Former Bristol Rovers winger George Petherbridge, 85, has died
ONE of Bristol Rovers’s most popular players, George Petherbridge, has died, aged 85.
The tricky winger, who scored 85 goals in 457 league games for The Gas, passed away yesterday.
Petherbridge was born in Devonport, near Plymouth, on May 19, 1927.
For each of the first 16 post-war league seasons he scored at least once for Rovers – a record unparalleled at any football league club.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
He played through the halcyon days of The Pirates’ golden period, starring as the club reached two FA Cup quarter finals and won the Third Division (South) title in 1952/53.
Troubling defenders across the country from outside right, that season his goal tally was in double figures in the league for the third time in his career.
He was only slight, but a dangerous and popular player.
During the war, he represented Eastern Command against the Army, the Royal Navy and the French Navy.
He progressed to become a reliable and critical cog in the Rovers’ side, supplying the likes of legendary goal scorers Geoff Bradford and Alfie Biggs.
Petherbridge served The Gas into his mid thirties, by which time he had become one of only nine players to represent the club in three separate decades.
He is also one of only three men to have played for Rovers more than 15 years after his club debut and no-one else has represented the club in 40 FA Cup ties.
Good enough to earn representative honours, Petherbridge made 11 appearances on the Football Association tour to South Africa in 1956.
His six goals including a brace in a 7-2 victory over Orange Free State at Bloemfontein.
Recovering from a broken ankle suffered after just 12 minutes of a reserve game with Ipswich Town in January 1959, Petherbridge left Rovers on relegation in the spring of 1962 and made his Salisbury debut in a Western League game against Minehead that August.
He notched five goals in nine months before retiring from the game and running The Angel pub at Sherston and The Tamar just inside the Cornish border.
Petherbridge was also a sports teacher at Millfield School and later a groundsman at Wells Cathedral School until his retirement in 1992.
He was the only son of Frederick Petherbridge – who had been on Portsmouth FC’s books – and Violet Trout.
He married Rita Walker in 1950 and they have a son, two daughters and 11 grandchildren.
Petherbridge Way, just off Muller Road, which is not too far from the old Eastville stadium site, was named in his honour in March, 1997.