All the key information ahead of Friday's trip to Bristol Rovers
Ground: The Memorial Stadium, Filton Avenue, Horfield, Bristol BS7 OBF
Telephone: 0117 909 6648
Club Colours: Blue and White
Nickname: The Pirates or The Gas Heads
Official Club Website: www.bristolrovers.co.uk
John Ward was appointed as manager at The Memorial Stadium for a second time in December 2012; he had previously managed here for three years between 1993-96.
As a player, Ward spent the bulk of his career as a forward at Lincoln City where he scored more than 100 goals in 300 appearances between 1970 and 1979. He also had spells at Grimsby Town and Watford.
He has had previous management experience At York City, Bristol City, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Cheltenham Town, Colchester United and Carlisle United and with Graham Taylor’s England set-up in the early 1990s.
Brief Directions By Road:
M4 until its junction 19. Turn onto the M32 and carry on until its junction 2.
Take the third exit at the roundabout signposted Horfield and Southmead where you will begin to see signs for the Memorial Stadium.
Carry on for approx. a mile and a half until you reach traffic lights and crossroads.
Turn left here into Filton Avenue where you will find the ground almost immediately on your left.
These directions are courtesy of Bristol Rovers FC.
Street parking is available but very difficult unless you arrive early.
The club recommends Muller Road or Gloucester Road, which will leave you with a 10-minute walk to the ground.
Directions By Train:
A London Paddington to Bristol Parkway train will take about 90 minutes.
Bristol Parkway is 2 miles from the ground and the 73 and 74 buses run past it.
A taxi will cost around £6.00 so grab a chum or two and share.
A train back to London after the game is very tight for time so please check availability.
The official coach will leave the Pavilion at 3.15 and the ticket price is just £20.00.
The Pavilion will be open from 1.45pm for pre-journey refreshments.
Discounts on travel are available for season ticket holders and Bees members’ bookings and information for coach travel for all 2012/13 season away games can be found online or by calling 020 8449 6325.
Eating And Drinking Locally:
I have had very little help from the club with regard to local drinking and eating spots I’m afraid.
I do know of the Queen Victoria and The Duke Of York pubs where away fans will receive a friendly welcome.
There are two social facilities at the Memorial one of which is normally open to away fans.
The Bristol Fryer is the best bet for some Fish and Chips and can be found at 431 Gloucester Road Horfield, BS7 8TZ.
The Ground Description:
The Memorial Stadium, formerly owned by Bristol Rugby Club became Rovers' home in in 1996 after a ten-year ground share with Bath City at Twerton Park.
Previously they played at Eastville Stadium but more of that later. The capacity is around 12,000 with about 4,000 seats.
The West Stand is a strange looking affair with its prominent executive boxes along the roof the focal point with a fairly small seated area behind a paddock of terracing.
Adjacent and to the left is the Family Stand whose roof was bought and paid for by the Supporters Association.
Opposite sits the tall and narrow cantilevered Uplands Stand, which has a slightly larger seating area behind a bank of unsheltered terracing.
If you suffer from vertigo it is not recommended that you sit in the back rows, as the rake is very steep.
Either side of it is open terracing part of which will be our home for the afternoon along with some seating in the South Stand- if it is a wet day bring a brolly or suffer the consequences.
To the left of the DAS Stand is the home fan stronghold the Blackthorn End, a low fully covered terrace.
At the other end of the pitch is the aforementioned South Stand, which is a similar bank of seats to Underhill’s Montgomery Stand only larger.
It runs for 2/3rds of the touchline from corner flag to far edge of the 6 yard box.
There is the little matter of another team on the other side of the city who play in red but just equate it to a friendly chat over neighboring garden fences.
Uplands Stand (Terrace): Adults £16, Over 65s/Students £9, U16s £1. South Stand (Seated): Adults £18.50 Over 65s/Students £10.50, U16s £1.
Our Last Meeting & Memories:
Our last visit to Rovers was in November 2011 when Izale McLeod and Mark Byrne goals secured a 2-0 in front of over 5,000 spectators.
We came close to an upset in January 2008 when we were narrowly defeated 0-1 at Underhill in the FA Cup 4th Round.
I recall November 1983 two months into his Barnet career and Nicky Evans was at his most majestic at Rovers old ground Eastville in a replayed FA Cup 1st round tie.
We lost 3-1 but Nicky’s goal and performance was perfection bearing in mind the pitch condition that evening.
There is also some very grainy film of this game available on YouTube.
The Pirates made an offer for Evans of probably £3,000,000 or even more after the game but he chose to stay at Underhill; truly the master in the box.
The wonderful exhibition from the Barnet midfield and Gary Phillips in goal in the first contest at Underhill helped end the game 0-0 and the attendance was given as 2,650.
Yeah okay there wasn’t about 700 Rovers fans on the East Terrace, the West Bank wasn’t packed to the rafters and the Queens Arms didn’t had to re-cover their pool table and repair numerous windows the next day.
Overnight Stay Factor:
A Friday afternoon and evening in Bristol gets a 6/10 just because the City is steeped in superb 17th and 18th century architecture and Art Deco buildings plus it has more than its fair share of high quality Indian, Chinese and East European Restaurants.
It is also a students’ paradise (the town centre always seems inundated with them) and many pubs offer cheap early evening drinks and in the shops Pot Noodles are on special offer every which way you turn. Do supermarkets still sell Vesta Ready Meals?
Junior Agogo and Giuliano Grazioli played for both clubs and would have made a splendid partnership at Underhill.
Lord Jeffrey Archer lives locally and can be seen most mornings picking up his copy of the Daily Mirror in News ‘n’ Chews.
Top 60s and 70s British songwriting team Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway (I’d Like To Teach the World To Support Barnet was one of their best) came from these parts as did Rod Hull & his Emu.
The distinctive voice of Cary Grant originally had a Bristol lilt while nearly funny man Eddie Large has allegedly recently bought a ‘little’ flat locally.