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13 November 2014

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Points West Archive Films

You are in: Gloucestershire > History > Points West Archive Films > Forest Green Rovers


Wembley Stadium in 1982

Forest Green Rovers

Known as "The Friendly Club on the Hill", Forest Green Rovers captured the limelight in 1982 when they beat Rainsworth Miners Welfare 3-0 in the FA Vase final at Wembley. BBC Points West was there to see the victors claim their prize.

A crowd of 12,500 witnessed Rovers beat the Nottinghamshire side in a match that proved to be a memorable time for some of the key players, namely goal scorers Kenny Norman and Andy Leitch.

A confident manager Bob Mersell predicted the result would wind up 3-0 in his club's favour. He told BBC Points West that he was never in any doubt his side would do anything less.

Forest Green Rovers players with FA Vase

Celebrating with the silverware

Chisel-chinned captain Kenny Norman was predictably 'over the moon'; thankfully he and his fellow team mates avoided footballers' avian flu, since not one felt the need to be sick as the proverbial parrot!

The match was played at a time when English football was being marred by a hooligan element and sadly the game attracted its share of trouble.

Despite this, BBC Points West focussed on the success of the Stroud team and caught the winning goals on film.

We've also included a second film from the BBC Points West archives. 

It shows Rovers in 1965, with interviews with the players and the club's secretary, who'd been in post since 1945.

It is interesting to see how a football team can change so much over the years. 

In the mid-sixties, players came across as relatively mild-mannered, quieter and seemingly more modest compared with the exuberance of the Wembley winners of 1982, their chant, "we're all p*****-up and we're going to win the cup!" reverberating around the stadium.

Peter Brown - reporter

Points West's Peter Brown in 1965

In 1965 things seemed much more match-orientated than money-orientated, although finances were clearly an issue.

Then the club survived on £14.00 a week – roughly the equivalent of over £170 today, when based on the retail price index.

The club's secretary explained how their income came chiefly from the supporters' club, the generosity of club officials, and even the players' own contributions.

In the main, support for Rovers was based on the idea that local people took an active interest in the players, who, so it was claimed, performed better than many of those playing at a professional level.

However, even in 1965, clubs were faced with dwindling attendances with fans supporting fewer matches each week - another problem still being faced by clubs.

Football players on pitch

Today, coverage of live football is blamed for declining attendances at a professional level, while other distractions take people away from the local stands at non-league level, although people argue that it is the success of a side that determines the amount of support it receives.

The 1965 film also reflects women's attitude towards football. 

One supporter says she likes to show willing to keep in with her boyfriend, while the club's secretary concluded: "if my wife didn't like it, it would be a poor job!”

May be some aspects of football do not change after all!

last updated: 21/01/2009 at 14:14
created: 06/12/2005

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nick sheppard
i play for gloucter city u12z and kenny norman the 1 who cored on that day at wembaley is my coach how good is that

Philip Chandler
I think it was in 1975 Forest Green started a U/18 Youth Team I played in goal for Forest Green U/18. That year we won everything we played in the league, 2 cups. Later on I played for the 1st team in the Winter 77/78 all the players would train at the Stroud Leisure Centre outside pitches. That year B.B.C. Points West invited all the Leisure centre's in their area, to send a six a-side football team to play in a competition. So as we were traning there we played, this would be filmed and put out on Points West. We got to the final but lost to Bath, I didn't even see one of the games on the T.V.

kenny is great he is are gloucester coach wat a coach

Katie Reid
Hi, i's really sad to see the back of the lawn,however it is equally ggod to see the opening of the new stadium. Best of luck for the future FGRFC,i will be supporting you all the way!!!

Joe burns
My uncle played that day

Nigel Hodge
It was realy brilliant to see the 2 clips on Forest Green Rovers,any chance of some more?

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