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24 September 2014
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Bristol City


Ashton Gate 8

Ashton Gate 8

Many football clubs have been close to the abyss. Some, like Aldershot, have even fallen over the edge.


In 1982, when ET was breaking box office records and Culture Club were topping the charts, Bristol City almost fell too.

video Find out more about the Ashton Gate 8 >
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The club was facing meltdown - and eight star players were asked to tear up their lucrative long term contracts.

The Ashton Gate Eight had the future of football south of the river in their hands.

Under Alan Dicks City played in the first division but by 1982 they had plummeted to the fourth division and were loosing £5,000.

The problem star players on long term contracts - some tied to deal of up to 11 years.

The story made national headlines and the players became celebrities. But after days of negotiation the eight gave in and a new club emerged from the ashes.

BBC football pundit Jonathan Pearce, a Robins fan, said: "People should never forget in this city that without those eight players there would not be a Bristol City Football Club here today."

"I don't think they've ever been given due recognition."

The Ashton Gate 8

  • Gerry Sweeney
  • Dave Rodgers
  • Peter Aitken
  • Geoff Merrick
  • Chris Garland
  • Trevor Tainton
  • Jimmy Mann
  • Julian Marshall
last updated: 02/12/05
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