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Bristol Rovers

Bristol Rovers Football Club, may not be the most successful of the two clubs in the city, but it is the oldest.

Formed in 1883, Bristol Rovers Football Club went through several names before finally deciding on Rovers. Their first incarnation was as The Black Arabs, so named because they played in black shirts on a ground across from a rugby team known as The Arabs. This was changed to the Eastville Rovers and then the Bristol Eastville Rovers before they settled on simply Bristol Rovers.

However the club also has two other names. Its official nickname is “The Pirates” and this is something that has been integrated into the club as a pirate features on the club badge and the supporters club badge. Their other nickname is the “The Gas” which the team acquired because of the gasworks next to their former home ground Eastville Stadium. This is why Rovers supporters are sometimes called "gasheads".

Change is a reoccurring theme when it comes to Bristol Rovers as the club have only recently managed to find a permanent ground. Bristol Rovers used to play at Ashton Gate, Bristol City’s current ground, but later settled at Eastville Stadium. Financial trouble and increased rent put the club out of their Eastville Stadium home in 1986 and for virtually ten years the club played their home games at Twerton Park in Bath. They then returned to Bristol in 1996 to share Memorial Stadium with Bristol Rugby Club and since 1998 it has been wholly owned by the football club.

Their extended stay in the neighbouring city of Bath means that the club get a lot of support from there. However the majority of the support comes from the eastern and northern parts of Bristol.

The club currently play in the Coca-Cola Football League Two (the fourth division the English football league) but were one of the founder members of the Football League Third Division (South) in 1920.

Over the years the club’s successes have been confined to the lower leagues but they have still managed to gain a few celebrity supporters including musician Roni Size, British actor Nicholas Lyndhurst and author and former MP Lord Archer.

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