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I just joined the site to acknowledge all the kind words in this thread about my dad Billy My sister came across it and sent it to me this pm. Dad sadly passed away on 21st following some surgery

Confirmed by his only other club Pompey that Billy Wilson a popular Rovers fullback of the 60s/early 70s passed away this week at a relatively young age of 71 Billy was a smashing player. The fir

Scott, just to add, in all my years watching Rovers I have never heard any Rovers fan, speak in any way other than with high regard for your Dad. There are only a select few players that fit into

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On 3/5/2018 at 19:26, Scott Wilson said:

I just joined the site to acknowledge all the kind words in this thread about my dad Billy

My sister came across it and sent it to me this pm. Dad sadly passed away on 21st following some surgery, it wasn't expect and was a shock to my mum Heather and all the family. It has been a comfort in many ways reading the kind words of strangers who knew him as a player or latterly as a landlord.

He never stopped loving the game, in fact just a few days before he passed we watched his beloved Newcastle (he was born and bred geordie) beat Man U which cheered him up no end.

I don't remember much about his BRFC days as he left Rovers when I was just 2 so I grew up watching him play for Pompey. Although I am a die hard PFC fan the second score I always look for is Rovers - dads other team and the town of my birth. Mum kept clipping which I archived for his 70th. 

I have stuck a couple of my favorite cuttings up as pics including his debut against Chelsea and a piece about playing Keith Newton in the cup after he moved on (we were next door neighbours!) 

hank you again for all the kind words - he was my hero and I will always miss him

Up the Rovers and Play Up Pompey

Dad 1.JPG

Dad2.JPG

Dad3.JPG

 

 

Thank you so much for posting these pictures and memories of your dad.

I saw him make his debut for Rovers (can't remember the date), when from the kick off Mike England passed the ball to Billy to settle his nerves and Billy promptly miskicked the ball into touch!

He got better of course and was one of my favourite players for Rovers. He never gave less than 100 per cent. I was disappointed when he left for Pompey but he had a fine career there, playing in midfield instead of full back if I remember.

Very sorry to hear of his passing. Your dad was a very good player. 

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1 hour ago, jim mk2 said:

 

 

Thank you so much for posting these pictures and memories of your dad.

I saw him make his debut for Rovers (can't remember the date), when from the kick off Mike England passed the ball to Billy to settle his nerves and Billy promptly miskicked the ball into touch!

He got better of course and was one of my favourite players for Rovers. He never gave less than 100 per cent. I was disappointed when he left for Pompey but he had a fine career there, playing in midfield instead of full back if I remember.

Very sorry to hear of his passing. Your dad was a very good player. 

Billy's debut v Chelsea was on Saturday 13th February 1965 at Ewood.

A crowd of 16,683 saw  a good Chelsea team run out 0-3 winners.

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Regarding the second photo where the players  are stood in front of the coach.

Standing - Rogers, Sharples, Coddington, Fryatt, Mulvaney, Connelly, Billy, Blacklaw, Martin.

Front - Darling, Metcalfe, Calloway.

Looking at the line up and the mention of staying in a hotel on the night before a game I'd guess that was the team for the home FA Cup Fourth Round game against Portsmouth on Jan 25th 1969. Teams only had overnight hotel stays for home games when the fixture was important in those days.

The team that day in a 4-4-2 line up was -

Blacklaw

Rogers, Coddington, Mulvaney, Wilson

Metcalfe, Martin, Sharples, Connelly

Fryatt , Darling 

Sub Calloway.

The overnight hotel stay must have done them good because I recall they absolutely battered Pompey 4-0. Portsmouth  did well to get 0. Darling scored a true hat trick . Left foot shot, right foot shot and a header. He looked the real deal that day and I came away convinced he was going to be an international class player. Looking back that game was probably the high point of his career. Jim Fryatt got the other goal in front of a decent crowd of 17,551.

We were all enthused when we drew ' City at home in the next round but when we eventually came to play the game weeks later because of bad weather Billy and Eamon Rogers had been suspended and a really flying ' City team gave us a football lesson.

 

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6 hours ago, AllRoverAsia said:

Billy's debut v Chelsea was on Saturday 13th February 1965 at Ewood.

A crowd of 16,683 saw  a good Chelsea team run out 0-3 winners.

Just out of interest our team that day -

Fred Else

Billy Wilson, Walter Joyce

Ronnie Clayton, Mike England, Mick McGrath

Mike Ferguson, Andy McEvoy, John Byrom, Bryan Douglas, Ben Anderson

No subs in those days.

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6 hours ago, Tyrone Shoelaces said:

 

Blacklaw

Rogers, Coddington, Mulvaney, Wilson

Metcalfe, Martin, Sharples, Connelly

Fryatt , Darling 

Sub Calloway.

The overnight hotel stay must have done them good because I recall they absolutely battered Pompey 4-0. Portsmouth  did well to get 0. Darling scored a true hat trick . Left foot shot, right foot shot and a header. He looked the real deal that day and I came away convinced he was going to be an international class player. Looking back that game was probably the high point of his career. Jim Fryatt got the other goal in front of a decent crowd of 17,551.

We were all enthused when we drew ' City at home in the next round but when we eventually came to play the game weeks later because of bad weather Billy and Eamon Rogers had been suspended and a really flying ' City team gave us a football lesson.

 

I have vague recollections of the Pompey tie. Darling was outstanding.

I remember the City game more clearly. There were 42,000 on Ewood. Fryatt equalised with a header and the whole Nuttall Street stand shook (literally) as fans celebrated.  I can still see in my mind the Riverside crowd swaying back and forth - in hindsight it was potentially lethal. City were brilliant - this current City team is probably their best since those days. 

Edited by jim mk2
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6 hours ago, Tyrone Shoelaces said:

Just out of interest our team that day -

Fred Else

Billy Wilson, Walter Joyce

Ronnie Clayton, Mike England, Mick McGrath

Mike Ferguson, Andy McEvoy, John Byrom, Bryan Douglas, Ben Anderson

No subs in those days.

Still a decent team compared to the brilliant side of 2 years earlier but Joyce and Anderson were never first division players

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55 minutes ago, jim mk2 said:

I have vague recollections of the Pompey tie. Darling was outstanding.

I remember the City game more clearly. There were 42,000 on Ewood. Fryatt equalised with a header and the whole Nuttall Street stand shook (literally) as fans celebrated.  I can still see in my mind the Riverside crowd swaying back and forth - in hindsight it was potentially lethal. City were brilliant - this current City team is probably their best since those days. 

That would be the City with Lee Bell and Summerbee if I remember right.

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1 hour ago, jim mk2 said:

I have vague recollections of the Pompey tie. Darling was outstanding.

I remember the City game more clearly. There were 42,000 on Ewood. Fryatt equalised with a header and the whole Nuttall Street stand shook (literally) as fans celebrated.  I can still see in my mind the Riverside crowd swaying back and forth - in hindsight it was potentially lethal. City were brilliant - this current City team is probably their best since those days. 

I have a couple of strange recollections from the Man City game. The first one was responding to an appeal from Rovers to help clear the pitch of snow (if I remember correctly it was postponed a few times before it was actually played). We were given brushes and shovels but once we had cleared the goal areas of snow we found the pitch was frozen solid. Braziers were then lit and placed in these areas but to no avail. The players then had a training session on the areas cleared of snow which we were able to stay and watch.

The other quirky memory is having to pass a stretcher over our heads carrying a heart attack victim who subsequently died.

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Great photos of Billy and the team. The picture in the snow, if I am correct, is on the Rovers old training pitch known to us local kids as Little Wembley. This is now the car park behind the BBE. Great memories.  

Edited by Riversider28
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1 hour ago, jim mk2 said:

I have vague recollections of the Pompey tie. Darling was outstanding.

I remember the City game more clearly. There were 42,000 on Ewood. Fryatt equalised with a header and the whole Nuttall Street stand shook (literally) as fans celebrated.  I can still see in my mind the Riverside crowd swaying back and forth - in hindsight it was potentially lethal. City were brilliant - this current City team is probably their best since those days. 

One of the best club sides I ever saw Jim. The speed of transition from defence to attack was awesome.

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I think this is the match that saw a temporary ( later to become permanent) barrier erected in the corner of the Riverside and BBE to prevent fans moving around the ground. Could have been one at the Darwen End/ Riverside too. Great goal by "Lily the Pink" Jim Fryatt and fantastic atmosphere too. I remember walking home, not really disappointed at losing, but just glad I had been part of a very special evening. You just can't beat a night match for atmosphere. 

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I can see that goal now. Stuart Metcalfe, our best player on the night,  had been running the 'City 'left back, Glyn Pardoe ,  ragged up to then. He was just too quick and tricky for him. Eventually Pardoe lashed out and fouled Metcalfe out by the touch line near the corner with the Riverside and the Blackburn End. Keith Newton floated a nice free kick into a crowded penalty box. Jim Fryatt, who had similar heading ability to Rudy Gestede, rose like a Salmon and powered a header into the back of the net. I was in the middle of the the Blackburn End and I had a great view of the goal.

That was 1-1 and for 5 or 10 minutes we were back in the game. Then City got into the groove again and just ran away with the tie. The saddest moment for me was when the great Bryan Douglas came on as sub towards the end of the game ( and the end of his career ) but hardly got a touch of the ball whilst Colin Bell was running the game for City.

Out with the old ball playing midfielder and in with the modern, hard running, box to box midfield player.

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2 hours ago, Riversider28 said:

I think this is the match that saw a temporary ( later to become permanent) barrier erected in the corner of the Riverside and BBE to prevent fans moving around the ground. Could have been one at the Darwen End/ Riverside too. Great goal by "Lily the Pink" Jim Fryatt and fantastic atmosphere too. I remember walking home, not really disappointed at losing, but just glad I had been part of a very special evening. You just can't beat a night match for atmosphere. 

No segregation at all that might. Tickets for anywhere on terracing but Enclosure were ‘ground admission’ only and you could enter by any  turnstile. Idea of designating ends was a year or two away at Ewood and many grounds

First segregation measures followed a Rovers V Burnley friendly at Ewood on a fourth round FA Cup day when both had been knocked out in 1971  trouble broke out on the Riverside and at the next home game measures were in place

 

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Thanks Scott for posting those pictures for many of us who watched your dad in our formative years. By the time of that picture in front of the bus there were starting to appear some deadbeats, Fryatt and Coddington, to which we can add Conlon and Hill, who should have been nowhere near any team with your dad in it.

I’m trying to remember the circumstances of his sale to Pompey, probably to help fund the major overhaul of the squad undertaken by Ken Furphy. Although we replaced Billy with an actual international, Ben Arentoft, it was definitely a downgrade.

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4 hours ago, meadows said:

No segregation at all that might. Tickets for anywhere on terracing but Enclosure were ‘ground admission’ only and you could enter by any  turnstile. Idea of designating ends was a year or two away at Ewood and many grounds

First segregation measures followed a Rovers V Burnley friendly at Ewood on a fourth round FA Cup day when both had been knocked out in 1971  trouble broke out on the Riverside and at the next home game measures were in place

 

I remember both Sunderland and Leicester fans taking advantage of the unfenced Riverside to dole out good kickings, so perhaps the Burnley friendly was the last straw

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3 hours ago, Tyrone Shoelaces said:

I remember going to a Rovers v Liverpool game when the Liverpool fans changed ends by simply climbing over the boundary wall and marching the length of the pitch en masse.

And thereby helping to start the age of football hooliganism which lead to the erection of cages which, in turn, lead to the death of some of their offspring at Hillsborough.  A very sad era.

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3 hours ago, bazza said:

And thereby helping to start the age of football hooliganism which lead to the erection of cages which, in turn, lead to the death of some of their offspring at Hillsborough.  A very sad era.

That wasn't that uncommon in those days but mostly the visiting fans walked through the Riverside then hopped over the walls in the Blackburn End/Riverside corner. I never saw any bother at Ewood I can recall apart from the occasional Rover infiltrating the visiting fans. Until Burnley climbed on the Darwen End roof... 

The Spyon Kop - the open terracing between the Darwen End and the Riverside was where I watched all my early Rovers games from and was a fantastic vantage point. Was perfectly safe if you stood far enough back to let the traffic pass in front. Very sad when it got fenced off.

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19 hours ago, Exiled in Toronto said:

I remember both Sunderland and Leicester fans taking advantage of the unfenced Riverside to dole out good kickings, so perhaps the Burnley friendly was the last straw

Me too. That was where it all seemed to start in my mind. 

That Leicester game !

I still remember seeing the Darwen End suddenly empty on Rovers' equaliser.

A few minutes later, all these vacuous skinheads appeared, out of breath from the dash to the Blackburn End. From memory, I think they had actually left the ground and re-entered at the Blackburn End, as if they were latecomers.

By the next season in the third division, looking over your shoulder had become a horrible, but necessary fact of life.

Thank God, it was different for my kids. I do miss the biblical hordes and the atmosphere in the old terraces though..E for B and McNamee etc

Edited by Leonard Venkhater
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32 minutes ago, philipl said:

That wasn't that uncommon in those days but mostly the visiting fans walked through the Riverside then hopped over the walls in the Blackburn End/Riverside corner. I never saw any bother at Ewood I can recall apart from the occasional Rover infiltrating the visiting fans. Until Burnley climbed on the Darwen End roof... 

The Spyon Kop - the open terracing between the Darwen End and the Riverside was where I watched all my early Rovers games from and was a fantastic vantage point. Was perfectly safe if you stood far enough back to let the traffic pass in front. Very sad when it got fenced off.

I'm surprised by that Phillip. I've seen loads of photos of the area and only very rarely seen anyone stood there.

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