Bristol football fans set to 'Pack the Park' when Bath City host Staines
The fans of Bristol’s two professional clubs are being urged to put aside their differences and ‘Pack the Park’ when Bath City entertain Staines Town on Saturday (3pm).
With Bristol Rovers facing a crunch npower League 2 basement battle with Barnet on Friday night, a group of Pirates supporters are looking to take advantage of an otherwise free weekend to help former landlords City in their hour of need.
Chairman Manda Rigby’s warning over City’s financial plight a fortnight ago came the day after Sainsbury’s were given the green light by councillors to build a supermarket at Rovers’ current Memorial Stadium base.
That in turn brought the Pirates’ dream of playing at a new 20,000-seater ground at Filton tantalisingly close – but many of their fans have not forgotten the role City played in keeping their club alive when it was forced away from its old Eastville headquarters in 1986.
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Homeless Rovers spent the following ten years outside their own city at ‘Fortress Twerton’ and were remarkably successful, winning the old Division 3 championship there in 1990 before playing host to the likes of Liverpool, Newcastle United, West Ham and Aston Villa.
With neither Bristol team at home on Saturday – City visit Blackburn Rovers in the Championship – a social media campaign has been set up in order to boost the attendance for Staines fixture and help boost the Romans’ coffers in their hour of need.
A mission statement on the #saveBathCity Facebook page reads: “We want to have a good family football day for everyone. A united West Country – just for one day – and let Bath City know they are not alone.”
City director of football Adie Britton welcomed the added interest in the visit of struggling Staines and called for his side to put on a show.
He said: “Bath City did a huge amount for Bristol Rovers and were instrumental in their reincarnation during the 1990s.
“It is nice that they want to support the club not only for what they did for them, but also what they have done for football in the area generally.
“We haven’t been able to keep some of the players that got us to the top level of non-league football but those that do come along will have the chance to see three or four good younger ones who we hope can help the side progress over the next few years.”
Admission costs £12 for adults, £8 for concessions, £6 for students/under-18s and £2 for under-16s. Fans can pay on the day and more information is available at www.bathcityfc.com.