Bristol Rovers Football Club have released a statement today to say that Peter Aitken is set to leave the club after many years of fine service.
On the football side, Peter first joined the club from the Cardiff based nursery managed by Stan Montgomery back in the late sixties and early seventies. Peter, also known by his
nickname ‘Charlie’ given to him by his team mates after his Aston Villa namesake of the same period, made his debut for Rovers in August 1972. He went on to serve the club with distinction featuring in over 230 games and scoring 3 goals.
Peter will be well remembered as a member of Don Megson’s promotion winning side in the 1973/74 season. In the following season Peter was selected to play in all 42 games in the second tier and so established himself as a key player at the time and making the number four shirt his own. Peter was selected to play for the Welsh U-23 side on three occasions and proudly represented his country once against England and twice against Scotland.
Peter enjoyed an 11 year playing career with the club, culminating in 41 appearances in the 1979/80 season and earning a reputation as a fully committed defensive midfielder with an uncompromising style of play. Peter also enjoyed spells with Bristol City and York City before a successful period of plying his trade in Hong Kong football.
Subsequently, Peter remained in the game as a coach and manager and was appointed assistant manager at Cheltenham Town where he teamed up with former Rovers colleague Lindsay Parsons.
Peter returned to Rovers in 2000 when he was given the task of leading the ‘Football in the Community’ work at the club and his work as Community Officer was to see him associated with Rovers for a further 16 seasons during which time he has overseen the establishment of the Bristol Rovers Community Trust.
Under Peter’s stewardship the Trust has built up a sound reputation for working with school children in Bristol and South Gloucestershire using football as a vehicle to add to their development.
In recent times the work of the Community Trust has developed to become more inclusive and to widen opportunities for other groups in the local community. Peter has overseen the implementation of programmes and activities to include, women and girls, older people and the disabled.
The ‘Extra Time’ activity for older men and women with dementia has been especially successful, featuring in a television documentary. The relatively new programme of ‘Walking Football’ for middle aged and older men is very highly regarded and a testament to Peter’s coaching, communication and activity leadership skills.
Over the many years of playing and working for Bristol Rovers, Peter has become known as a devout and loyal Gashead who loves the club and has been proud to have been part of it for so long.
Bristol Rovers and all associated with the club in any way down the years, join together to thank Peter for his work and commitment firstly as a player and then as Community Officer leading the community team of coaches and activity leaders. Peter will remain an exemplary ambassador for the club as we wish him well for all that he does in the future.