to go off. The match at the Memorial saw two Rovers players lose their cool in off the ball incidents, Atkins throw a cup of tea at Yeovil management in the dressing room area, and a barnstorming finish that saw Junior Agogo inspire an unlikely 2-2 scoreline with the nine men somehow pulling the rabbit out of the hat. Atkins ended up before the FA on a triple charge, whilst his persistent sniping in the press and rewriting of events at that game did nothing to cool down the situation.

By the return match in February 2005 at Huish Park, matters had reached fever pitch, and it seemed as though another bloodbath could be on the cards following more ill-advised words from Atkins, all until the man who had been building up a head of steam completely failed to show for his team's game! The official reason was that Atkins was suffering with flu, although oddly both pre and post-match interviews showed no sign of this ailment. The greater conspiracy theory though was that the Rovers manager had been told by a higher authority to stay clear of the match. Thankfully all 22 players kept their heads this time, but the result was still a four goal haul for the Glovers - sinking Rovers 4-2.

Yeovil were on their way to the League Two title, whilst Rovers were stalling badly under Atkins, and eventually he had the rug pulled from under him and in came Paul Trollope, titled as a Head Coach, with Lennie Lawrence following shortly afterwards as a Director of Football. Despite initial fears that this team would not work, and a side that looked to be doing little to trouble the League Two top seven places, Rovers hit form at exactly the right time at the tail end of the 2006-07 season. A Football League Trophy Cup Final defeat became an inspiration rather than a deflation for the Rovers camp, and they went on an impressive winning run that propelled them into the play-offs right at the death, leaving them as the in-form side going into the knock-out stages and resulting in success against Shrewsbury Town in the final.

After a six year absence it was promotion back up to League One for the start of the 2007-08 season. An impressive F.A. Cup run to the Sixth Round married to a solid enough mid-table finish in the league built up hopes that the Gas would be pushing on during the following season, however another midtable finish followed with 2008-09 landing them in 11th. The view was that Rovers were a one man team, overly reliant on the goal scoring form of Rickie Lambert, signed for £200,000 from Rochdale. When he was sold to League One rivals Southampton for around one million pounds, that represented a nice bit of financial business, but the spectre of how Rovers would survive without their talisman reared its ugly head. They perhaps surprised a few people by actually flourishing after his departure initially. However it was a momentum they could not sustain, and despite ridiculous levels of trumpet blowing that the dream was on right through to April it was clear to those not blinded by blue and white spectacles long before that Rovers were coming up short. In the end they finished a massive 18 points short of the play-offs and in exactly the same position as the previous campaign, 11th.

The 2010-11 season for Rovers was nothing short of a car crash. Lenny Lawrence had left his Director of Football position over the summer, leaving Paul Trollope on his own for the first time. Whether that was a relevant factor or not, or whether it was blind panic, Rovers collapsed. In December 2010, they'd only just entered the relegation zone when Trollope was axed, and in the five months that followed they got themselves through Darren Patterson, Dave Penney and Stuart Campbell as the drop back to League Two became a certainty.

That led to more fall-out with former Glovers Len Bond (Goalkeeping Coach) and Jerry Gill (Youth Team Coach) heading out the door, and Paul Buckle couldn't reverse the anarchy at the Memorial Stadium, lasting just six months. By the time Mark McGhee was appointed in January 2012, they'd managed to have seven different managers in just 13 months.

But it didn't stop there - McGhee was to last just 11 months before the experience John Ward came in. As an elder statesman, the plan Rovers had was to have him in place for a certain length of time, and then move him upstairs. The question, with Rovers floating around the lower end of League Two, was exactly when that moment should be. Towards the end of the 2013-14 season, and with Rovers theoretically safe they decided to move Ward's assistant Darrell Clarke (who had previous experience as Salisbury City's manager) into the hotseat, but it was to backfire horrifically. Clarke's reign got off to a sticky start, a few of the teams below them got a run of form, and Rovers were relegated out of the Football League on the final match of the season.

To their credit - or perhaps because they were rapidly running out of sensible options - Rovers stuck with Clarke for the following season. Their fans were a bit stroppy about being in non-league football, with the young manager coming in for plenty of criticism - their fans having clearly not having realised that the likes of Grimsby Town and Luton Town spent years trying to climb out of what is a strong competitive Conference division. With Barnet taking the Conference title, they faced the lottery of the play-offs, eventually making their stay in fifth tier football a short one by winning the final. Clarke kept that momentum going during the 2015-16 season, and they grabbed the last promotion slot on the final day of the 2015-16 season to go up into League One - not bad for a boss whose professional managerial career got off to such an unimpressive start.

The view Rovers fans have of Yeovil Town is a schizophrenic one. On the one hand they try to be patronising, say they have no regard for a little village side, and our meetings mean nothing to them. On the other hand it clearly irks them badly that since we've entered the Football League we've tended to spend a lot more time above them, than below them in the pyramid. It's only in the last few seasons where a combination of our own kamikaze slide, and their new-found momentum and ownership, that they've managed to get above us - we think this 2016-17 EFL Trophy meeting will be the first competitive one where they've been the higher division side, since we've entered the league.

Away Terrace
Packed into a miserable corner - and yet one hears Gas fans whining about the facilities they get at Huish Park.
Photo © 2003-10 Ciderspace


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Bristol Rovers : We've Met Before
Previous Results for Yeovil Town First Team vs Bristol Rovers

13/01/1923HomeFrndL0-2
29/11/1924HomeFAC1L2-46600Hayward, Gardner
24/09/1925HomeFrndD4-4
01/05/1933HomeFrndW5-3Lewis(2), Anderson, Murley, Miles
14/09/1933HomeFrndD2-2Lewis(2)
03/05/1934AwayWARCW2-1McNeil, Page
29/09/1937AwayWLCSL0-1
03/08/1988HomeFrndL2-3
07/03/1989HomeFrndL2-3
16/04/1992AwaySPCF1W2-1457Spencer, McDermott
07/05/1992HomeSPCF2L0-21370
22/07/1997HomeFrndL0-21018
25/07/2000HomeFrndL1-21002Poole 27
31/10/2001AwayLDVD1-14301McIndoe 27
13/12/2003AwayDIV3W1-09812Crittenden 43
13/03/2004HomeDIV3W4-08726Lockwood 16, El Kholti 43, G Williams 49, Miles 72
19/10/2004AwayCCL2D2-29295Terry 27, G Williams 57
12/02/2005HomeCCL2W4-29153Jevons 26, 53, 64, Tarachulski 72
20/10/2007AwayCCL1D1-17726Rose 62
29/03/2008HomeCCL1D0-06654
20/09/2008HomeCCL1D2-25748Skiverton 6, Roberts 45
17/02/2009AwayCCL1L0-38049
24/10/2009AwayCCL1W2-17812Obika 61, Forbes 64
20/03/2010HomeCCL1L0-35968
14/08/2010AwayNPL1L1-26438Virgo 89
02/04/2011HomeNPL1L0-16281
28/07/2012HomeFrndD1-11125Ince 78
04/09/2012AwayLDV1W3-02810Upson 70, 84, Foley 90
22/07/2014HomeFrndW2-01498Leitch-Smith 46, 55
15/08/2015HomeFL2L0-15895
16/04/2016AwayFL2L1-210264Lita 73
04/10/2016AwayCHTGD0-02117


Results Summary For Yeovil Town First Team vs Bristol Rovers

HomeAwayOverall
WDLFAWDLFAWDLFA
45103137544161599144752


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Bristol Rovers : Club Statistics

RECENT RESULTS

20/09/2016Swindon TownAwayEFL1W2-16760Taylor 83, Branco 84
24/09/2016Port ValeHomeEFL1W2-19088Harrison 44, Easter 63
27/09/2016Sheffield UnitedAwayEFL1L0-119196
01/10/2016Northampton TownAwayEFL1W3-26642Gaffney 60, Hartley 71, Colkett 90
04/10/2016Yeovil TownHomeEFLGD0-02117
08/11/2016PortsmouthAwayEFLGL0-11200


FORTHCOMING FIXTURES

CLUB GOALSCORERS
Name LGE FAC FAT LGC CC Total
Matty Taylor600107
Peter Hartley200103
Ellis Harrison200103
Jermaine Easter200103
Charlie Colkett100001
Chris Lines000101
James Meredith100001
Rory Gaffney100001
Own Goals100001

ATTENDANCE STATISTICS

Highest League Attendance: 10053, vs Oxford United, 14/08/2016
Lowest League Attendance: 7805, vs Walsall, 13/09/2016
Average League Attendance: 8834

CURRENT LEAGUE SEQUENCE STATISTICS

Games Without A Win: 0 Games Without A Home Win: 0
Games Without An Away Win: 0 Games Without Defeat: 1
Games Without A Home Defeat: 3 Games Without An Away Defeat: 1
Games Without A Draw: 4 Games Without A Score Draw: 4
Games Without A No-Score Draw: 11 Games Without Scoring: 0
Games Without Conceding: 0 Home Results Sequence: WLDDW
Away Results Sequence: LDDWLW Overall Results Sequence: DDWWLW


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Bristol Rovers : Club Information
The Memorial Stadium,
Filton Avenue,
Horfield,
Bristol,
BS7 0BF.
(Click for map)

Telephone Number : 0117 9096648
Fax : 0117 9074312

Chairman : Steve Hamer
Club Secretary : Dave Sams
Safety Officer : Dave Harper
Media Manager : Keith Brookman
First Team Manager : Darrell Clarke

Capacity : 11,723
Seated : c. 3,000
Covered : Not known.
Record Attendance : 11,433 v Sunderland, Worthington Cup R3, 31.10.2000.

Nickname : The Pirates; The Gas
Colours : shirt - blue and white quarters; shorts - white; socks - white
Ticket Prices :
The normal ticket allocation at the Memorial Stadium gives you two areas of the ground to consider. The Visitors Terrace is a small paddock situated on the left side of the main stand. It is open terracing and the experience of many is that it does not offer great views unless you get there early or happen to be taller than most on the terrace. The other option is the South Stand, which is a 'temporary' seated area, with a rather odd marquee-style roof, situated behind one of the goals.

For the 2016-17 season visit, we will ONLY be given access to the South Stand - the whole of the East stand area (both home and away) will be closed for the evening. The area fans will be in is sponsored this season as the Brunel Professional Risks South Stand. Ticket prices are as follows:

Seating:
Adults: £5.00; Over-65s and Under-16s: £1.00.

Disabled Info :
For our 2016-17 visit, disabled supporters can gain admittance for £1.00 with an assistant able to join them free of charge, subject to the usual proof of entitlement. The wheelchair areas at the Memorial Stadium can be found in the East and West Stands. There are currently 13 spaces for home supporters and three for away fans, but away fans must book in advance or they may give up spaces to home spectators. Wheelchair users can take an assistant free of charge - the policy for ambulant disabled fans isn't stated at all. Rovers contact is Clare McDonagh on 0117 9524001 or clare@bristolrovers.co.uk

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Bristol Rovers : Directions To The Ground
South Stand - half of this is used for seating away supporters
South Stand - half of this is used for seating away supporters.
Photo © 2003-10 Ciderspace

General

We'll presume you know where Bristol is.

By Road

The best bet is to get on the M32. From the M4 this is Junction 19; from the A37 go past Temple Meads station onto Temple Way, third right onto Newfoundland Road, and that takes you onto Parkway and the M32.
Exit the M32 at Junction 2 on the B4469 (signposted Horfield). At the round-about turn right ( for A38 Eastville and Eastgate Shopping Centre ). Immediately, where the road divides, bear right (signposted Southmead B4469 ). This is Muller Road. After 1.4 miles turn left at the lights into Filton Avenue. The next two turnings on the left lead to the car parks at the Memorial Stadium. Whether you'll get in is another matter. Expect to have to hunt down an on-street parking space.

If coming from the M5 exit at junction 16 signposted A38 Thornbury and Filton. At the round-about head right, signposted A38 Filton and join the A38. Travel along the A38 (Gloucester Road) for 4.3 miles through the outer suburbs of Bristol. You'll pass Filton Airport on your right, the Royal Mail sorting office, an American Golf retail outlet on your left and the Royal George and Wellington pubs. At a set of traffic lights immediately past a small shop called Satellite Warehouse and before Polypipe Timber take an unsigned left turn into Filton Avenue where you'll see the ground almost immediately on your right.

Parking

There is no parking provision at the stadium for visiting fans. The Memorial Stadium is in a mainly residential area, so it's a hunt for on-street parking. Immediately around the stadium is normally coned off on matchdays so you'll be tracking down side streets further away. The closer to kick-off you arrive the further away from the ground you can expect to end up. Expect a ten minute walk if you turn up before the masses, fifteen to twenty if you leave it late.

By Supporters Coaches

The Green and White Supporters Club are running coaches to the match for this 2016-17 season EFL Trophy fixture as follows:

Coaches will depart from from Huish Park at 4.45p.m. Cost of travel will be £13.00, with no concessions on this occasion. Non-GWSC members are welcomed and will pay two pounds extra.

To place your booking, send a text message to Paul Hadlow on 07736 044570. If you want to call him please only do so after 6.00p.m. You can also reach him at paulhadlow@outlook.com. Remember in all cases to ensure you make clear which match you are booking for, your full name (and any other names you are booking for) and a contact telephone number.

By Rail

The nearest stations to the Memorial Stadium are Montpelier, about one and a half miles to the south, and Filton Abbey Wood about the same distance to the north.

From Yeovil Pen Mill the Wessex Trains to Bristol Temple Meads take around 1.5 to 2 hours and from there you can get a connection to Montpelier station. Alternatively a taxi between Temple Meads and the ground (about three and a half miles) should cost you something under a tenner.

From Yeovil Junction head for Filton Abbey Wood, changing at Salisbury, by South West Trains Total journey time is around two and a half hours, plus or minus depending on connections.

Taxis from Montpelier and Filton to the ground are under a fiver, but be aware cabs don't usually sit outside.

If coming from the South-East use First Great Western trains on the Paddington line out of London which are quick but expensive; or the cost conscious could use the cheaper but slower South West Trains out of Waterloo, changing at Salisbury. Bristol Parkway is an alternative destination, and is slightly closer to the Mem than Temple Meads.


Local Buses

Numbers 70, 73, 75, 76 all run close to the Memorial Stadium.

By Taxi

A selection of Bristol taxi companies can be found here.

Bristol Rovers : Web Resources
Web Sites

Bristol Rovers Mad
From the footy.mad stable of sites. Not at all recommended.


Bristol Rovers Official
Bristol Rovers Official site is another PTV site with registration required to view articles. This is one of the better official sites (and there aren't a lot of those under the PTV umbrella) - even on a quiet July 2nd they managed to fill out their news page with six articles. Not everything on the site is brilliantly maintained - we've found the Reserve and Youth sections have gone by the wayside in recent years - but it's still worth a go for their pre and post-match coverage of first team games.


Bristol Rovers Supporters Club
Official website of the BRFC supporters club, as you'd probably guessed. Well worth a browse, contains some thought-provoking and interesting articles.


Bristol Rovers Vital
Newish Rovers site that is part of the also newish Vital franchise/network of football sites. Most of the franchise sites suck as they are maintained by company staff with no interest in the club itself. This one is thankfully manned and has recently done a fine job of annoying the Rovers top brass by printing articles that were truthful, but as Al Gore would say, an inconvenient truth.


Goodnight Irene
And goodnight Irene it was, all the way back in 2003 when this site was last updated. This is a sportsnetwork site and unless you want to know what ex-manager Ray Graydoom was doing whilst Yeovil were still a non-league club, this is definitely not recommended.


Web Message Boards

Bristol Rovers Official Forum
Bristol Rovers official forum - one of few message boards linked from club official sites. As a result, the moderation can be quite heavy-handed at times, but it is busy and also includes separate sections for conversing with club officials which can be both entertaining and enlightening. Bad news though - you have to register to even view postings!



E-Mail Mailing Lists and Newsletters



Local Press

Bristol Evening Post
On-line pages of the Bristol Evening Post, updated daily. Whilst Yeovil Town don't generally get coverage in the Western Daily Press's sister paper, Bristol Rovers do on a regular basis. The BEP even provides occasional video coverage of press meetings. These days, this site appears to consume both BEP and WDP articles. The City and Rovers online coverage is good and daily, with updates published during the day as it happens and during the matches. The Yeovil Town coverage on their web pages has nosedived badly and at times is non-existent.



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Bristol Rovers : Food & Drink
At The Club :

The food inside the ground is typical football fare, though the Cornish Pasties are well above average in our opinion.

Local Pubs and Grub:

All clubs have their quota of dickheads and, whilst we wouldn't want to over blow it and issue a major warning, there have been a small number of incidents come to our attention across the meetings with Rovers. This is a local derby - even if The Gas might deny it - so our advice is to pursue a little more caution for this one than Glovers fans usually need to on our travels.

There are plenty of outlets in the area, as one would expect. Along Gloucester Road is probably the place for food and drink, with a goodly number of Indian restaurants - locals recommend the Ghurkhas. The Bristol Fryer is a chip shop also with a good reputation.

In Gloucester Road you'll find masses of pubs. Some of the ones nearer the ground tend not allow admission to away supporters on the day due to past problems in games not involving the Glovers. Hence don't be offended if some pubs turn you away, and to be on the safe side just exercise a bit of common sense if you do get into any of the closer ones to the stadium. The pub officially recommended for away fans by the local police is the Sportsman in Nevil Road.

Other nearer ones are The Wellington (to the north of the ground near the junction of Gloucester Road and Muller Road), the Royal Oak (to the south of the ground), the Prince of Wales further down towards Montpelier station in Bishopston, the Golden Lion, Bristol Flyer, Hobgoblin, and closest to the ground The Gloucester Arms, are just some of them. Also in Bishopston and worthy of a mention is the Annexe Inn which stocks a good range of ales.

In Ashley Down Road (south of the ground) The Foresters at No.94 and the Lazy Dog at No.112 are solid standard hostelries. The beer is nothing to get excited about but both are welcoming to fans and do bar food. Ashley Down Road also has a good fish and chip shop and a Chinese restaurant.

For pubs a bit further away and westwards the Kellaway Arms and the Beehive are unlikely to catapult straight onto your Best Ten Pubs Of All Time list, but you won't go too far wrong with them either.

If waiting for a train at Temple Meads, or thirsty having just arrived, the Reckless Engineer (in Temple Gate right opposite the station) is a better option than the station bar.

The 'real ale' part of a complex of buildings close to the Cricket Ground
The 'real ale' part of a complex of buildings close to the Cricket Ground
© Hugh Gleave
Annexe Inn: A community style pub close to the County Cricket Ground and a moderate walk to the Mem, which caters to a wide range of clients. Part of a complex of buildings along with The Sportsman (below). There's pool and darts, TV sports coverage, disabled access, a conservatory and large garden with smoking area and another screen. Children are welcome until 8.30 in the evening. Beers are Courage Best, Sharp's Doom Bar, Skinner's Cornish Knocker, St Austell Tribute and Wye Valley HPA, plus two or more changing guests usually from micro breweries. Opening is 11.30 a.m. - 3.00 p.m. and 5.00 p.m. - 11.00 p.m. weekdays, 11.30 a.m - 11.00 p.m. Saturday and 12.00 noon - 10.30 Sunday. Fairly typical, with perhaps slighty more vegetarian options than one usually expects, pub style food is served: Monday to Friday 12.00 noon - 2.30 p.m. and 5.00 p.m. - 7.00 p.m.; Saturday 12.00 noon - 7.00 p.m.; Sunday 12.00 noon - 4.00 p.m. There is a 'Kids Menu' offered as well. We thought the food excellent (and cheap) for what it was.
Annexe Inn, Seymour Road, Bishopston, Bristol, BS7 9EQ. Tel: 0117 9493931. Website: Click Here. Map: Click Here.

Beehive: Large two bar pub refurbished in 2000, and another massive makeover in 2009. There's a lounge bar, function room and a huge beer garden. They show 'selected sports events' on a large screen TV although what used to be called the 'Sportsman Bar' is no longer mentioned suggesting that aspect of the pub has been toned down. Has car parking. The only real ales mentioned are Doom Bar and Butcombe. Food served 12.00 - 9.00 p.m. except for Sundays when they stop at 4.00p.m. This pub has been a bit up'n'down in quality over the years. At the moment they are badging the place as a 'pub and dining' venue, with a slight gastro-pub element to their menu.
Beehive, 112, Wellington Hill West, Henleaze, Bristol, BS9 4QY. Tel: 0117 9623250. Email: eat@beehivebristol.co.uk. Website: Click Here. Map: Click Here.

Bristol Flyer: Was the Bristol Flyer, then became The Goose at the Flyer (presumably the name meant something to someone), but is now back to the Bristol Flyer again. Opening hours are 12.00 noon - 12.00 midnight (food served 12.00 noon - 11.00 p.m.) Monday to Saturday, 12.00 noon - 11.00 p.m. Sunday (food served 12.00 noon - 9.30 p.m.). Children allowed up to 8.00 p.m. Serves real ales but doesn't say what they are, or how many, just saying that they rotate them. Sports events shown. Beer garden for smokers and others. Wheelchair access and an adapted toilet for disabled customers.
Bristol Flyer, 95, Gloucester Road, Bishopston, Bristol, BS7 8BN. Tel: 0117 9441658. Website: Click Here. Map: Click Here.

Foresters Arms: A large street corner redbrick community pub just east of the Gloucester Road and convenient for the Memorial Stadium. No real ale. No food. Opening is a standard 11.00 a.m. to 12.30 a.m. across the week. There's a good fish and chip shop in the road if you find the lack of food a problem. Has a strong Irish/Scottish element in the clientele as it shows all of Celtic's games and a lot of Gaelic sports. Pool table. Note, there is an identically named pub a short distance away in Gloucester Road - this isn't it.
Foresters Arms, 94, Ashley Down Road, Ashley Down, Bristol, BS7 9JR. Tel: 0117 9243852. Map: Click Here.

Cider pub
Cider pub
© Hugh Gleave
Golden Lion: Previously Finnegan's Wake. No, don't laugh. There was a time, just a few short years ago gentle reader, when people still didn't think it humiliatingly pathetic to be seen in an Oirish Theme Pub. Tis hard to believe now, but some folks were indeed that stoopid. Now very much a live music venue, but also has pub games and a jukebox. Couple of real ales (Bath Ales Gem and Otter Bitter listed), but more a cider pub, with Thatchers Traditional, Westons Old Rosie, an Aspall, and Stowford Press likely to be on. Bar meals served Thursday to Sunday between 12.00 noon and 3.00 p.m. Opening is 12.00 noon - 12.00 midnight Sunday to Thursday, 12.00 noon - 1.00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Smoking is on street, with a couple of tables out front.
Golden Lion, 244, Gloucester Road, Bishopston, Bristol, BS7 8NZ. Tel: 0117 9246449. Website: Click Here. Map: Click Here.

Hobgoblin: As heavily trailed by the name this is a Wychwood outlet, taken over and renamed from The Gloucester in 2001. Might be worth suffering the studenty clientele the pub mainly attracts for the beer. Wychwood Brewery used to produce some fine ales, and when bought out by Refresh UK they promised to maintain standards. Never heard that one before! Of course they were lying b*st*rds, fiddling around with recipes, altering strengths and scrapping lines. Fortunately Refresh UK flogged off the brewery after some years to Marston's before they could destroy it completely, and there has been something of a revival since, though there is still more focus on the bottled market than the draught. Hobgoblin is the only real ale they still produce all year round, though there are a number of seasonals. This was rather a studenty outlet - which at least meant prices were pretty reasonable - but seems to have gone more expensive recently. There's Sky Sports on screens and a pool table. An all-weather courtyard is available for smokers (and others). Food (Thai style mainly) is served Thursday to Sunday. Opening is 12.00 noon - 11.00 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 12.00 noon - 10.30 p.m. Sunday.
Hobgoblin, 69-71, Gloucester Road, Bishopston, Bristol, BS7 8AS. Tel: 0117 9429534. Website: Click Here. Map: Click Here.

Kellaway Arms: Village/suburb style two bar pub. New management in 2008 saw this pub decline, but they didn't last long, it has changed hands again, and is reported to be on the up once more, though yet to make it back into The Good Beer Guide. There's up to five or six real ales, with an emphasis on West Country beers. Sport on a big screen. Food is served, and children allowed any time if dining. South facing beer garden for smokers (and others) that gets plenty of sun........er, if it's shining. Opening is 12.00 noon - 11.00 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 12.00 noon - 10.30 p.m. Sunday.
Kellaway Arms, 138-140, Kellaway Avenue, Bristol, BS6 7YQ. Tel: 0117 9497548. Map: Click Here.

Lazy Dog: Was the Ashley Arms, now renamed from March 2010. Local off Gloucester Road and to the south of the stadium. Open 11.00-11.00. The impression we get is that it has aimed to go a little more upmarket from its previous incarnation, but no actual details found.
Lazy Dog, 112, Ashley Down Road, Ashley Down, Bristol, BS7 9JR. Tel: 0117 9244809. Map: Click Here.

Prince of Wales: Close to Montpelier Railway Station and the restaurants of Zetland Road. Does Butcombe Bitter and three or four other real ales. There's also an organic 'real' lager on tap, Charlie's Pride, made by the Lizard Point Organic Brewhouse, along with the more usual Heineken, Kronenbourg, Amstel and Foster’s. Food, served from 12.00 noon - 9.30 p.m., is all organic/free range. Has garden. Opening is noon to midnight.
Prince of Wales, 5, Gloucester Road, Bishopston, Bristol, BS7 8AA. Tel: 0117 9245552. Email: info@powbristol.co.uk. Website: Click Here. Map: Click Here.

More up-market than most of the Gloucester Road outlets
More up-market than most of the Gloucester Road outlets
© Hugh Gleave
Robin Hood's Retreat: Probably the widest selection of beers in the area. Has eight real ales on (supposedly - see below), a rotating selection from the likes of: Sharp's Doom Bar, Timothy Taylor Landlord, Wychwood Hobgoblin, Hook Norton Old Hooky, Deuchars IPA, Bath Gem, Goff’s Tournament, Flowers IPA, Cotleigh Barn Owl, Theakston’s Old Peculiar, Spinning Dog HPA, Adnams Explorer and others. Stowford Press and Addlestones Cloudy are the ciders. Also Heineken Export, Leffe Blonde, Red Stripe and Amstel for the lager girls, and Guinness. However there is a down side: it's a gastro-pub, and although the food is excellent it's on the trendy side, and damned expensive. Possibly more a place to eat with one's partner of an evening than when searching for carbohydrates to soak up half a dozen or so pints on a football Saturday afternoon. Another downside was only four real ales on, with four having recently gone off and not replaced, when we called in - and this early on a Saturday evening! Rank bad management and planning. Opening is a simple 12.00 noon - 11.00 p.m. every day. There's a plesant outside decked area, partly covered, which is open until 10.30 p.m. Children allowed during the day.
Robin Hood's Retreat, 197, Gloucester Road, Bishopston, Bristol, BS7 8BG. Tel: 0117 9248639. Website: Click Here. Map: Click Here.

Good all-round outlet close to stadium
Good all-round outlet close to stadium
© Hugh Gleave
Royal Oak: They sure do like messing round with pub names in Bristol. Yet another one: was the Royal Oak, became the John Cabot, now back to the Royal Oak again. This outlet is close to the ground but a bit more upmarket than the average 'footballing' pub. Opening is: Monday to Thursday 11.00 a.m. – 12.00 midnight; Friday and Saturday 11.00 a.m. – 12.30 a.m.; Sunday 11.00 a.m. – 12.00 midnight. Food served: Monday to Friday 12.00 noon – 3.00 p.m. and 6.00 p.m. – 10.00 p.m.; Saturday 11.00 a.m. – 3.00 p.m. and 6.00 p.m. – 10.00 p.m.; Sunday 12.00 noon – 4.00 p.m. (roast dinner) and pizza from 6.30 p.m. onwards. Four or five real ales, with Sharps Doom Bar, Butcombe Gold, Timothy Taylor Landlord and Bath Gem regulars, and Thatchers Heritage the real cider. Amongst the fizzier stuff are Amstel, Peroni, Staropramen in the lager department and Stowford Press and Addlestones for the ciders. There's parking and a garden. Children are welcome and get an outside play area.
Royal Oak, 385, Gloucester Road, Horfield, Bristol, BS7 8TN. Tel: 0117 9892522. Email: theroyaloakbristol@gmail.com. Website: Click Here. Map: Click Here.

Huge sports bar
Huge sports bar
© Hugh Gleave
Sportsman: On the corner of Nevil Road and Seymour Avenue - and part of the same complex of buildings as the The Annexe (above) - as the name suggests this is a (huge) sports bar. Has a dozen pool tables, and big screens and televisions showing up to five different sports channels at a time. Also darts and a jukebox. Appears to be making a bit more effort with its drink these days, with Sharp's Doom Bar, Wye Valley HPA and Addlestones Cloudy Cider advertised. However in the main its the keg offerings one expects from 'sports bars': Budweiser, Amstel, Red Stripe and Foster’s amongst the lagers, Blackthorn, Guinness - that sort of stuff. Opening is 11.30 a.m. - 11.00 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 12.00 noon - 10.30 p.m. Sunday. Food - a limited menu of pizza/nachos/wedges/wings type - is served, but only from late afternoon onwards. There's an outside area for smokers with its own screen (shared with The Annexe).
Sportsman, Nevil Road, Bishopston, Bristol, BS7 9EQ. Tel: 0117 9427525. Fax: 0117 9146649. Website: Click Here. Map: Click Here.

The Gloucester Arms: Was The Duke of York at one time. Bog standard pub convenient to the ground, so busy on match days with home fans. Nothing decent to drink, with Courage Best the er, best on offer, but does food, has wheelchair access, adapted toilet for disabled customers, parking, garden area front and back, pool, table football, darts, games machines and shows sports. Opening is 11.00 a.m. - 11.30 Sunday to Thursday, 11.00 a.m. - 1.00 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Children welcome up to 9.00 p.m.
The Gloucester Arms, 635, Gloucester Road, Horfield, Bristol, BS7 0BJ. Tel: 0117 9514925. Map: Click Here.

The Reckless Engineer: Included for those taking the train: Bareboard single bar pub opposite Temple Meads Station. Live music venue. This is not a posh pub by any stretch of the imagination but is aimed at the type of punter who likes his beer and music to be of the traditional kind. The real ale is Otter Bitter, Butcombe Bitter and a changing guest or two. Serves Addlestone's Cloudy Cask Conditioned and Blackthorn ciders. Also Guinness, Carlsberg and Stella Artois. Does food from 11.30 a.m. - 2.30 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 5.00 p.m. - late Tuesday to Saturday, 12.00 noon - 3.00 p.m. Sunday. There's wheelchair access, and children and pets are welcome. Hugely preferable to the Temple Meads Railway Station Bar! Opening hours: midday - 11.00 p.m. with an extra 90 minute extension on Saturday nights.
The Reckless Engineer, Temple Gate, Bristol, BS1 6PL. Tel: 0117 9220487. Email: info@reckless-engineer.co.uk. Website: Click Here. Map: Click Here.

Generally packed with home fans, so get there early
Generally packed with home fans, so get there early
© Hugh Gleave
The Wellington: More like it: this outlet was taken over by Bath Ales in 2002. Would probably be our hostelry of choice - except on matchdays it gets so packed one can scarcely breathe, let alone move, in there. Stocks Barnstormer, Gem, and Spa, plus Bath seasonal ales at the appropriate times of the year. There's also a guest. Lager drinkers are not neglected, with Becks, Foster's and Budweiser Budwar. Cider is Stowford Press. Opening hours are 12.00 noon - 11.00 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, and 12.00 noon - 12.00 midnight Friday and Saturday; food, with vegetarian options, is available from 12.00 noon - 2.00 p.m. and 6.00 p.m. - 9.00 p.m. weekdays, all day Saturday, and until 4.00 p.m. on Sunday. However don't bother on a Saturday matchday unless you get there early. The pub has a car park, and is wheelchair friendly. There's an open space at the rear for smokers and others. A short walk to the away end. At policed games there's a "No Away Fans" policy - which seemed to be pretty much unenforced on the occasion we used it, though doubtless if one tried to enter dripping green & white and singing 'Yeovil True' one might be turned away.
The Wellington, Gloucester Road, Horfield, Bristol, BS7 8UR. Tel: 0117 9513022. Fax: 0117 9513022. Website: Click Here. Map: Click Here.


Likelihood the Natives Will Understand You :

Oh come on! This be the West Countree. If 'em carn't un'starnd us boyz in Brizzle what charnce bin thur anywhur.

Top-Tip :

Wanna make friends? Slag off the Robin sh*ts!

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Bristol Rovers : Local Amenities
Local Guesthouses and Hotels

Go to A1 Tourism's Online Guide to find Guest Houses/Hotels in Bristol and surrounding areas.


Tourist And Other Local Attractions

Bristol is famed for its nightlife, and as one would expect of one of the larger cities in the UK there are numerous things to see and do if you make a weekend of it. The website @ Bristol is a decent starting-point for ideas for the visitor.

[No responsibilty is taken for any inaccuracies. This page is entirely the product of bias and prejudice.]

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