Ground Opened: 1897
Club Left Eastville In: 1986
Ground Redeveloped: 1998
Ground Also Used As: A Greyhound Racing Stadium
Number of years at ground: 89
First Competitive Game Played:
Bristol Rovers 0 Aston Villa 5, Birmingham & District League, 3rd April 1897.
Last Competitive Game Played:
Bristol Rovers 1 Chesterfield 1, Division Three, 26th April 1986. Attendance 3,576*
Record Attendance: 38,472 v Preston North End, FA Cup 4th Round, 30th January 1960
Floodlights first used: 7th September 1959 v Ipswich Town, Division Two
Club moved to: Twerton Park Bath City, where they played until moving back to Bristol and the Memorial Stadium in 1996.
Distance from to the Memorial Stadium: 2 miles
The North Stand was built in 1958. As can be seen in the photo before it had a fair portion of terrracing in front and to either side, with a bank of covered seating behind. A classic old looking stand. There was at one time a smaller covered enclosure on the side towards the Tote End, but was subsequently removed.
The South Stand which ran down one side of the ground, was opened in 1924. It was interesting looking stand as it was slightly semi-circular in layout with a 'pigeon loft' looking structure protruding from its roof. As this stand also housed the Club Offices and Team Dressing Rooms, it was the 'Main Stand' at the ground until sadly it was destroyed by fire in 1980.
The Tote End was a covered terrace, which was where most of the home fans would congregate. The end got is name from the display of Tote Odds that were displayed for Greyhound Meetings at the front of its roof. Fans who stood on that terrace, sometimes referred to themselves as 'Tote Enders.'
Thanks to W Gibson for sharing this with us his old cinefilm video of Eastville in which you can see the South Stand and Tote End:
Part of the open East Terrace was used to house the away fans at Eastville.
Although Bristol Rovers left Eastville in 1986 after being unable to agree an acceptable leasing agreement with the stadium owners, the ground continued to be used as a greyhound track for another 11 years. Eventually the site was redeveloped as an IKEA Store which opened 1998. The site (and IKEA Store) can still be clearly seen from the nearby M32 motorway.
The Eastville ground was close to a large gas holder (part of Stapleton Gas Works), which was situated beyond the Tote End. Sometimes the smell of the faint gas fumes would waft over the ground, which gave the Club fans their nickname of 'The Gas' or 'Gas heads'.
If you possess photos of the old Eastville ground, which you would be happy to share with others via this website, or if you have any general feedback about this page, then please e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
* This attendance figure would seem rather low. However although it was rumoured at the time that this would be the last game to be played at Eastville, no official announcement was made to that effect. If fans had known in advance that this was to be the last game, then I am sure the attendance would have been a lot higher.