Former Rovers player Chris Weller (working from right to left, Chris is the third player in the picture above) has died at the age of 78 and we offer our condolences to his family and friends as we publish this short biography prepared by Stephen Byrne.
CHRISTOPHER WILLIAM WELLER
b 25.12.1939 Reading d 4.6.2018 Wimborne
5’ 8”; 11 st 9 lbs IF
Début: 6.11.65 v Gillingham
Career: Thorneycroft’s, Basingstoke
1958 Reading (amateur)
16.6.65 Bristol Rovers (free) [2+1,0]
18.1.66 Bournemouth (free) [109+2,26]
1.6.67 Yeovil Town
7.5.73 Salisbury City
5.5.75 Poole Town
June 1977 Ringwood Town
July 1978 Holt United (player/manager)
28.7.83 Shaftesbury (manager)
16.8.85 Holt United (manager)
8.12.87 Wimborne Town (manager)
1989 Brockenhurst (manager)
1992 Wimborne Town (manager)
1993 Bournemouth Poppies (coach).
All three games in which fast, incisive inside-forward Chris Weller played for Rovers ended in draws.
The middle of three children to William Weller and Lilian Hatt, who had married in Reading in 1934, he turned down offers from Ipswich Town and Weymouth to make his début for Bournemouth reserves in a 1-0 win at Swansea in August 1959 and enjoyed success in two spells at Dean Court.
During his final season with Bournemouth, he played against Rovers in March 1967, the match fittingly ending 1-1. Signed by Ron Saunders and Yeovil’s top scorer in 1967/68 with 16 goals in 42 matches in all competitions, having first appeared in a 2-2 draw at home to Chelmsford City, he scored 102 goals for the Glovers in 218 matches, helping Yeovil secure the Southern League title in 1970/71 and defeat his former club Bournemouth in the FA Cup in December 1970.
He was also in the side which opposed Arsenal in the FA Cup in January 1971, scored an FA Trophy hat trick against Wimbledon the same season and was granted a testimonial game in the spring of 1973 against Wolves.
A local manager with a range of clubs and a youth coach at Grange Athletic, Parley and Brockenhurst, he initially lived in Ringwood before becoming a self employed plumber based in Verwood and returned to Yeovil in May 1977 to appear in Terry Cotton’s testimonial game against Dover Athletic.
He married Dorli Mild in Austria in 1966 and they had two children, Britta and Kristian, the latter being a teacher in Bournemouth who married Jenny Pickles in 2002. Chris Weller suffered from dementia in his later years.