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bcfcredandwhite

Bristol Rovers

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As soon as I formed my allegiance to Bristol City, I was told that I had to hate the Rovers. This was in the early 1970’s when ‘gangs’ of kids used to march up and down my playground and pick anyone who was wearing either blue or red and beat them up (you were always guaranteed to be beaten up by someone). 

Talking to an old boy I met in the Bear and Swan in Chew Magna - he said that in his day the fans went to support whoever was playing at home.  Basically one week he would support City and the next it would be Rovers - there was no hatred or nastiness - the City united behind its football teams. 

This sounds a bit like Liverpool - LFC and Everton don’t hate each other so I’m told - families support both clubs and there are no issues. 

Where and when did it all go nasty with us?

Edited by bcfcredandwhite
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When they tried to pinch the Gate I imagine?

Don't hate anything on this planet like I hate them.

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13 minutes ago, bcfcredandwhite said:

As soon as I formed my allegiance to Bristol City, I was told that I had to hate the Rovers. This was in the early 1970’s when ‘gangs’ of kids used to march up and down my playground and pick anyone who was wearing either blue or red and beat them up (you were always guaranteed to be beaten up by someone). 

Talking to an old boy I met in the Bear and Swan in Chew Magna - he said that in his day the fans went to support whoever was playing at home.  Basically one week he would support City and the next it would be Rovers - there was no hatred or nastiness - the City united behind its football teams. 

This sounds a bit like Liverpool - LFC and Everton don’t hate each other so I’m told - families support both clubs and there are no issues. 

Where and when did it all go nasty with us?

Liverpool and Everton do hate each. All that friendly derby nonsense is a myth.

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2 minutes ago, milo1111 said:

Liverpool and Everton do hate each. All that friendly derby nonsense is a myth.

Nah, I honestly reckon it's nicer than it is in Bristol.

It's founded in North vs South here, it's changed massively in the last few years but if you lived in Horfield you'd have supported that lot more, if you lived in Bemmy or wherever you'd have been us predominantly. People would've gone to see both but it's more geographical. Anfield and Goodison are just across Stanley Park, it's like the Mem being on the other side of Greville Smyth. It's more random in Merseyside, splits families in half. Theres never gonna be as much genuine animosity as there is here imv because you're hating your brother or your wife, I rarely see families with split loyalties in Bristol.

Might not be a friendly derby but hate is a bit strong for a game where people from both sides sit together.

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10 minutes ago, ZiderEyed said:

Nah, I honestly reckon it's nicer than it is in Bristol.

It's founded in North vs South here, it's changed massively in the last few years but if you lived in Horfield you'd have supported that lot more, if you lived in Bemmy or wherever you'd have been us predominantly. People would've gone to see both but it's more geographical. Anfield and Goodison are just across Stanley Park, it's like the Mem being on the other side of Greville Smyth. It's more random in Merseyside, splits families in half. Theres never gonna be as much genuine animosity as there is here imv because you're hating your brother or your wife, I rarely see families with split loyalties in Bristol.

Might not be a friendly derby but hate is a bit strong for a game where people from both sides sit together.

Nah. The North/South split has always been a myth perpetuated by the blue few trying to big themselves up that they have half the City. Unfortunately some City from south of the river fall into their trap all too frequently. 

Certainly North-West Bristol in the late 60/70’s was roughly equal red/blue. Some hotspots within that of red/blue but overall pretty even.  Horfield then was pretty even as was Southmead. The real divide was roughly along the Gloucester Road where they had a distinctly blue segment running down to Eastvile and Fishponds. 

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23 minutes ago, Moor2Sea said:

Nah. The North/South split has always been a myth perpetuated by the blue few trying to big themselves up that they have half the City. Unfortunately some City from south of the river fall into their trap all too frequently. 

Certainly North-West Bristol in the late 60/70’s was roughly equal red/blue. Some hotspots within that of red/blue but overall pretty even.  Horfield then was pretty even as was Southmead. The real divide was roughly along the Gloucester Road where they had a distinctly blue segment running down to Eastvile and Fishponds. 

Obviously not old enough to talk about this and feel genuinely qualified, but in my experience I've always found a kernel of truth around that particular myth.

Fair enough.

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42 minutes ago, Moor2Sea said:

Nah. The North/South split has always been a myth perpetuated by the blue few trying to big themselves up that they have half the City. Unfortunately some City from south of the river fall into their trap all too frequently. 

Certainly North-West Bristol in the late 60/70’s was roughly equal red/blue. Some hotspots within that of red/blue but overall pretty even.  Horfield then was pretty even as was Southmead. The real divide was roughly along the Gloucester Road where they had a distinctly blue segment running down to Eastvile and Fishponds. 

Stockwood was always pretty much split back in the day as well 

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10 hours ago, joe jordans teeth said:

Stockwood was always pretty much split back in the day as well 

I grew up around Whitchurch and it was quite strange as you could tell where the odd gasheads were as they would religiously have something gas on - be it a hat, shirt, air freshener in the car (required for obvious reasons).We always got the impression that everyone else was City. 

It's like they felt they had to have something gas on at all times to avoid being labelled City purely through location. 

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When I was at school in the 60s there was definitely rivalry, but not the hatred you have today. As I lived much closer to Eastville than Ashton Gate, I sometimes even went to Rovers’ matches when City was away! As I usually got in free by walking along by the river and climbing in through a hole in the fence, then supporting the opposition, I felt that this was OK. I think the change in attitude started in the 70s when football hooliganism began to take over. It was difficult to have friendly rivalry when some of the opposition supporters were trying to put you in hospital 

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12 hours ago, ZiderEyed said:

Nah, I honestly reckon it's nicer than it is in Bristol.

It's founded in North vs South here, it's changed massively in the last few years but if you lived in Horfield you'd have supported that lot more, if you lived in Bemmy or wherever you'd have been us predominantly. People would've gone to see both but it's more geographical. Anfield and Goodison are just across Stanley Park, it's like the Mem being on the other side of Greville Smyth. It's more random in Merseyside, splits families in half. Theres never gonna be as much genuine animosity as there is here imv because you're hating your brother or your wife, I rarely see families with split loyalties in Bristol.

Might not be a friendly derby but hate is a bit strong for a game where people from both sides sit together.

It may be slightly “nicer” in Liverpool because despite the fierce rivalry/hatred (I do agree that the nice friendly image is largely a myth) they also have a certain level of respect for each other, their past achievements and stature of each club. Both traditional, both well supported, both with a history of successful periods and a long standing fixture of at least 2 games a season, with just Stanley Park dividing the 2 clubs.

Our rivalry with Rovers feeds on bitterness, jealousy on their part, bad feeling on both sides, a cross city divide and a lack of success to respect. That and the fact that their supporters are compulsive liars and inbred morons..!

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Just now, Bar BS3 said:

It may be slightly “nicer” in Liverpool because despite the fierce rivalry/hatred (I do agree that the nice friendly image is largely a myth) they also have a certain level of respect for each other, their past achievements and stature of each club. Both traditional, both well supported, both with a history of successful periods and a long standing fixture of at least 2 games a season, with just Stanley Park dividing the 2 clubs.

Our rivalry with Rovers feeds on bitterness, jealousy on their part, bad feeling on both sides, a cross city divide and a lack of success to respect. That and the fact that their supporters are compulsive liars and inbred morons..!

Nicer perhaps wasn't the right word to use admittedly!

Past achievements is probably what it comes down to, good post that. :clap:

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I see the Liverpool Everton derby rivalry as being a friendly one as well. 

If I had to name top 5 derbies in England I'd say (no particular order)

- Steel City

- Villa v Birmingham

- West Ham v Mill

- Tyne wear. 

- City v Gas

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6 minutes ago, Carey 6 said:

I see the Liverpool Everton derby rivalry as being a friendly one as well. 

If I had to name top 5 derbies in England I'd say (no particular order)

- Steel City

- Villa v Birmingham

- West Ham v Mill

- Tyne wear. 

- City v Gas

Only sort of counts, but Chester - Wrexham is very tasty.

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Mansfield v Chesterfield is pretty 'spikey' too, although now won't happen for at least one season due to the Spirites relegation....

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16 minutes ago, ZiderEyed said:

Only sort of counts, but Chester - Wrexham is very tasty.

Yeah the whole 'Scottys in a box' incident was a bit mental. 

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3 minutes ago, Carey 6 said:

Yeah the whole 'Scottys in a box' incident was a bit mental. 

Yep, heavy. Some things should just be left outside football stadiums imo. Same goes for the Aberfan stuff.

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40 minutes ago, Carey 6 said:

I see the Liverpool Everton derby rivalry as being a friendly one as well. 

If I had to name top 5 derbies in England I'd say (no particular order)

- Steel City

- Villa v Birmingham

- West Ham v Mill

- Tyne wear. 

- City v Gas

I would add

Soton v Pompey

Exeter v Plymuff (under rated but means a lot down here!)

 

City v Gas got to be top 10 in the UK

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13 hours ago, bcfcredandwhite said:

As soon as I formed my allegiance to Bristol City, I was told that I had to hate the Rovers. This was in the early 1970’s when ‘gangs’ of kids used to march up and down my playground and pick anyone who was wearing either blue or red and beat them up (you were always guaranteed to be beaten up by someone). 

Talking to an old boy I met in the Bear and Swan in Chew Magna - he said that in his day the fans went to support whoever was playing at home.  Basically one week he would support City and the next it would be Rovers - there was no hatred or nastiness - the City united behind its football teams. 

This sounds a bit like Liverpool - LFC and Everton don’t hate each other so I’m told - families support both clubs and there are no issues. 

Where and when did it all go nasty with us?

Early to mid 70's

(so just when you got started..... :thumbsup:)

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1 hour ago, pongo88 said:

When I was at school in the 60s there was definitely rivalry, but not the hatred you have today. As I lived much closer to Eastville than Ashton Gate, I sometimes even went to Rovers’ matches when City was away! As I usually got in free by walking along by the river and climbing in through a hole in the fence, then supporting the opposition, I felt that this was OK. I think the change in attitude started in the 70s when football hooliganism began to take over. It was difficult to have friendly rivalry when some of the opposition supporters were trying to put you in hospital 

This is certainly how I remember it.  My dad and I would watch Rovers occasionally on a Saturday if City and Bristol rugby were away, and it wasn't a problem.  There was a bit of rivalry at school but not match as very few kids supported Rovers!!

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The North South divide is very rough, I live in Westbury and I know no gasheads near where I live, but then again with one out of every 55 bristolians being gas that's not too remarkable... 

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1 hour ago, The Dolman Pragmatist said:

This is certainly how I remember it.  My dad and I would watch Rovers occasionally on a Saturday if City and Bristol rugby were away, and it wasn't a problem.  There was a bit of rivalry at school but not match as very few kids supported Rovers!!

Similar story here.

My Dad was on the buses all his working life and sometimes used to volunteer for overtime on match-days at Ashton Gate, as the bus crews staffing the fleet of specials that were laid on in those days (before most people had cars) were allowed to sit around the pitch-side and watch free, though it meant missing the beginning and end of the game as they had to be available to man the buses either side of kick-off and full-time. We lived on Windmill Hill, where I grew up, and Dad had been a City fan since boyhood, so I was indoctrinated from an early age. (Terrible thing to do to a kid, when you consider the lifelong suffering to which he was condemning me. It would be a child protection issue in these more enlightened times and he'd probably have Social Services after him.) 

Anyway, I certainly recognise the accounts of playground intimidation at junior school, so there has always been rivalry, but I also think it's probably true that it turned to something much darker some time during the hooligan era. Certainly there was nothing unusual about a couple of City supporters like me and Dad going to Eastville to watch a match. Lots of people did that: I also occasionally went with mates when I was a bit older. It certainly wasn't a case of actually supporting both teams, though. There was never the slightest doubt about where allegiances lay and I always came away happier if Rovers got turned over, but the point was we loved the game and sometimes just wanted to watch a professional football match on a Saturday when City were away.

Nobody would have seen anything wrong in that at all at the time. I haven't done it for decades now, but imagine the vitriol it would attract on OTIB if you made it known you attended games at both clubs. The schoolboy in me still wears a satisfied smirk on his face when he hears that Rovers have lost a game, but the intensely bitter, nasty element that may be a legacy of the seventies is something I dislike and will never quite understand. I remember one bloke on here years ago who swore he'd disown his own daughter if she chose to marry a gas head. He might, I suppose, have been kidding, and I may have been suffering from irony failure, but it didn't come across like that, and if he was being serious, you really do have to wonder what sort of person adopts that kind of mentality.

One of the guys I've sat with for years has a friend who is a Rovers fan. He came to a game recently in place of one of the regulars who couldn't make it. Nobody in my crowd thought anything of it: a bit of light-hearted banter, maybe, and that was it, otherwise nobody batted an eyelid. There is a generational element to it, it would appear. 

Edited by CliftonCliff
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15 hours ago, bcfcredandwhite said:

 

Where and when did it all go nasty with us?

From the seventies.

Used to be City and Rovers pubs on the centre.

Citys mob took ascendancy and moved the Gas out towards what was considered their territory.

Who knows, where or what started it .. Everybody was rowing with somebody each weekend football or not.  

Got really vicious late eighties.

The dangerous lunacy came to its head with the Inns of Court (City) v Essex Arms (Gas) sunday league cup game game, City running amok at Gas pubs around Old Market, Stapleton road and arson at Twerton. 

The craziness calmed after that ... 

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I grew up in Filton which always seemed to me to be evenly split. 

I and many others went to both grounds as no TV football, away travel, apart from local games and big cup games, was not possible. Pre motorways, nobody had a car, less disposable income etc. 

But always wanted the away team to win at Rovers. 

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Perhaps it was the 1970s that saw not only the rise of the hooligan, but it was also when the 2 teams had to play against each other? 

I haven’t googled the history - I can remember back to 1975 but no earlier really as my parents were not into football in any capacity. 

I suppose as soon as the 2 have to play each other - and a win (or loss) could mean promotion or relegation then the ‘other lot’ could be seen as traitors?

just a thought.....

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18 hours ago, ZiderEyed said:

I don't hate anything on this planet like I hate them.

That's really sad..................:facepalm:

They're just football fans like we are. They can't help supporting the wrong team...........:dunno:

 

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1 minute ago, Robbored said:

That's really sad..................:facepalm:

They're just football fans like we are. They can't help supporting the wrong team...........:dunno:

They chose.... poorly.

Not the fans, let me stress that. It's the club itself. I have a handful of sag mates and they're all fine by me.

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17 hours ago, Spoons said:

Merge! 

If I had a time machine I would go back and try and persuade the powers that be for exactly this. Bristol could easily support one team and revel in its glory. Just like ‘super’ club, Newcastle United

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For me it was back in 1982 ...They really did try backhanded tactics to get our ground when it looked like we we're going bust and did not try to help out...They was offered a ground share but chose not too hoping they could get the ground on the cheap  at our expense and a few years later the story changed...Hated them as a club ever since. sad thing is my best mate (My  brother) is a gas head and we have never gone to a game together in 50 years

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Coming from Warmley and drinking in Kingswood i have plenty of mates & just general people i know that are gas, we just basically take the piss out of each other and have a laugh about it (obviously in recent times they aint had much to come back with!!) Can't stand the club they support though and they know it!!

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7 hours ago, Bar BS3 said:

It may be slightly “nicer” in Liverpool because despite the fierce rivalry/hatred (I do agree that the nice friendly image is largely a myth) they also have a certain level of respect for each other, their past achievements and stature of each club. Both traditional, both well supported, both with a history of successful periods and a long standing fixture of at least 2 games a season, with just Stanley Park dividing the 2 clubs.

Our rivalry with Rovers feeds on bitterness, jealousy on their part, bad feeling on both sides, a cross city divide and a lack of success to respect. That and the fact that their supporters are compulsive liars and inbred morons..!

 

7 hours ago, ZiderEyed said:

Nicer perhaps wasn't the right word to use admittedly!

Past achievements is probably what it comes down to, good post that. :clap:

I lived in Liverpool for three years, and whilst the rivalry is very real and they certainly don’t LIKE each other I do think there is a lot of respect between the two. 

However, I think it’s less to do with past achievements. Don’t underestimate the Hillsbrough effect. The coverage/history of that event was very much seen as an attack on Liverpool, the city, rather than just the football team. Perhaps because, as said, loyalties split families. So to slur Liverpool fans as thieves etc etc was not used by Everton fans as a ‘look how horrible that lot north of the centre are’ (for example) but was seen as, literally, a slur on their brothers, best mates...on them. It wasn’t that uncommon to see Everton fans with 96 on the back of their shirts when I was there. 

So I think there’s a solidarity and mutual respect there for sure. You’d like to think Bristolians would also stick together in such a horrible situation.

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7 hours ago, Carey 6 said:

I see the Liverpool Everton derby rivalry as being a friendly one as well. 

If I had to name top 5 derbies in England I'd say (no particular order)

- Steel City

- Villa v Birmingham

- West Ham v Mill

- Tyne wear. 

- City v Gas

None of them compare to Manor Farm v Mangotsfield

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The no 19 bus from The Straits, Fishponds took us Fishponds City supporters direct (Well a long way round) to Ashton Gate in the 50s and 60s, and many fans did as said above go toAshton Gate one week and Eastville the next, but as far as I am aware all were really committed City or Rovers fans first and supported the other Bristol side as their second team

 

As a City supporter when studying in The Midlands in the '60s I went as a Bristolian up to Everton to support Rovers in the cup. Rovers duly lost!

 

Different days, and in my view better days too.  I hate this absolute nonsense about 'the gas'.  In the 50s and 60s they were the pirates, much nicer and little to no nastiness 

Hey, Ho !

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3 hours ago, bcfcredandwhite said:

Perhaps it was the 1970s that saw not only the rise of the hooligan, but it was also when the 2 teams had to play against each other? 

We played against ‘em plenty of times in the 1950s and 1960s....in fact in the 1970s we didn’t actually play them until 1974...

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20 hours ago, ZiderEyed said:

Obviously not old enough to talk about this and feel genuinely qualified, but in my experience I've always found a kernel of truth around that particular myth.

Fair enough.

Southmead was one of our pickup points back in the 70's.....good bunch of lads.

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Dad was Rovers went with him a few times but living in Knowle West went to watch City with mates.

Went to RC school so had friends from east Bristol used to go City and rovers in early 70s when i lefty school in 72 just supported City just went with my Dad a few times

 

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10 hours ago, devoncider said:

I would add

Soton v Pompey

Exeter v Plymuff (under rated but means a lot down here!)

 

City v Gas got to be top 10 in the UK

 

Glad someone mentioned that one. Take your life in your hands in the olden days walking into Southampton city centre when the skanky skates were in town. Mind you a few were peaceful - staring at trees, wondering what they were.

 

To go back to the OP, "friendly" rivalries like City/Rovers existed all over football in the past.  When i lived in London, I met a mate's dad who supported both Arsenal and Spurs  from the 1950s until the 90s, when terrace pressure made him turn f/t Gooner. Such dual loyalties are unthinkable these days.  It's just the way football evolved and probably has lots of causes - not least of which is hooliganism/ the resulting segregation.

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I think the geography plays a big role. Liverpool v Everton doesn't have a geographical split. Same with Dundee v Dundee United who have the closest grounds in the UK. The Dundee clubs even have a joint firm to take on the Old Firm, Aberdeen, Hibs etc.

when I went to a derby game at Goodison I saw a Liverpool fan have a full beer can thrown at him and I also heard sectarian singing. Everton fans were singing about chucking Proddies in the River Mersey, although it was done in a jokey way as opposed to the bitterness of the Old Firm. I still agree though it didn't have the nastiness of City v Rovers.

other factors can influence the nastiness of derby games e.g. The miners strike with Mansfield v Chesterfield and Chesterfield v Notts County and of course nations with City v Cardiff, Chester v Wrexham.

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8 hours ago, Red-Robbo said:

 

Glad someone mentioned that one. Take your life in your hands in the olden days walking into Southampton city centre when the skanky skates were in town. Mind you a few were peaceful - staring at trees, wondering what they were. 

 

To go back to the OP, "friendly" rivalries like City/Rovers existed all over football in the past.  When i lived in London, I met a mate's dad who supported both Arsenal and Spurs  from the 1950s until the 90s, when terrace pressure made him turn f/t Gooner. Such dual loyalties are unthinkable these days.  It's just the way football evolved and probably has lots of causes - not least of which is hooliganism/ the resulting segregation.

Like cats and dogs them two.

Rivalries between two different cities (a la Cardiff/Swansea, Soton/Pompey) intrigue me just as much as inter-city like us & the gas, Wednesday/united.

Unsure as to which makes the hatred bigger - just different I guess

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36 minutes ago, devoncider said:

Like cats and dogs them two.

Rivalries between two different cities (a la Cardiff/Swansea, Soton/Pompey) intrigue me just as much as inter-city like us & the gas, Wednesday/united.

Unsure as to which makes the hatred bigger - just different I guess

Newcastle v Sunderland...?

I suppose having a whole City/town unite against another creates a different tribal feeling, compared to a split City derby. 

I know Forest v Derby is another big one, but their historical links with Clough etc make that one a bit odd!

I think a lot also comes down to frequency of the fixtures. 

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Never convinced with the river divide thing , growing up in south Gloucestershire in the 70s was always split pretty evenly , we used to catch a special footy coach on winterbourne high street from dursley via yate to the gate . Always been told theres a large unhealthy gas support in Weston super mare too ??? 

Edited by rat23

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I’m obviously biased as I’ve had no experience of any other Derby but the experiences of the Bristol Derby has always been pure hatred, had an incident myself when I was still at school with a couple of much older sags which resulted in me breaking my ankle, went through the courts and everything, hated the ******* with a passion ever since. I’ve lived on the north side my whole life so in school the majority did tend to be, I’m 33 now so the Louis Donowa ‘moment’ was just before my time, apart from a couple of games they never had anything to crow about. 

Only way to sum them up whilst growing up amongst them, bitter and jealous. Can’t stand the *******.

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7 hours ago, rat23 said:

Never convinced with the river divide thing , growing up in south Gloucestershire in the 70s was always split pretty evenly , we used to catch a special footy coach on winterbourne high street from dursley via yate to the gate . Always been told theres a large unhealthy gas support in Weston super mare too ??? 

Lots of City in Dursley in the 80s.

 

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On 25/04/2018 at 23:47, milo1111 said:

Liverpool and Everton do hate each. All that friendly derby nonsense is a myth.

My neighbour is a Scouser. He supports Liverpool specifically because his Dad and Brother are Evertonians.

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