My first game – Steve Arnold

Gloucestershire Senior Professional Cup Final
Bristol City 1 Bristol Rovers 1 aet
Bristol Rovers win 4-2 on pens
May 9th 1972
Att 13,137

Of all the football trophies the Gloucestershire Senior Professional Cup doesn’t really rank along side the FA cup or even the JP Trophy, but on that night in May it seemed magical.

My father took me to the game as he was Rovers fan, but little did he know that I was hooked, with Ashton Gate and the team in red. He can’t complain as he didn’t follow his father either, he was welsh and supported Cardiff City, then following work on the railways ended up in Bristol. The game kicked off in front of just over 13,000, which at the time was, more people in the same place than I had ever seen before.

Like most small lads I watched the crowds reaction as much as the game for the first half. In the second half City went ahead with a goal from city great John Emanuel. Rovers equalised through a headed goal from prolific goal scorer Sandy Allan, despite both sides best efforts the score remained the same until the end. Extra Time it was then, which was not as exciting as I thought it would be. No further score brought us to a penalty shootout this was more like it, and at our end. City missed a early one and never caught up, eventually losing 4-2.

It might not have been Champions League, but how many first games do you get 90mins, Extra Time, Pens, see a trophy presented, & all on school night Fantastic.

Steve Arnold

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