Gasopedia - Bristol Rovers Wiki
Phil Bater
23rd september 2004-35
Full name Philip Thomas Bater
Nationality Wal Wales
Rovers apps (goals)a 310 (3)
Position Defender
Date of birth 26 October 1955
in Cardiff
Height 5 ft 10½ in
October 1973 from youth team
15 September 1983 from Wrexham
10 September 1981 to join Wrexham
26 June 1986 to join Brentford
Senior clubs Teams managed
Bristol Rovers
Bristol Rovers
Cardiff City
Gloucester City
Bristol Rovers (caretaker)
Bristol Rovers (caretaker)
Clevedon Town
Mangotsfield United
a League appearances and goals only
Last updated by Gasheadsteve on 22/05/2012

Phil Bater is one of only twenty men who have made over 300 league appearances for Bristol Rovers, and one of only four men to have managed the club on two separate occasions.

Full-back Bater spent the majority of his playing days with Rovers, his time at the club spanning a twelve-year period from 1974 to 1986 interrupted by a two-year stint at Wrexham in the early '80s. In all he made 310 league appearances for The Gas, scoring just three times, before leaving the club to join Brentford.

He received international recognition during his first spell in Bristol, earning a call up to the Wales Under-21 side for games against England and Scotland during the 1976–77 season.

After a break from football at the end of his playing career he returned to Rovers as a youth team coach, later coaching the first team and standing in as caretaker manager in 2002 and 2004 before and after Ray Graydon's period in charge.

Playing career[]

Phil's footballing career started at Bristol Rovers, where he signed his first professional contract in 1974 after having been an apprentice at the club. He immediately found himself playing regular first team football, making 30 league appearances in his first season, and playing a total of 212 times in the league, scoring twice, during his first stint with the club.

In 1981 Wrexham paid £50,000 to take Bater back to his native Wales, but after making 73 league appearances in two years he returned to Rovers for a fee of £10,000. He played another 88 times in the league for the Pirates, before spending a single year with Brentford during the 1986–87 season.

He moved to Cardiff City, his home town club, in 1987 and had the dubious honour of becoming the first Cardiff player to be sent off on his debut, but eventually added another 76 appearances to his league tally while with the Bluebirds. He rounded off his playing days with two games in 1990 for Gloucester City, where he had initially planned to play part time while he worked on his gardening business, but almost as soon as the season got under way he felt the need to give up football altogether and concentrate fully on his work.

Career stats[]

(source: Pirates in Profile)
Season Club League
Apps Goals
1974–75 Bristol Rovers 30 0
1975–76 Bristol Rovers 17 0
1976–77 Bristol Rovers 30 1
1977–78 Bristol Rovers 41 0
1978–79 Bristol Rovers 36 0
1979–80 Bristol Rovers 34 1
1980–81 Bristol Rovers 24 0
1981–82 Wrexham ? ?
1982–83 Wrexham ? ?
1983–84 Bristol Rovers 32 1
1984–85 Bristol Rovers 39 0
1985–86 Bristol Rovers 27 0
1986–87 Brentford 19 2
1987–88 Cardiff City ? ?
1988–89 Cardiff City ? ?
1989–90 Cardiff City ? ?
1990–91 Gloucester City 2 0

Managerial career[]

After calling a halt to his playing career, Phil spent several years concentrating on the landscape gardening business that he had set up. He made a return to football in 1996 when he was appointed as coach of the Bristol Rovers under-16 side. He had a spell as first team coach under Ian Holloway before returning to the club's Centre of Excellence as the new Director of Youth Football. His first taste of senior management came in 2002 when he was appointed as caretaker boss for the final three games of the 2001–02 season following the dismissal of Garry Thompson, but when Ray Graydon was appointed to the top job Bater returned to his position in the youth set-up.

After spending some time working with the first team squad in an unofficial capacity, Bater formally returned to the position of First Team Coach in 2003, working under Graydon and assistant manager John Still, and when the pair left the club in January 2004 Bater again stepped into the manager's shoes on a caretaker basis, this time for twelve games. He remained at the club following the appointment of Ian Atkins in the summer of 2004, but was made redundant on 12 November that year when Atkins decided the position of First Team Coach was surplus to requirements.

In October 2005 he was appointed as Clevedon Town's new manager and he went on to win promotion in his first full season with them, earning the club a place in the Southern League Premier Division. He took Clevedon to the first round proper of the FA Cup in 2006 and the team continued to perform solidly, if unspectacularly, in the league. He left the Seasiders in April 2008, before in early 2009 taking over as caretaker manager of Mangotsfield United. After three months at the helm he was given the job permanently and he led the South Gloucestershire club for three years, eventually resigning in 2012 due to financial cutbacks by the board.

Phil's son, Geraint Bater, was a youth team player at Rovers and he played under his dad at both Clevedon and Mangotsfield. He also succeeded Phil as joint caretaker manager of The Mangos following his resignation.

Managerial stats[]

Last updated 22 May 2012
Team Nation From To Record
G W D L Win %
Bristol Rovers Eng England 10 April 2002 20 April 2002 3 0 1 2 0.00
Bristol Rovers Eng England 17 January 2004 22 March 2004 12 1 6 5 8.33
Clevedon Town Eng England 19 October 2005 April 2008
Mangotsfield United Eng England January 2009 April 2012

Record at Rovers[]

Season Comp Pld W D L F A GD[1] Pts[1] Pos[1][2] Round reached[3]
2001–02 Division Three 3 0 1 2 2 6 -4 1
2003–04 Division Three 12 1 6 5 10 21 -11 9
Total League 15 1 7 7 12 27 -15 10


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 League games only
  2. Finishing position for completed seasons only
  3. Cup competitions only