Club Profile

Bristol Rovers

Bristol Rovers are a friendly little club in a goofy stadium in a very cool city.

LOCATION: Bristol, just under two hours southwest of London’s Paddington station

CONTACT: bristolrovers.co.uk, 0117 9096648, #BRFC

NICKNAMES: You might think it’s Rovers, but that’s part of their actual name. No, they are The Gas because their old stadium was near a gasworks that had quite the odor. Bristol City fans made fun of them for it, but being English, they took the insult as a matter of pride and carried on. So you get to hear “gasheads” yell, “Come on, The Gas!” They are also called the Pirates, and that’s the character you’ll see walking around the ground.

History

The club was founded in 1883, joined the Football League in 1920, and has never made the top flight of English football. The best they ever did was finish sixth in the Second Division twice in the 1950s. Those were basically the glory years; they also twice made the quarters of the FA Cup in that decade, the furthest they’ve ever gotten. They…

Rivalries

Bristol City are rivals, of course, but they rarely play. They haven’t been in the same league since 2001, and since then they have played just four times, in the minor League Trophy. They hate their West Country neighbors like Swindon Town, Plymouth Argyle, Exeter City, and Yeovil Town. They also don’t like nearby Cardiff, but they hardly ever…

Women's Team

The current version of Bristol Rovers Women’s FC was formed in 2019 and are off to an excellent start. They won their first league title in 2021, went up to the Northern Division of the South West Regional Women’s Football League for last season, then won promotion from there to the 5th tier for this season. Home games are at Lockleaze Sports…

Songs

Their anthem is “Goodnight, Irene.” Apparently this started in the 1950s, when they sang it to taunt Plymouth Argyle fans who were leaving early because they were getting whipped. It stuck and is still their signature today. It’s really something to hear a bunch of English people singing a mournful song by a Louisianan named Lead Belly that…

Stadium

Rovers play in the 12,300-seat Memorial Stadium, an odd place that was originally built for rugby. One stand doesn’t stretch the length of the field, another is only partially covered, and another is narrow but quite tall. It’s near Gloucester Road with lots of shops and has a super friendly vibe. Another oddity: this piece of land was originally…

Going to a Game at Bristol Rovers

GETTING THERE: It’s a bit far from the center—a little over three miles from the main train station, Temple Meads. The closest station to it is still a half-hour walk. So take a cab or bus 73, which goes right along Gloucester Road. PUBS: There is one at the stadium, but there are better ones along Gloucester Road. The Wellington is hopping on…

Bristol Rovers Tickets

Tickets range from £16 to £26, with the rare option of putting down cash at the turnstile.

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