The Founding of BRFCS
The site was founded by Lee Grooby, mainly as a news site, but it also had an active chat room. Lee added a forum and this proved very popular and Lee soon found himself recruiting two moderators (Glenn and Ste B) to help keep it running. As time went on, Paul and Ricky were also added to the list of moderators. At this time, the site was kindly hosted by Rovers fan Mick Shepherd.
Lee Hands Over to Glenn and Ste B
The success of the site paid off for Lee and he was offered the job of Internet Manager at BRFC, a role which included looking after the official website. Lee took the job and passed the site over to Glenn and Ste B, with Paul being promoted to admin and SouthAussieRover being added to the mods (he would later become part of the admin team). Soon after taking over the site, the new management had a major problem: the spiralling forum traffic was costing a fortune in hosting and the site faced closure unless it could raise some money quickly, but due to kind donations from its members and finding a new host that could cope with the growing traffic the site was receiving, the site weathered the storm.
BRFCS Gets a Facelift
To keep up with the changing face of the Internet, Glenn, Paul and Ste B enlisted the help of Tchocky and a new look site was soon up and running. The moderating team was also expanded, initially Den being added and then Alan75, CornwallRover, Legion and Yawnsie.
Paul fronted several projects to help keep the site afloat, including selling pin badges with the site’s logo and copies of the newly released Simon Garner autobiography. The site also had its first meet up in Blues and, despite only a handful of people turning up, it acted as a template for the first Grooby Awards which were held later that year.
As the site moved on, an unfortunate chunk of resources was spent tracking down a particularly anti-social user out to annoy other people, which lead to the introduction of the custom security software the site uses today. Later this year, SouthAussieRover stood down.
BRFCS in Turkey
In 2003, when Rovers drew Turkish side Genclerbirligi in the UEFA Cup, just a few weeks before England were due to play a tense game against Turkey in Istanbul, BRFCS organised a friendly game against the fans of the side from Ankara. What started as a planned kick-about in the park soon spiralled into a major event, with the Rovers fans being greeted at the airport by Turkish fans and the local mayor, and the fans’ game itself being played on Genclerbirligi’s training ground and shown both on Turkish and English TV.
A return leg was played at Rovers’ training ground at Brockhall. The Genclerbirligi game also saw the site purchase a large flag to advertise the site.
Meanwhile, the site moved from host to host as each one became unable to provide a suitable level of service for a reasonable price, eventually ending up at GITK.
BRFCS During the Hughesy Era
With the growing reputation of the site, it often became a contact point for the media wanting a Rovers fan perspective. BBC Radio Wales in particular used the site when speculation of Mark Hughes taking over was rife and interviewed a board member for comment. Several months later, the station again contacted the site prior to the club’s appearance at the Millennium Stadium against Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final. This latter interview involved a BRFCS.com member debating the semi with ‘a regular Arsenal fan’, namely Nigel Winterburn.
The UEFA Cup in the 2006-07 season saw another fans’ friendly (home and away) against Red Bull Salzburg. For the Red Bull game, the site purchased a second, much larger flag.
Early in 2007, after several failed attempts and using external image hosting sites, a gallery section was added to the site. The facility for users to keep blogs was also added.
In July 2007 Paul stood down after many years’ service and a wiki was added to the site.
On 11th August 2007 the site got a new look and feel, mainly thanks to cn174, and the wiki and Biddy’s Google Maps-driven Members Map were made publicly available.
The Move to a News & Views Site
On 25 April 2011, BRFCS launched a new site based on WordPress, allowing fans to contribute content in the form of news and fan columns.