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Bristol City

You are in: Bristol > Sport > Bristol City > Ashton Gate Eight: The interviews

Ashton Gate 8

Ashton Gate Eight: The interviews

It's 25 years since Bristol City Football Club faced ruin - now you can listen to extended interviews with all of the players who saved the club from meltdown.

From Wednesday, 24 January 2007 until Friday, 2 February BBC Radio Bristol will broadcast a series about the Ashton Gate Eight, and you can listen to extended versions of the interviews right here.

In 1982, the club was losing thousands of pounds a week and the pressure was mounting to pay the debts. City owed money to the Inland Revenue, the bank and the Football League.

A local accountancy firm put forward a revolutionary plan to solve the club's problems, which aimed to get local businesses involved as well as launching a 1m share scheme.

But the most controversial of the proposal was to ask eight players, who were on long-term deals with the club, to leave.

The players Geoff Merrick, Chris Garland, Trevor Tainton, David Rodgers, Jimmy Mann, Gerry Sweeney, Peter Aitken and Julian Marshall, all had to agree to the proposed idea that they would only get half of their contract, if they left.

They had to weigh up saving their club against risking their family's financial security. With only minutes before the deadline the players agreed and walked away. Their actions saved Bristol City and allowed the club to stay alive.

Now for the first time since leaving Ashton Gate we speak to all eight players about what happened.

Narrated by Match of the Day commentator, and Bristol City fan, Jonathan Pearce, The Ashton Gate Eight is the story of the players that saved Bristol City.

You can listen to the series, produced by Tom Ryan, on the Dave Barrett show on BBC Radio Bristol.

last updated: 16/05/2008 at 10:53
created: 24/01/2007

You are in: Bristol > Sport > Bristol City > Ashton Gate Eight: The interviews

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