Tributes paid to former Glastonbury FC manager
Tributes have been pouring in for former Bristol Rovers footballer George Petherbridge who died last week.
One of Bristol Rovers most popular players had lived in Glastonbury for many years and once his playing career had ended, George became manager of Glastonbury Football Club when they were a major force in the Western League.
George Petherbridge was born in Devonport, Plymouth on May 19th 1927 and for each of the post war league seasons, he scored at least once for Bristol Rovers, a record unequalled by any other football league club.
George played through the golden era at Rovers as they reached two FA Cup quarter finals and they were to win the Third Division South in 1952/53.
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The slightly-built right-winger played a total of 457 games for Bristol Rovers between 1946-62 scoring 85 goals.
George also played in 40 FA Cup ties another Bristol Rovers record.
Once George's professional career came to an end, he moved to Glastonbury and became the manager of Glastonbury Town Football Club when they were one of the leading sides in the Western League.
One of the first decisions that George made was to recommend local Glastonbury lad Paul Randall to his former club Bristol Rovers.
It was probably one of his best ever decisions as Randall went onto score over 100 league goals for Bristol Rovers having scored on his debut game at Cardiff City in 1977.
George joined the ground staff at Millfield School in Street where he worked alongside Gerry Wilson and George joined up with Morlands Cricket Club where he was more than a useful off spinner/medium pace bowler.
George eventually joined the ground staff at Wells Cathedral School.
Paul Randall said of his mentor "I will always be grateful to George for having the patience along with my father as they pushed for a long time to get me a trial with Bristol Rovers.
"George always felt I could go a long way in the game, whereas I always felt differently.
"George however would not give up on me and eventually I was given a game in the youth side at the Rovers and it was all uphill from there.
"I signed for Frome Town, but never played as I then joined Glastonbury and when I moved to the Rovers, both Glastonbury and Frome received £1,000 each and George received £200 and I only recently found that out from my dad".
Ken Randall said "I was on the committee at Glastonbury at the time George joined us and for a successful Western League Club, it was a major coup for us.
"I remember when George joined us as player/manager he was playing at Taunton Town and several of the Taunton Supporters shouted to George - 'about time you hung up your boots, Petherbridge' and George shouted back, 'I would do if I could reach the pegs on the dressing room wall.'
"We beat Taunton 4-1 and George scored two of the goals".
Peter Bolton was one of only a few local players that played under him at Glastonbury and he said: "George was always very fair with me, he was always likely to bring in his own players from Bristol, but he said to me, I want you to prove you are better than any of them, I believe you are, but do you.
I was a local player, happy to play in the Reserves, but George's words gave me a huge lift".
"The question a lot of people ask, did the mild mannered footballing legend ever lose his temper and unfortunately I was the one that actually saw it just the once.
It was on my 21st birthday and I was walking up to the Abbey Park, bumped into Charles Dadford who owned the Market House in Glastonbury and I popped in for a quick half, but by the time I reached the ground George was waiting for me, gave me a slap and told me I was dropped and I respected him from that day, every day and will continue to do so, despite the sad fact he is sadly no longer with us."
George Petherbridge was as popular a person as you could ever wish to meet, he married Rita in 1950 and they have a son, two daughters and 11 grandchildren.
Petherbridge Way off Muller Road lies between the Memorial Stadium and the site of the old Rovers Eastville Stadium where George Petherbridge played, was named in his honour in March 1977, 36 years ago.