Forner players guests for the dayWatney Cup celebrations
40 years on
Forty years ago Rovers won a competition known as the Watney Cup and tomorrow a number of players from that cup winning side will guests of the club.
The manager of that side, Don Megson will also be with us along with Bruce Bannister, Lindsay Parsons, Frankie Prince, Tom Stanton, Kenny Stephens, Stuart Taylor and Harold Jarman.
Of those players, the only one not to make an appearance in the three games played in the competition back in 1972 was Harold Jarman, an unused substitute in games against Wolves, Burnley and Sheffield United.
Sadly, Dick Sheppard and Brian Godfrey are no longer with us and Sandy Allan is living in South Africa. Phil Roberts is unable to be here because of family commitments and other absentees are Bryn Jones, Wayne Jones and Mike Green as is the other unused substitute that day, goalkeeper Malcolm Dalrymple.
We are also delighted that Chris Sheppard, Dick's widow, will be with us.
The competition was contested by the two teams in each of the four English Leagues who had scored the most goals in the previous season and not been promoted. In 1971/72 Rovers had scored 75 goals in finishing in sixth place in the Third Division.
Having beaten Wolves and Burnley, Rovers faced Sheffield United in the final, played at Eastville, on Saturday 5th August 1972, and a crowd of 19,768 fans witnessed a goalless draw. That meant the winners would be decided after a penalty shootout, which Rovers won 7-6.
Roberts, Godfrey, Green, Bannister and Allan successfully converted the Rovers spot kicks, while United matched them thanks to the penalties taken by Eddy, Currie, Dearden, Colquhoun and Woodward.
Parsons made it 6-5 to Rovers, but Scullion's successful penalty put United back on level terms. Rovers edged in front thanks to Bryn Jones and then Sheppard saved from Ted Hemsley to give the Pirates a 7-6 penalty shootout victory.
The side that day was: Sheppard, Roberts, Taylor, Green, Parsons, Jones (W), Prince (Jones (B)), Godfrey, Stephens, Allan, Bannister.
You can meet our guests in the Bristol Room after tomorrow's match, where Peter Aitken will host a Q & A session and we hope that you and the players enjoy a great afternoon.