Bristol Rovers

Memorial Stadium

Capacity: 12,011
Address: Filton Avenue, Horfield, Bristol, BS7 0BF
Telephone: 0117 909 6648
Fax: 0117 907 4312
Ticket Office: 0117 952 4001
Pitch Size: 110 x 73 yards
Club Nickname: Pirates
Year Ground Opened: 1921
Shirt Sponsors: dribuild Group
Away Shirt Sponsors: Powersystems
Kit Manufacturer: Macron
Home Kit: Blue & White Quarters
Away Kit: Yellow and Black

East Stand
East Stand
West Stand
West Stand
South Stand
South Stand
Blackthorn Terrace
Blackthorn Terrace
A Closer Look At The West Stand
A Closer Look At The West Stand

The club moved to the stadium in 1996 and two years later bought the ground from the then owners Bristol Rugby Club. Although the Memorial Stadium has seen some changes since the Football Club took up residence, it still has the feel of a rugby ground about it. 

On one side is the West Stand, which with its pavilion looks more like a cricket stand. It has a row of hospitality boxes across the top, with a few rows of seats in front. Below is an area of terrace. Just under this stand's roof is a television gantry and a small electric scoreboard. The stand runs for about half the length of the pitch and straddles the half way line. On one side of it, towards the Blackthorn end is a small covered terrace, used as a family area, whilst the other side has a small covered area of temporary seating, called the South West Stand. Opposite is the Uplands Stand, taller than the West Stand, but similar in length. This stand has covered seating to its rear and terracing at the front. It has open terracing to either side, one of which is given to away supporters. The team dug outs are located in front of this stand, although the dressing rooms are located behind the West Stand. This leads to quite a procession of players and officials at half time and full time. 

At one end is the unusual looking South Stand. This was originally erected as a temporary stand, to fill the previously empty end. It has now been opened for a number of seasons now, although it still looks, with its green seats and bright white roof, more suitable for an outdoor show jumping competition than a football ground. The stand only runs for just over half the width of the pitch, has several supporting pillars running across the front and has been nicknamed 'the tent' by Rovers fans. Opposite is the Blackthorn End, which is a covered terrace for home supporters.

The Clubs plans to move to a new stadium have been put back with the news that Sainsbury's currently no longer wish to purchase the Memorial Ground to build a new supermarket. This is crucial to the proposed move as funds generated by the sale of the Memorial Ground, were to be used to fund the building of the new stadium. The new 21,700 capacity stadium was be located close to the Avon Ring Road, by the University of the West England (UWE), on the outskirts of Bristol.

Away supporters are mostly housed in an open terrace on one side of the East (Dribuild) Stand. This area is open to the elements so you might get wet if it rains. The open terrace makes it difficult for away fans to really generate some noise. Up to 1,100 away supporters can be accommodated in this area. If the weather is poor then it may be a better bet to head for one of the seats that are made available to away fans in the South Stand at one end of the ground. I must recommend the huge Cornish Pasties (£3.20) that are sold at the ground, huge and tasty, plus they even do vegetarian ones which makes a change. Also on offer are a range of pies including the the Chicken Balti Pie. I did not experience any problems on my visits, however I noted that the Rovers fans seemed to tolerate away fans rather than being over friendly. They can still do a good rendition of their club anthem 'Goodnight Irene', when the occasion stirs.

I found it quite amusing that the Rovers fans are nicknamed gasheads. Nick Wootten of Bristol informed me that this term comes from where the old Eastville stadium in Bristol was sited. Next to a (sometimes smelly) gas works! In fact it was rumoured that if Rovers were losing at half time, the gas would be turned up, to put off the opposition!

There is a bar behind the clubhouse terrace at the ground that allows in away supporters.
Pete Stump recommends; 'The Queen Vic pub on the Gloucester Road, which is around a five minute walk from the ground, usually has a comfortable mix of home and away fans, although it does get busy'. Rhys Gwynllyw a visiting Wrexham supporter recommends the Annexe Inn on Seymour Road. Located half mile a way from the stadium, the pub is listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. It is close to the County Cricket Ground, going further along the A38 towards Bristol. After passing an Indian Restaurant call Guru, turn left into Nevil Road and then right at the Sportsman Pub into Seymour Road. Please note that alcohol is not made available to away fans inside the stadium.

If you require hotel accommodation in Bristol then first try a hotel booking service provided by Booking.com. They offer all types of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets from; Budget Hotels, Traditional Bed & Breakfast establishments to Five Star Hotels and Serviced Apartments. Plus their booking system is straightforward and easy to use. Yes this site will earn a small commission if you book through them, but it will help towards the running costs of keeping this Guide going. 

Access their Bristol Hotels pages.

Remember that you can use the above link to book any other hotels that you may need for business or leisure, at home or abroad.

Booking.com

Exit M5 at junction 16 (Signposted Filton) and join the A38 (South) towards Bristol City Centre. The ground is about five miles down the A38. You will pass the large British Aerospace works and further on, you will pass on your left the Inn on the Green and the Gloucester pubs. You then pass the Wellington pub on your right and continuing along the A38 Gloucester Road, turn left into Filton Avenue. The entrance to the Club car park is the second right down this road. There is a fair amount of street parking around the sides and back of the Wellington pub. 

Post Code for SAT NAV: BS7 0BF

The nearest railway station is Filton Abbey Wood, which as Peter Moody informs me; 'is approximately 1.5 miles or 20-25 minutes walk away from the ground'. More likely though you will end up at Bristol Parkway which is about two miles away from the ground and is really too far to walk from, so you are probably best to jump in a taxi (cost about £10) or buses 73/73A/73B run from the railway station past the Memorial Stadium.

Find train times, prices and book tickets with trainline. Booking tickets in advance will normally save you money!

Remember if travelling by train then you can normally save on the cost of fares by booking in advance.

Visit the the trainline website to see how much you can save on the price of train tickets.

Click on the trainline logo below:

Official Programme: £3

Like a number of Clubs, Bristol Rovers have a category system (A & B) for ticket prices, with the most popular games costing more to watch. Category A prices are shown below with Category B prices shown in brackets:

Home Fans*
West Stand (Seating):
Adults £26 (B £24), Under 22's £23 (B £21) Over 65's/Under 16's £20 (B £18)
West Stand (Terrace):
Adults £20 (B £18), Under 22's £14 (B £12) Over 65's/Under 16's £11 (B £9)
East Stand (Seating):
Adults £24 (B £22), Under 22's £20 (B £18) Over 65's/Under 16's £15 (B £13)
East Stand (Terrace):
Adults £18 (B £16), Under 22's £14 (B £12) Over 65's/Under 16's £10 (B £8)
Family Enclosure:
Adults £18 (B £16), Under 22's £14 (B £12) Over 65's/Under 16's £7 (B £5)
South Stand (Seated):
Adults £21 (B £19), Under 22's £17 (B £15) Over 65's/Under 16's £12 (B £10)
Blackthorn Terrace End:
Adults £18 (B £16), Under 22's £14 (B £12) Over 65's/Under 16's £10 (B £8)

Away Fans*
East Stand (Terrace): 
Adults £18 (B £16), Under 22's £14 (B £12) Over 65's/Under 16's £10 (B £8)
South Stand (Seated): 
Adults £21 (B £19), Under 22's £17 (B £15) Over 65's/Under 16's £12 (B £10)

* The above prices quoted are for tickets purchased prior to matchday. Tickets purchased on matchday cost £2 more per ticket.

Bristol Rovers FC fixture list (takes you to the BBC Sports Website)

Bristol City and Swindon Town.

For details of disabled facilities and club contact at the ground please visit the relevant page on the  Level Playing Field website.

Record Attendance

At The Memorial Stadium: 12,011 v West Bromwich Albion, FA Cup 6th Round, February 9th, 2008.

At Eastville; 38,472 v Preston North End, FA Cup 4th Round, January 30th, 1960.

Average Attendance
2015-2016: 8,096 (League Two)
2014-2015: 6,629 (Conference National)
2013-2014: 6,421 (League Two)

If you're into historical ships then the first steam ship the SS Great Britain is moored at the historic dockyards. The area around the docks is quite pleasant with some good pubs. If arriving by train you can get a ferry boat to the dock yards from Temple Meads station.

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at: duncan@footballgrounds.net and I'll update the guide.

Bristol Rovers v Port Vale
Football League One
Saturday 24th September 2016, 3pm
Albert Griffin (Port Vale fan)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Memorial Stadium?

I had never been to the Memorial Stadium before. Plus with both teams doing really well in the League, I was hopeful of seeing a good game. 

How easy wa s your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

It was an easy journey on first the M6 then M5 motorways, arriving at the ground an hour before kick off. However I had real difficulty finding parking anywhere, and must have spent around half an hour driving around side streets, before eventually finding a spot. I got talking to a a Bristol Rovers fan who was also parking up and he showed us the way to the Memorial Stadium. He also commented that parking on matchdays is always this bad.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

As kick off was rapidly approaching we didn't have much time, so it was a case of just getting into the ground. The home fans we met were great

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Memorial Stadium?

The away end is covered, but by a plastic tent thing, which seemed quite temporary. The seats were right by the home Family Stand. Early in the first half a drain pipe on our stand was hit by a wayward shot from a Bristol Rovers player and it crashed to the floor. Luckily no one was hurt. The rest of the Memorial Stadium looked impressive.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

It was a good game. Port Vale dominated the first half going a goal up, but Rovers equalised just before half time. Port Vale never seemed to come out for the second half and Rovers took the lead through a penalty to make it 2-1 to the home side. That is how it finished and it was probably a fair result.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Once we got back on the Gloucester Road, it was then a straight run.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

If you are an away fan then I would get there a couple of hours early if you want to find somewhere nearby to park and go to a local pub. Next time I will go on one of the official coaches.

Bristol Rovers v Plymouth Argyle
Football League Two
Saturday 23rd January 2016, 3pm
Luis Hart (Plymouth Argyle fan) 

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Memorial Stadium?    

It is one of the closer away days and some class this as a bit of a derby so I knew it would be a good game- especially with both teams high up in the league.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?    

I got the train to Bristol Temple Meads and then onto another train to Filton Abbey Wood. The journey took less than ten minutes and we ended up not paying as there was no conductor on board nor tickets barriers at Filton Abbey Wood.  When we got there as we came out of the station we cut through a walkway onto Nutfield Grove and then left onto Filton Avenue. From there it's about a 20 minute walk and fairly easy to find if you just stay on the same road, there is a few shops on the way but not many places to get a fast food meal.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?    

We didn't really meet any of the home fans as it was me and a few mates and we just wanted to get there, so we didn't do to much before the game, but I believe the pub most of the away fans went to was 'The Wellington'. Most the home fans we saw gave us some smug looks but then again Rovers and Argyle aren't the best of friends.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Memorial Stadium?    

The Memorial Stadium had a bit of character to it which I like, all parts of the stadium were very different, the away end included a small amount of sheltered seats and an uncovered standing area to the right of it where I was. It is one of the nicer stands and the view was better than I expected despite where we were, also if you went to get food or drink you didn't miss any of the action as it was just at the top of the stand.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..    

The game was quite entertaining, either side could have won it and they like to play attacking football, it finished 1-1 and we equalised in the 89th minute so It was worth it and we had a good view of the goal. I didn't have anything to eat at the game but there was plenty on offer and the prices weren't too bad either. There was a load of police and stewards and they were a bit slow to react to the smoke bomb, but otherwise no problems.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting out of the ground walking wasn't too bad as both sets of fans came out together, there was a few Rovers fans trying to wind people up but we had no problem.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Top day out and I recommend it :)

Bristol Rovers v Leyton Orient
Football League Two
Monday 28th December 2015, 3pm
Tim Williams (Doing the 92)

Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting the Memorial Stadium?    

The Memorial Stadium was another ground to tick off the list. I first saw Bristol Rovers as a visiting Nottingham Forest supporter at the old Eastville ground back in the 1970's. That ground was an old mishmash of a stadium and the Memorial Ground is a similar mixture of odd stands. I'd seen the ground on the TV and was intrigued to see what it looked like in real life.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?    

The journey was straightforward down the M4 from London. It was a bank holiday so there was lots of traffic but it all kept moving. A car fire near Bristol came close to holding us up and another couple of minutes and the fire service would have been on the scene and the motorway closed. As it was I raced past hoping that the petrol tank didn't go up. The motorway exit for the ground is the same as for a superstore so that was a bit busy but I soon passed the desperate shoppers and easily found a parking place in the side roads near the ground.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?    

I first went straight to the ground to collect my ticket. I was hoping for a pasty but the queues were long and with kick off approaching, I sacrificed this for a place on the terrace behind the home goal. As this was a bank holiday game I think the cider had been flowing and the home fans were very boisterous. In the past I've never found Bristol supporters - either Rovers or City - particularly friendly but as a out of towner in the home end I felt fine.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Memorial Stadium?    

The Memorial Stadium is an odd looking ground. Behind the home goal it's a traditional covered terrace end. To the side is a very tall but short stand that straddles the half way line. Opposite is a pavilion type stand that looks more like something you'd find at a cricket or rugby ground. Behind the other goal there is some temporary seating covered by what looks like a tent.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..    

It was a good game between two decent teams. There was an near 10,000 crowd and the atmosphere was impressive. Rovers scored midway through the first half and Orient equalised just on half time. Rovers got what turned out to be the winning goal early in the second half - a great shot from outside the area that curled just inside the post. The celebrations behind the goal were lively to say the least - staying upright was a challenge. But it was all good fun and reminded me of my youth standing on the Trent End at the City Ground. There were lots of choruses of 'Goodnight Irene' as the home side hung on for a win.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Despite the big crowd it was easy to get away. I was soon on the motorway and back in London at a reasonable time

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

Great day out. Bristol Rovers have passionate fans -and lots of them - and really should be in a much higher league. Their ground might need some sorting out though; I think there are plans to move but it would be good if they took the vibrant atmosphere with them.

Bristol Rovers v Leyton Orient
Football League Two
Monday 28th December 2015, 3pm
Mark Schleich (Neutral fan)

Why were you looking forward to visiting the Memorial Stadium?    

I was down in Bristol spending Christmas with my In-laws and fancied seeing a live game. It was always going to be a Gas game for me because firstly, my wife's family are from Easton so they are the 'local' club and secondly, as I am a Spurs fan, I'm not keen on any side that plays in a red shirt! I booked the tickets for me and the three lads online which was easy.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?    

The Memorial Stadium is located a mile or two North of Bristol City centre. Dropped off near the ground by my wife.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?    

Had a couple of pints in the Queen Vic on Gloucester Road. Got a few stares on entering from the locals as I was obviously a 'new face' and had my son and two of his cousins with me. That said I had no issues and felt comfortable in there.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Memorial Stadium?    

A basic but nice little stadium. Any ground with a decent sized covered terraced end hits the spot for me.  I also loved the quirky looking Main Stand that would be equally at home at Lords or the Oval.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..    

An entertaining match which the Gas won 2-1. The quality of the football was decent enough and the second of the two goals scored by Rory Gaffney was top drawer. We stood in the home end behind the north goal and the atmosphere was really good. The fans at the Memorial Stand certainly get behind their team.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Back to the Queen Vic for a pint and then picked up at 6ish.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

All of us thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The atmosphere inside the ground was really good. Next time I'm down if the Gas are at home we will definitely be their. Up the Gas Heads!

Bristol Rovers v Stevenage
Football League Two
Tuesday 24th November 2015, 7.45pm
James Walker (Stevenage fan)

Why were you looking forward to visiting the Memorial Stadium?    

I was looking forward to this away day as the Memorial Stadium would be a new one for me to tick off the list. Plus the game also looked very winnable owing to Bristol Rovers recent poor home form.

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?    

I went with my friends Ollie (driving), Matt and George for this one instead of taking the normal supporters coach. Especially as the last time we went by coach to a midweek game, it arrived late. Our journey was very good and it took us three and a half hours to reach Bristol in the evening (including a 20 minute stop in Reading). We were informed that we could not park in the club car-park as all the spaces were booked up, but there was a lot of nearby street parking available.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?    

We went to a fish and chip shop just a few minutes walk away from Memorial Stadium for a bite to eat (located right next to a Dominos) and bumped in to several home fans in there who were friendly. We then went to the ground and headed straight to the club shop (a portakabin outside) for programmes, which cost £3 each. We then attempted to go round to the players entrance, but were told that it's blocked off so we couldn't get round there. To pass some time, we went into the supporters bar and saw several other away fans in there with full colours chatting happily to home fans.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the Memorial Stadium?    

The away terrace is of a fair size and open, with toilets and a tea bar right at the top of it, so you can still get your food and enjoy the game at the same time. The rest of the stadium looked mismatched. The stand to our left looked like a temporary stand, whilst the Main Stand opposite us looks like it belongs at Ascot Racecourse. The other half of the stand we were in towered high above us so we couldn't even see the home fans sitting at the top.

View From The Away Terrace

View From The Away Terrace

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..    

The game started brilliantly for us, as we went 1-0 up inside 4 minutes thanks to a clever corner routine finished off by Steven Schumacher. Rovers looked fairly strong after that and equalised (fairly deservedly) on 38 minutes, though the lack of an offside flag stunned us! A half time pie was the order, and I was particularly interested in the meal deal. A pie/sausage roll, bag of crisps, chocolate bar and any hot/cold drink for £5.50. This was polished off in moments. The second half dragged for us, but we retook the lead on the hour thanks to a Chris Whelpdale screamer. Rovers threatened several times after that but only came close on a couple of occasions but we held on for our first away win of the season.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

Getting away was easy. we walked back to the car and were back on the main road within ten minutes of the final whistle, getting us back home around 1am.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

This was a fantastic night out for us with two very good journeys and three well deserved points. What more could we have asked for?

Bristol Rovers 1-2 Stevenage Attendance: 5,819 (101 away fans)

Bristol Rovers v Northampton Town
Football League Two
Saturday 8th August 2015, 3pm
Gary Robinson (Northampton Town fan)

Why were you looking forward to visiting the Memorial Ground?

Well it was the first league game of the season and after the Summer break, renewed optimism for a good season was high. Plus I was looking forward to travelling by train to Bristol. 

How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

I split my train tickets so rather than travelling direct to Bristol, it entailed three rail journeys. First from Northampton to Birmingham New Street, then from New Street to Worcester Foregate Street and finally changing there for Bristol Parkway. Although this meant that the journey would take an hour longer then if I had got a direct service, it was not a problem as it saved me about £12 on the fare.

What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?

Arriving at Parkway I left the station and turned right into the village of Stoke Gifford. Bearing in mind it was a glorious warm day, The Beaufort Arms which is only about a ten minute walk away with outdoor eating and seating fitted the bill. From there it was bus 73 which previous research has shown stopped right next to the Memorial Ground. Catch it back at Parkway station forecourt Day ticket £4 although the wiser ones will just pick up PlusBus with their rail tickets.

What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the stadium?

Having been before I knew that we would be baked on the open terrace at the Memorial ground, on this August day. The ground hadn't changed from my previous visit over ten years ago. Still had the cricket pavilion like stand opposite and the tented away seats behind the left hand goal.

Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

The game was played in very warm conditions. But the Cobblers just edged it and fully deserved their 1-0 win courtesy of ex-Gashead John Joe O'Toole's second half header. The atmosphere was good Rovers celebrating their return to the Football League and they got behind their team well. As did the travelling Shoe Army. I never eat at football grounds so cannot comment on the food and I don't remember anything about the stewards which point to them doing their job absolutely fine.

Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

After congratulating the lads after the game it was a brisk five minute walk back through the car park to the bus stop. Hopped on a 73 back to Parkway. On this particular day it took well over 40 minutes to get back because of matchday traffic. But Although the bus was extremely hot in the sun I had allowed plenty of time before my train back.

Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A good day, a decent pub, a great result and every single train was spot on time. Can't really ask for more than that!

Bristol Rovers v Grimsby Town
Conference Premier
Saturday August 9th, 2014, 3pm
Glynn Sharkey (Grimsby Town fan)

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

I had been to the old Eastville ground many years ago, but hadn't been back to Bristol since, so the Memorial ground was a new one for me to tick off. Plus this was the first league game of the new season, so one not to miss.

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

Due to the cost of train tickets, plus the fact we wouldn't get into Bristol much before kick off
we decided on the car. My old mate Chuckler who lives in Leeds city centre volunteering to pick up a hire car and meet up at Meadowhall Travelodge after work on Friday night, ready for an early morning start.

I blame the tram into Sheffield, copious amounts of real ale, Wetherspoons burgers followed by the obligatory kebab for the fact the morning start was delayed somewhat. Starting off an hour later than planned we hit every road works, accident, tailback imaginable and by the time we made the A42 were ready for brekky. We headed off the A42 towards Coalville, found a roadside greasy spoon and were soon back on our way again.

On hitting Bristol we hit the traffic again, gridlock and with only 70 minutes before kick off the chance of a pint slipping away. Crawling down the A38 with the ground about half a mile away we saw The Inn On The Green pub, swung down the side street next to it and parked up.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

With 25 minutes to kick off I dived inside and ordered a swift couple while Chuckler decided to go straight to the ground. 15 minutes later, the best part of eight notes lighter and with a churning belly I set off for the ground. Walking past the Wellington pub I headed down towards the ground and found myself amongst a large group of lads "swapping handbags". Luckily this was soon broken up as it had the potential to turn nasty. Well done the Police on that one.

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

To be fair I thought it looked better from the car park outside, it's an odd little ground. We were on the open terrace to the left of the East Stand facing one of the weirdest side stands opposite that I've ever seen. A quite large (compared to the rest) and grand looking stand with two tiny covered stands each side, behind the goal to our left was a stand that wouldn't look out of place in your back garden when you have the BBQ going.

Come On You Mariners!

View From The Away Section

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..

A large crowd of over 7,000 and a decent Grimsby following made for a good atmosphere, the stewards and police seemed very relaxed and happy to let people carry on and enjoy their selves. I was pleased to meet up with a few of the London Mariners and despite not making a beer together before kick off, we agreed on a few after.

With half the first team missing we weren't really expecting much so a point in the 0-0 draw probably saw us happier than the Bristol fans. Saying that whoever scored was going to win and our striker LJL missed a sitter from only 10 feet out, which cost us two points.

I didn't try any food but the burger stall at the back came in very handy for shelter from the torrential downpour just before half time!

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

A ten minute walk to The Inn On The Green and a few pints with some of the London Mariners made a perfect end, it's always good to catch up. After an hour the traffic had all but died and we were on our way with no problems.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

A good start to the season, not too bad a ground and the area didn't seem bad either. It was great to meet up with mates but what spoiled it for me was our late arrival despite a 7.30am start. I do like to have a bit of a look around beforehand.

Bristol Rovers v Fleetwood Town
League Two
Saturday October 5th, 2013, 3pm 
James Spring (Neutral fan)

1. Why were you looking forward to visiting the ground?

My local team Weymouth were away to Biggleswade and I couldn’t get to Nottingham to watch my beloved Notts County, but I was desperate to see a game this weekend. A quick look through the fixture list showed that Bristol Rovers were at home to Fleetwood. I did some research on this website to see how best to get there, and when I found that a train return would be £17 it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss.

Plus it would be another ground ticked off, and with the constant speculation about Rovers leaving the Memorial it might be my only chance, plus the match looked quite appealing so off I went. 

2. How easy was your journey, finding the ground, car parking?

I caught a train from Weymouth that got me to Bristol Temple Meads just before 2pm. I had looked on Google maps at the route, but decided instead to just jump in one of the Taxis outside the station. The Taxi driver was actually a Bristol City fan, so we talked about the Bristol Derby which had taken place a few weeks earlier, and he reminisced about the City sides he’d watched in his youth. Friendly chap and I couldn’t complain at £10 for the ride. He dropped me off just outside the Memorial Gates. 

3. What did you do before the game pub/chippy/home fans friendly?

Having got to the ground at roughly quarter past two I just went straight to the ticket office, which is directly in front of you as you go through the Memorial Gates which are behind the Blackthorn End. I met up with a mate of mine who recently moved to Bristol for work, and we decided to watch the game from the Blackthorn Terrace so we could sample the best of the atmosphere. £18 for an adult ticket (I managed to forget my student card!) wasn’t cheap, but it certainly wasn’t over expensive either. The match day programme cost the standard £3 and was a pretty good read. 

One thing I really liked was that while the players were warming up, Rovers manager John Ward came over to the Blackthorn End and spent time saying hello to fans young and old, having photos with fans and signing autographs. I thought this was a really nice gesture, and it’d be nice to see more managers do that sort of thing. 

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impression of the away end and other sides of the ground?

The first thing I noticed was how odd the ground is, in that six stands make it up and none of them seem to match. The away fans are housed partly on an open terrace and partly in a temporary seated stand behind the goal, so I’d imagine it’s pretty difficult to get much atmosphere going in the away end. 

As I said, the different stands make it quite odd but I liked the ground, I always prefer the old fashioned type grounds. The East Stand looked quite impressive, and looked very similar to the main stand at my local club Weymouth. 

5. Comment on the game itself, stewards, atmosphere, pies etc

The first half was a bit of a non-event. Rovers tried to get the ball down and play but offered absolutely nothing in the final third, while Fleetwood’s tactic seemed to be to hoof it up to the big lad up front. The second half however was a lot better. Rovers came out stronger and had a golden chance to go 1-0 up when Andy Bond raced onto a through ball but could only shoot high and wide one v one with the Fleetwood keeper Scott Davies. Fleetwood then went close when Antoni Sarcevic had a long range effort tipped over the bar by Steve Mildenhall when it looked destined for the top corner. 

On 64 minutes a goal finally arrived for the visitors when a run into the area was not stopped by the Rovers defence and Jamille Matt turned the ball home from no more than a yard out. The goal seemed to spark Rovers into life and just two minutes after falling behind, Andy Bond’s cross was headed home by John-Joe O’Toole, sparking jubilant scenes in the Blackthorn end, with many fans running to the front to give Scott Davies an ear full after the Fleetwood keeper had shushed the home fans after the first goal. 

Rovers were now on top and the home fans were right behind their team. In the very next attack Rovers had another header cleared off the line, and from the resulting corner they saw another header come back off the post.  Fleetwood weathered the storm and with just three minutes to go, Jamille Matt scored his second of the game to put Fleetwood on the verge of another away win. The home side tried to rally but couldn’t force another chance, and deep into added time, Jon Parkin sealed the game for the visitors with a wonderful volley from a tight angle. A frustrating day for Bristol Rovers who will wonder what might have been had they made their pressure tell after the equaliser.

I was a bit disappointed at the atmosphere which only really came to life after the Rovers equaliser, although to be fair the game had been quite flat up to that point. Mind you when the entire Blackthorn end sang “Goodnight Irene” it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, that sounded brilliant!

The food inside the ground is pretty good and quite cheap. I brought a coke and sausage roll for just £1.95 before the game, although half the pastry from the sausage roll ended up on the floor!

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

My mate knew where he was going so we got a bus back into town. Bus was fairly busy as you would expect, as were the roads, so it took a good twenty minutes to get back into town. From there I had to run back to Temple Meads as my train left at ten to six. The station is very well sign posted throughout the town centre so you’d do quite well to get lost. From the bus stop to the station is was about a twenty minute walk, and I got back with time to spare. There were a couple of Rovers fans on my train so we had a chat about the game and the season ahead. They were pretty friendly, if a little depressed. 

7. Summary of overall thoughts of day out:

On the whole an excellent day out. Another ground ticked off, one decent half of football and not too expensive either. I hope Rovers pick up as the season goes on. They’re a decent sized club who shouldn’t be fighting to stay in the Football League. 

Bristol Rovers v Southend United
League Two
Saturday, March 24th, 2012, 3pm
John Spooner (Southend United fan)

My son and I had never visited this ground and having dropped to 4th in the table after some poor home performances, we were anxious to get a good result to keep Southend in the promotion race. Bristol were mid table. 

We journeyed  by car from North Wales as exiled fans, expecting to drive south via M5 and A38 but due to a serious crash blocking the M5 en-route we had to divert through Wolverhampton, Kidderminster down toward Worcester before rejoining the M5. The ground was easy enough to find and we parked near to the Wellington Pub.

We enjoyed a quick home made snack in the car before walking down the hill to the stadium and noticed that both sets of supporters were happily enjoying a pint or two at the Wellington.

The ground on arrival is poor looking and the away covered end looks gloomy. The ground looks old fashioned with different size stands. We had decided to stand on the open terracing in a corner of the ground, and on a warm March day (22 degrees) sunshine was in our eyes for the entire game. The pitch looked okay.

The game was a scrappy affair with Freddy Eastwood, making a return to Southend, finding it hard to get goal scoring chances. Both teams struggled to find the target but with five minutes left we gave away a penalty and Matt Harrold (ex Southend) duly netted to consign us to another loss. A crowd of 6,258 only really came alive with the penalty and the 521 Southend fans were subdued by the lack of goal scoring chances and the hot sun possibly. Southend dropped down to 5th place with just seven games left but hopefully promotion via the playoffs.

I can recommend the huge Cornish pasties and the chicken curry pies looked tasty too. The stewards were friendly enough but it felt slightly intimidating to find by half time that there were about 20 Police and stewards behind us on the terracing and at the end we were stopped from leaving the ground for 20 minutes, despite there being no obvious problems.

Despite the delay in leaving the ground it was easy enough to get moving on the A38 towards the M5 motorway.

So overall, a disappointing day after a tiring journey to the game, although the sunshine was welcome. Hopefully Bristol will move to a proposed new stadium and both clubs will progress to higher levels.

Why not write your own review of the Memorial Ground Bristol Rovers and have it included in the Guide? Find out more about submitting a Fans Football Ground Review.

Updated 24th October 2016

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