There was a time at Bristol Rovers, and indeed at many football clubs, when there was a minute’s silence or applause at every home game. It almost became a standing joke, albeit not a funny joke, among supporters as to whom this week’s subject would be. “Now we ask for a minute of applause for Reg Scoggis who has been the assistant youth team coach driver for the last four weeks. Sadly, Reg..” and we’ll leave it there. When a minute’s silence or applause becomes routine, it becomes meaningless. Today at Bristol Rovers, we will have a minute’s applause for a proper Rovers legend, Geoff Dunford.
Today’s tribute to Geoff before and, indeed, during today’s game versus Milton Keynes, as well as providing immense support to the family have been the efforts of Bristol Rovers Football Club in general but Nick Day in particular. I know I am biased because Nick has been close and special friend to me for many years. When I learned that he was co-ordinating today’s tribute, it was obvious that things were under control and in safe hands. I will not pretend to speak on behalf of Geoff’s family, except to say that they know and appreciate Nick’s efforts.
Although I am more of a minute’s silence man myself – I rather like to stand quietly, in reflection – the choice of tribute is very much that of the family, which is to say it’s none of my business. As we have noted before, when the family and dignitaries come onto the pitch today, we should all remember that but for the Dunford family we would not be at the Memorial Stadium. It is not fanciful to imagine that but for the Dunford family Bristol Rovers might not exist at all. All the arguments, all the disagreements must now pass into history, if they haven’t already. Today is about one man, one family and one football club. If Geoff Dunford doesn’t deserve a minute’s applause, then I don’t know who does.
Stolen from the BRFC official website is today’s order of business, warts and all. I hope you can be there!
The tributes begin at 2.40pm when there will be a 12/15 minute pre-recorded tribute played over the PA System, using audio tributes from supporters, Ian Holloway, Gerry Francis and other VIP’s.
At 2.53pm the teams and match officials will enter the pitch and line up in front of the Lancer Scott Stand.
At 2.54pm the club’s current owners, Chairman, Directors and club dignitaries will form a guard of honour in front of the tunnel and then members of Geoff’s immediate family will enter the pitch through the guard of honour and walk towards the teams.
The players will shake hands, break away to their half of the pitch and the referee will gather the team captains for the coin coss, photos, etc.
At 2.56pm the family will be escorted to the centre circle and both teams and match officials will then gather at the centre circle.
At 2.57pm Nick Day will offer some words of tribute and at 2.58pm the referee will blow his whistle to signal the start of a one minute’s applause.
The family will then leave the pitch and the game will kick off at the schedule4d time of 3.00pm
At 3.30pm there will be a one minute’s applause to commemorate Geoff’s 30 years’ service4 to Bristol Rovers
Sleep well, Geoff.