Bristol Rovers F.C.–Swindon Town F.C. rivalry

The fixture between Bristol Rovers and Swindon Town is a local football rivalry, sometimes referred to as a West Country derby or M4 Derby.[1][2] The distance between Bristol to Swindon is just under 35 miles,[3] and both clubs are situated in the South West region of England.

Bristol Rovers and Swindon Town rivalry
Other namesWest Country Derby, M4 Derby
LocationSouth West England
Teams
First meeting24 October 1891
Latest meetingSwindon Town 1–1 Bristol Rovers
(22 January 2022)
Statistics
Meetings total142
Most winsSwindon Town (62)
All-time recordBristol Rovers: 60
Draw: 20
Swindon Town: 62
Largest victoryBristol Rovers 5–0 Swindon Town
(25 March 1939)
Current win streakNone
The locations of the teams shown in southern England

HistoryEdit

The first meeting between the clubs was in a friendly match held in Swindon on 24 October 1891. Swindon beat Rovers (known at the time as Eastville Rovers) 5–2, and just under two months later they met for a second time, drawing 2–2.[4]

Having been in the same division in only two seasons out of 13 between 1993 and 2006, the clubs would then be in the same division for the next six seasons in a row, even being promoted (League Two in 2007) and relegated (League One in 2011) at the same time. However, following Swindon's promotion back to League One the two sides are not set to meet for the first time since 2005.

Head-to-head recordEdit

All-time recordEdit

As of match played 2 October 2021[5][6]
Competition Played Bristol Rovers wins Draws Swindon Town wins
Western League 4 1 0 3
Southern League 34 18 3 13
Football League 94 35 17 42
League total 132 54 20 58
FA Cup 5 3 0 2
Division 3 (South) Cup 1 1 0 0
Football League Trophy 4 2 0 2
Totals 142 60 20 62

Last meetingEdit

Swindon Town1–1Bristol Rovers
  • Simpson   16'
  • Iandolo   57'
Report
Attendance: 12,695
Referee: Tom Nield

Derby doubleEdit

When one team beats another in both their league meetings in a single season, this is known as a league double. It is considered to be a sign of superiority of the winning team over the losing team and seen as an impressive achievement, particularly if the losing team is generally thought of as being a strong side. Swindon Town have completed the league double over Bristol Rovers a total of thirteen times: once in the Western League, once in the Southern League and eleven times in the English Football League (EFL). Rovers meanwhile have recorded double victories over Swindon ten times: four times in the Southern League and six in the EFL.

Season Division Winner Results
Home Away
1897–1898 Western League Professional Section Swindon Town 3–0 1–0
1900–1901 Southern League Division One Bristol Rovers 1–0 1–0
1901–1902 Southern League Division One Bristol Rovers 1–0 1–0
1902–1903 Southern League Division One Swindon Town 2–1 3–2
1903–1904 Southern League Division One Bristol Rovers 2–0 2–0
1905–1906 Southern League Division One Bristol Rovers 2–1 2–1
1924–1925 Football League Division Three (South) Swindon Town 3–0 1–0
1925–1926 Football League Division Three (South) Swindon Town 4–2 2–1
1926–1927 Football League Division Three (South) Bristol Rovers 3–1 5–3
1928–1929 Football League Division Three (South) Swindon Town 2–1 4–1
1931–1932 Football League Division Three (South) Swindon Town 2–1 2–0
1937–1938 Football League Division Three (South) Swindon Town 2–1 2–1
1950–1951 Football League Division Three (South) Bristol Rovers 1–0 2–1
1965–1966 Football League Division Three Swindon Town 4–3 1–0
1966–1967 Football League Division Three Bristol Rovers 3–0 1–0
1967–1968 Football League Division Three Swindon Town 4–1 2–1
1981–1982 Football League Division Three Swindon Town 5–2 4–1
1990–1991 Football League Division Two Bristol Rovers 2–1 2–0
1995–1996 Football League Division Two Swindon Town 2–1 4–1
2007–2008 Football League One Swindon Town 1–0 1–0
2009–2010 Football League One Bristol Rovers 3–0 4–0
2016–2017 EFL League One Bristol Rovers 1–0 2–1
2020–2021 EFL League One Swindon Town 1–0 1–0

RecordsEdit

  • Highest aggregate score: 9
    • Bristol Rovers 7–2 Swindon Town, Southern League Division One, 11 November 1899
  • Highest Bristol Rovers score: 7
    • Bristol Rovers 7–2 Swindon Town, Southern League Division One, 11 November 1899
  • Highest Swindon Town score: 5
    • Swindon Town 5–0 Bristol Rovers, Southern League Division One, 26 December 1913
    • Swindon Town 5–2 Bristol Rovers, Football League Division Three, 6 March 1982
  • Biggest margin of victory: 5
    • Bristol Rovers 7–2 Swindon Town, Southern League Division One, 11 November 1899
    • Swindon Town 5–0 Bristol Rovers, Southern League Division One, 26 December 1913

Crossing the divideEdit

PlayersEdit

Numerous players have represented both Bristol Rovers and Swindon Town in their careers during the 134 years since both clubs have been in existence. A list of some of the most notable examples are given below. To be included in this list a player must have made at least 50 league appearances for both Bristol Rovers and Swindon Town.

Name Nation Bristol Rovers Swindon Town
Years Apps Gls Years Apps Gls
Gary Emmanuel   Wales 1978–1981 65 2 1981–1984 111 8
Andy Gurney   England 1992–1997 108 9 2001–2004
2005–2006
160 23
Sammy Igoe   England 2006–2008 72 2 2003–2005 79 9
Tim Parkin   England 1981–1986 206 12 1986–1989 110 6
Mark Walters   England 1999–2002 82 13 1996–1999 112 27
Steve White   England 1977–1979
1983–1986
135 44 1986–1994 200 83
Andy Williams   England 2007–2010 87 8 2012–2015 89 31
Brian Williams   England 1981–1985 172 21 1978–1981 99 8

† Players with highlighted nationalities were capped at full international level by their countries.

ManagersEdit

Only one man has managed both Bristol Rovers and Swindon Town. Fred Ford was in charge of Bristol Rovers between April 1968 and July 1969, winning 26 of the 70 games played during that spell.[7] Later in 1969 he took charge of Swindon, where he won 35 out of 83 matches in a 20-month spell at the club.[8]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Go For Goals in M4 Derby". Betrescue. Retrieved 6 April 2011.
  2. ^ "EDL Supprters [sic] Try to Gain Ground with Bristol Rovers". Independent Media Center. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  3. ^ "Distance between Bristol united kingdom and Swindon united kingdom". mapcrow.info. Retrieved 6 April 2011.
  4. ^ Byrne & Jay (2003), p34
  5. ^ Byrne & Jay (2003)
  6. ^ "Bristol Rovers football club: record v Swindon Town". 11v11.com. Association of Football Statisticians. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  7. ^ Byrne & Jay (2003), p.480
  8. ^ Fred Ford management career statistics at Soccerbase

BibliographyEdit

  • Byrne, Stephen; Jay, Mike (2003). Bristol Rovers Football Club: The Definitive History 1883–2003. Stroud: Tempus. ISBN 0-7524-2717-2.