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Rugby is not the only game in Gloucester, football fans say

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 17, 2014

Gloucester City fans watch their team at Cheltenham's ground but they hope to return home soon

Gloucester City fans watch their team at Cheltenham's ground but they hope to return home soon

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GLOUCESTER is rugby mad but the round ball game is live and kicking in the city.

Although evidence of the Cherry and Whites is all around, and the suburbs are peppered with junior clubs’ rugby union pitches, leading association football figures have championed their game after a light-hearted claim that the city doesn’t have a football club.

And no doubt the thousands of players in and around Gloucester, playing in several hundred amateur teams every weekend would beg to differ too.

Gloucester City, which plays in the sixth tier of England’s football pyramid, the Skrill North division, is reformulating plans to build a new stadium at the site of its flood-ruined Sudmeadow Road ground, and end the loyal fans’ sojourn to “home” fixtures in Cheltenham. They have also played at Cirencester Town’s and Forest Green Rovers’ grounds due to the 2007 floods.

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The club is pleased too, that Aviva, whose advert for Premiership rugby made the claim, has set the record straight.

“As a very proud sponsor of the top domestic rugby league in England, Aviva have created a set of rugby adverts to highlight the passion that our fans have for their clubs,” it said.

“We recognise that sport, whatever sport you follow, has a great impact on communities for good reasons across the UK and we have seen that in Gloucester.

“Aviva was focussed on celebrating our rugby sponsorship through finding passionate supporters like we did at Gloucester who love their club and wanted to highlight the joy that they get from following Gloucester Rugby Club".

The Norwich-based company has also donated a signed Norwich City shirt, which Gloucester City will raffle off at their “Pay What You Want” match on Tuesday, January 28, when they face Histon in a Skrill North fixture.

The advert featured Neal and Jo Scrivener, who were filmed at the Kingsholm rugby ground saying why they supported the club. The words ‘Gloucester’s only sport is rugby. They do a thing called ’skittles’ and that’s it for sport in the city, they don’t even have a football club’ upset City fans, who complained to Aviva.

It apologised and withdrew the version of the offending video.

The new chairman of Gloucester City, Stuart Pike said: “We are grateful to Aviva for withdrawing the video and they, plus the two Gloucester rugby fans involved, certainly now know there is a city football club plus that other sports do flourish here.

“In respect of the donation of the shirt, it has been decided everyone attending the match on January 28 will receive a free draw ticket on entry and a winning ticket will be drawn at half time. We hope that will be a further incentive to get fans to the match, alongside being able to pay what they want to watch the match by making a donation at the turnstiles.”

Gloucester City Council leader Paul James said: "We are proud of Gloucester being a sporting city in its many forms.

“It's not just about rugby, important though that is, but football, athletics, tennis, swimming, rowing and much more besides. Gloucester certainly does have a football club, which is doing remarkably well in difficult circumstances, and the sooner it is playing within the city again the better.”

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4 comments

  • cityboy1981  |  January 19 2014, 7:13PM

    Gloucester is not just a rugby city. If all the arm chair supporters who watch their prem teams on sky at home and in the pub would actually go to a ground and watch their local football club where they are from, then Gloucester city would defo have a league team and get double what they get at kingsholm. Gloucester is a big enough city to have a good rugby and football club.

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  • randylearner  |  January 19 2014, 6:50AM

    @Richardburton You have to remember the football club is run by volunteers who also have full time jobs. To compare its marketing efforts to that of Gloucester Rugby Club is wholly unfair. It's turnover is also a tiny fraction of that of GRFC and putting on charity minibuses is a non starter. The club does have a community system and has done work in schools across the city and in the Barton with children that have less privileged backgrounds. The reason you don't hear about this is due to smaller media coverage than the rugby club who get a back page article whenever one of their players eats at Nandos. Gloucester City Football Club are not even deemed worthy enough of coverage on our county's radio station and as a result started up our own to provide commentary (SevernSport) For the record price of entry is £12 adult, £6 concessions and kids get in free. On the 28th you can pay what you want. This information is freely available on the clubs website gloucestercityafc.com and regularly published in the citizen. But I apologise if that's a bit too much effort to find

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  • Walker100d  |  January 18 2014, 5:03PM

    Actually you can get in the Stowford Press Terrace for £8.

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  • Richardburton  |  January 17 2014, 9:40PM

    If Gloucester football club started to do some 'meet and greet' then more people would know Glos Football exsisted. How many people in Glos could name a player from Glos football? Do the work go round schools, lay on some sort of transport perhaps with the charity minibuses(Third sector) get posters up around town with fixtures list and entrance fee etc. A little work goes along way, Glos rugby didn't get where they are by sitting on their ass and waiting for it to happen! We used to see the Tigers years ago and i still have a hat and scarf but i haven't seen any contact details or when they play or even the cost to see them. Glos rugby standing is about £22.00, so unless it's a lot cheaper for adults then we all can't afford to do both!

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