Gasopedia - Bristol Rovers Wiki

Formed in the year 2000, the Blackthorn Buccaneers are a group of avid Rovers fans who stand in the Blackthorn End. The name is a combination of Blackthorn End and one of the club's nicknames (Buccaneer being a name that was used to describe certain type of pirate back in the 17th and 18th centuries) As far as is known, the word .Buccaneers. vintage relationship with Bristol Rovers F.C began in the 1950s when there was an old supporter's song which related the fan's as being the club's, Buccaneers. A key thing behind the Buccaneer movement is the group is not a who's, who of big wig names but rather a group of plain, highly independent supporters who show strong spirit by standing up for the old values of Bristol Rovers. 

At big games many of the Blackthorn Buccaneers can be seen wearing full pirate costumes at both home and away games. The reason for this practice, is to highlight the clubs swashbuckling title and to spotlight the real link that Bristol once had with the outlaw practice, which in fact, is all a part of the heritage of Bristol.

The group helped to spread the word of Bristol Rovers during the FA Cup games with Southampton and W.B.A in 2008. After asking fans to wear pirate outfits to the games, hundreds did with many being captured by the BBC and shown to spectators across the country. Multiple national newspapers also printed images of fans dressed as pirates in the following days press after both games,.                                                                                     **************************************************************************************************************************** The idea for the creation of the Buccaneers actually began to take shape in the old Tote End in the very early years of the 1970s. Right at the start of the 1969-70 season, a group of old Tote End boys had tried to convince the club to raise the world famous, battle flag of the Pirates (the skull and crossed swords / Jolly Roger) over the Eastville stadium on all match days as a spiritually clever, commercally eye catching method to help promote both the club and the history of Bristol on to the nation in the most striking way possible. Sadly, this highly intelligent idea appears to have been dismissed without even a moments thought and nothing was ever heard of it again? Its noteworthy to point out here, that other sporting concerns around the world who share this high profile, piratical image front actually do raise the head turning, battle flag of the Pirates, with few, if any of them having even half the background history, that we have here in Bristol! Had the Rovers taken in what those working class, old Tote End boys had been saying back in 1969, Bristol Rovers F.C may have had today, one of the most powerful, spiritual and commercial image transmission devices going...light years ahead of the rest of the field.  

Nevertheless, what that idea did do, was raise an awareness among a few of our supporters of what could be done with the Rovers, pirate image front if it was ever to be used skillfully in years to come. Further power was given to that idea when the oral traditions of our old fans were looked at (some having fought in the 1914-18, Great War). Old traditions that had stated that the clubs, Pirate nickname had been picked up at a very early, but unstated date and had been inspired by both Bristols swashbuckling history and strikingly by Robert Louis Stevensons world famous story, "Treasure Island". What makes this oral tradition so very hard to dismiss, is the magic fact that Stevensons smash hit story not only promoted the old port of Bristol, but also that Stevensons work had been published in 1883, the very same year as our club was formed.

Further in 1884 the club quickly cast away its Black Arabs title to become known as Eastville Rovers. Its interesting to note here, that the word Rovers in it true Viking form, when related to the sea, actually means the Pirates! In far later times the word Sea Rovers, like the buccaneers, had been used as another way to describe those colourful desperados of the sea.

Pressing that fact about the 'meaningful' R O V E R S name together with that old, oral tradition from our long distant fans from the past, the Blackthorn Buccaneers believe hand over fist, that it was Stevensons smash hit story, plus Bristol's history that had influenced this speedy adoption of the 'to battle quarters' Rovers title within only a year of the clubs birth, hence making 1884 the most lightliest moment when our club became crowned as the Pirates of the  swashbuckling Port of Bristol. ****************************************************************************************************************************The fact that the fearsome and dangerous pirate Blackbeard (Edward Teach...c1680s-1718) was born in the Redcliffe area of Bristol only makes for a further interesting note here. Many other kinsmen of that world famous pirate also had very strong links to the world famous port of Bristol, with the renowned buccaneer Capt Morgan perhaps being the best known...and yes he's also remembered today as a brand of rum. Only a thought here, but how would that be, Bristol Rovers, the Pirates being sponsored by the Capt Morgans rum company because of this historic connection? The Pirate image front has massive promise, if only we can open our minds to it again.  

Some of the Buccaneers find it sad that a few of our supporters actually look down on the Pirate image front as being a childs device and little else... how utterly different that view point is from the one those old guard, Rovers fans once held years ago. They believed that the Rovers had the greatest image front in the entire nation, backed up by history of Bristol itself. Part of the problem here, lays perhaps in how this head turning image front has been used or not used in the past, in front of the general public, the business community and the national media. The pirate theme can be as childish or as manly as the mind makes it...its all down to pure skill, mental vision and spirit. Look at how the Orlando Pirates or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers use this swashbuckling image front, both of these clubs are very well known all over the world and big business is attracted to them, like bees to honey. 

The Blackthorn Buccaneers believe that there is massive spiritual and commercial power to be found within this thinking, both for Bristol Rovers and for the famous port of Bristol itself, if only these ideas can ever be, skillfully developed. Armed with the Pirate image front, Bristol Rovers F.C have the keys to become one of the top heritage promoters of the city of Bristol and just imagine how outstanding that would look to the people of Bristol.      

In the year 2000 a (manly) pirate flag was designed and created, which followed as closely as possible to that stunning, old idea which had once been put forward by those brilliant old Tote End boys back in 1969. The reason for doing this was really to test out and see if the concept of raising the Pirate battle flag on match days, even at a far lower level, than had ever been imagined by those old Tote End boys,.. would infact have the power to draw the eyes of media in on our fearsome Pirate icon and display, as those old guard, boys had once believed it would? Well as we all know very well, the Buccaneer flag did that in leaps and bounds over the years and in doing so, not only proved a spiritual point to a good many people. but also the Buccaneers dragged our near dead Pirate image front, by its back two legs from out of it's grave and in doing so, gave our club a certain degree of extra colour in the deal .

The flag of the Blackthorn Buccaneers was raised from the money given by slightly over a 150 of our own supporters and had cost the group £400 to the penny to make. May I, on behalf of the Buccaneers thank all those fans who have involved themselves in Buccaneer projects (like the Flag and the return of the Tote End clock) in the past for showing fantastic, high spirit in helping out. However the Buccaneers have one more project for all of our swashbuckling fans to chew over and think about!        .    

Its testing to the mind that this higher plain of thinking about our Pirate image front, was well in place decades and decades ago among our supporters and the vastly outnumbered Blackthorn Buccaneers are now the last haunting defenders of the old true faith...The near destroyed Pirate image front is a true born Rovers icon and really its a statement about the great, historic, swashbuckling place that our club represents to the country. We are at the Alamo here and desperate for reinforcements or all this true blue, old guard thinking may yet, turn to dust! Who among you will cross the line to defend the true, breathtaking heritage of our club and of Bristol?

All fans who follow this belief can freely be called the Buccaneers...the old, inspiring spirit of Bristol Rovers... the Pirates. Cheers to Blackbeards brothers, to Stevenson and to our clubs founding fathers for blessing us with this magnificent image front...truly what other image front in the land can match this background?                                                                                                                                                        (One wonders, will this great image front ever be brought properly to life?)                                                                                                              (BACKTOTHEFUTURETOTE)