FORMER Bristol Rovers player Bill Roost has passed away following a short illness, aged 88. The inside forward was born William Charles Roost on March 22, 1924, the tenth of 11 children to Oliver William Roost and Emily Rosina Lewis.
He attended St Michael's School before serving in the Royal Navy.
Following a brief trial at Ashton Gate, he joined Rovers in September 1948 and was top scorer for the reserves during 1948/49, his first season with the club, accumulating 11 goals.
He scored after just four minutes of his Rovers debut before becoming Rovers' leading scorer in the 1949/50 campaign.
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A good squad member, whose inclusion in the side was often rewarded with goals, Mr Roost supported Geoff Bradford's immense talent and contributed in his own way.
He helped Rovers gain promotion to second tier football and continued to score goals.
In total, he contributed 49 goals in 178 league games in almost a decade.
Mr Roost later had spells with Swindon and Minehead, scoring 21 goals for the Somerset club, before playing his final match in 1963.
He lived in Whitehall and ran the Black Horse pub in St George for five years before working as a yard foreman for Power Scaffolding.
Married to Florence Starr in 1949, he had two sons, Geoff and Chris, the elder winning England Youth amateur caps against Ireland and Wales.
Latterly widowed, Mr Roost continued to live in St George.
Until recently, he was attending Rovers' home games with his great friend 'Josser' Watling.
A statement from the club said: "Whilst Rovers relied on Geoff Bradford and Vic Lambden for the goals which shot the club to glory in the halcyon days of the immediate post war period, local boy Bill Roost was scoring prolifically in the background,
"This unsung hero of a golden era in the club's history undoubtedly played a critical role as the side reached its first FA Cup quarter final in 1951 and secured the Third Division (South) title in the spring of 1953."