Smash & Grab! Bristol Rovers – The Warboys & Bannister Years


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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7 Responses

  1. Gerry Prewett says:

    Fantastic article on a very memorable day for all Gasheads. The highlight of a fantastic season.

  2. Paul Caulfield says:

    Many thanks for the compliment – it’s good for the ego! Seriously, this is a story from an era when players earned little more than the ‘man in the street’, and valued football as an alternative to the other careers on offer. It was also a time which pre-dated the massive wages and walled mansions of some of today’s players. Not everything was better in the 70s (obviously), but some of the good things are worth savouring. For the record, I’m a West Ham fan, but thankfully tunnel vision hasn’t set in yet.

  3. Paul Blackwell says:

    Dyed in the wool Oldham fan that I am, I remember very fondly that 73-4 season. Rovers were well ahead at one stage, but Jimmy Frizzell as Latics’ manager had started a revival based on attacking with two wingers, Gearge McVitie and then Alan Groves – a brilliant tragic genius. Latics pipped Rovers for the titleand the two clubs finished next to each other Divisions 3 and 2 for about six years running. Every time we played Rovers a voice would boom out from behind me in the paddock : YER A DONKEY WARBOYS! After Warboys left our friend would mock opposing centre forwards by comparing them to AW. I recall Bob Lee and Trevor Aylott receiving this treatment. It was the time of the 3 day week but there was no energy goals crisis in Division 3 that season.

  4. Vyv Wiltshire says:

    Thanks for a great artcile.

    It is interesting that you are a West Ham fan: I am a Gashead, having lived in Bristol for about 55 years, but I am originally from Romford, so West Ham are my other team. I recall that Alan Warboys was linked with West Ham at one point and i think he may even have played in a friendly game for them. Obviously nothing came of that, which was unfortunate because I reckon he would have done a great job fr the Irons at that time.

  5. Keith Longbottom says:

    Living in Bradford in the 60’s, I would watch Avenue one week and Manningham (sorry, City) the next, Bruce Bannister was City’s own version of George Best, and was always great entertainment.

    Both Alan and Bruce wore the Claret and Blue at Upton Park during a testimonial in 73-74 – I think that they came on for the second half, but I can’t remember who the beneficiary was.

  6. Elliot Jackson says:

    Wonderful article, Paul – it brought back all the memories. I was there on the day of the 8-2 and never to be forgotten. Thankfully it is there on youtube to watch time and time again.

    I am now based in the US but after 59 years of supporting the Rovers my support has never waned. It now has to be from behind my laptop on Saturday morning.

    Keep up the good work

    All the best,


  7. gavin king says:

    Paul, do us gas fans a favour and do an article on the Gerry Francis years, Archie, Devon et all. Ta.

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