Join Paul Cheesley, Peter Aitken and Roger Malone in this fun-packed West Country football ‘time tunnel’!
The 1970s has, on reflection, become an exceptional period in the ever-changing fortunes of Bristol’s two football clubs. For two seasons during that decade, City and Rovers locked horns in the Second Division, equivalent to the Championship today. This double-disc souvenir DVD celebrates that period with extensive coverage of two momentous meetings of these old rivals.
In December 1974, a crowd of over 20,000 at a windswept Eastville Stadium welcomed the first League derby for over nine years. Rovers had been promoted under Don Megson’s leadership the previous season,with goal-scoring sensations Alan Warboys and Bruce Bannister, known as ‘Smash and Grab’, terrorising defences up and down the country. At Ashton Gate, Alan Dicks was building a side which would eventually bring top flight soccer to the city for the first time in 65 years. The team was built around a resilient back line that included Geoff Merrick and Gary Collier, two fine players who proved essential in helping City reach the top flight.
In attack, Paul Cheesley and Keith Fear proved a formidable partnership on the day as City recovered to win the match 4-1. The brand new HTV colour outside broadcast unit made the short trip from Brislington to Eastville, to cover this five goal thriller in the wind and rain: it was the first Bristol derby ever to be screened in colour, and the full match is included on this DVD. Behind the microphone for the big game was legendary HTV sports presenter Roger Malone. We tracked him down to share his fascinating memories of the Bristol football scene at that time, and how television coverage has changed in the interim period.
City went on to miss promotion by a whisker in 1974-75, while Rovers only just avoided relegation. The first match the following season was at a sun-drenched Ashton Gate on 30th August 1975, as Cheesley and Bannister were on target in a 1-1 draw in front of an 18,000-strong crowd and over 40 minutes of highlights are featured on this double-disc DVD.
Relax and enjoy over three hours of football nostalgia, as we recreate a period before Steve Lansdown’s fortunes changed City beyond recognition, when Rovers were still playing in front of the Tote End; where the players’ shorts were very short and shirts had no sponsorship; when you entered the terraces as a juvenile fan for 25 pence and stood sometimes uncomfortably right next to opposition fans!
The DVD is now in stock at Pirate Leisure for £16.95 and will be able to purchase online shortly.