Football fan Roy Williams has attended more than 1,000 matches at his boyhood team – despite having never seen them.
Dedicated Bristol Rovers supporter Roy, 69, was born blind but he hasn’t let the disability stand in his way.
He watched ‘The Gas’ for the first time in 1951, when a friend of the family took him along to a match against Llanelli.
And for the next 65 years Roy has relished the atmosphere at the Westcountry club, whether it was at their two Bristol grounds or during a period they played in Bath.
Every other Saturday, makes the trip from Bedminster – home to Rovers’ biggest rivals, Bristol City – to Horfield where he meets daughter Ruth and they walk to the Memorial Ground.
Despite not being able to see the action, season ticket holder Roy is always involved in the thick of it, cheering on the League One side.
Retired piano tuner Roy said: “I used to just follow the crowd, if the referee makes a mistake you soon know about it. You can shout and stand like the rest of them.
“On one occasion a couple of years ago the ref was having a particularly bad match and I stood up and said ‘ref, your eyes must be as bad as mine’. Apparently a lot of the ground stood up and cheered.”
“Generally I would take a radio and headphones and tune into the local station for commentary.
“But I now sit with the hospital radio and they feed a wire to me and I listen that way.
“The feel and the banter are the reasons I go, otherwise I could just stay at home.
“My most memorable game was the 2007 Wembley Play-Off Final at Wembley when we beat Shrewsbury.
“I remember our goalie throwing it out from a corner to our player who ran the length of the pitch to score.”
It is thought Roy has now been to more than 1,000 games involving Bristol Rovers, who are playing away at Bradford in League One today (Sat).
His dedication to Rovers was rewarded at the start of this season when he took the match ball out for the first match of the campaign.
A spokesperson for Rovers said: “Roy is well known to many Rovers supporters and his support for the club down the years is quite remarkable.
“He recently completed one of our Fans4Life programmes, organised by our Community Education Department and he is always cheerful and never lets his disability stop him from doing anything or supporting the club.”
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