“When I think of Bath I instantly think of Bath Rugby - It’s the soul of the city. If Bath Rugby didn’t exist, then the city would lose its spark and a piece of itself.”
For Season Ticket Holder Rob Evans, being a Bath Rugby supporter has provided him with more than just a game of rugby on a weekend.
Having followed the Blue, Black and White through the last four decades, Rob’s affiliation with the Club and its supporters has makes it feel like a second home to him, and he remembers his earliest memories fondly.
“My first memories of Bath Rugby was when my dad took me in the 1980s as a child, and I was instantly attracted to the Club,” he began.
“I purchased my first season ticket aged 17 with my first wage after leaving school and I initially went on my own. But I quickly got to know the supporters I stood around on the terraces and it quickly became the most enjoyable way to spend my weekend.
“I currently sit in the East Stand, and have been for the last 20 years. The friendships, the atmosphere and the people you enjoy the experiences with make more of a day of it – sometimes it’s not just all about the rugby.”
Having been a Season Ticket Holder for so long, Rob has been through a catalogue of highs with the Club, but one memory sticks out more than any other.
“I remember playing Harlequins in the Pilkington Cup Final and watching Stuart Barnes kick a last minute drop-goal to win us the game - I will never forget that moment. Going up to Twickenham with my parents to watch the Final was like nothing I had experienced before.
“That is why I think ‘The Clash’ is fantastic as it gives the next generation the opportunity to experience what I did many years ago – going to watch my team at the home of England Rugby.”
Throughout his time as a Bath Rugby supporter, Rob has had the pleasure of watching a plethora of talent wear the infamous Blue, Black and White, but who for him was the best?
“Gareth Chilcott was my favourite player – his character on the field and his attitude was second to none,” he said.
“Nowadays I always get excited when I see Semesa Rokoduguni on the pitch. He always plays with a smile on his face and his ability with the ball is staggering! Some of the tries he scores are just a joy to watch.”
Attention quickly focused onto the upcoming season, and there is plenty that Rob is looking forward including the return of a certain West Country derby.
“I love playing Bristol. Their fans are always great and the matches are usually very enjoyable to watch. It’s great they are back in the Premiership.
“I’m excited to see what Joe Cokanasiga can do in a Bath shirt. He didn’t really get a chance to show what he could do on the last day of last season, but he has definitely got the potential to light up the Rec like Rokoduguni has for the last few seasons.
“The experience Jamie Roberts will give us is another fantastic addition to the team. We have lacked it in certain positions over the last couple of years but now with the mix of experience and young talent we have in our squad, we will go from strength to strength next season.
“I also think it was great to see the younger players being given the chance last season. I think all clubs need to put more effort into grassroots rugby and help produce the next generation of exciting players. I’ve always believed you need a good balance of maturity, experience and youth. The squad depth we are building really excites me.”
Share your supporter stories on Twitter using the #WeAreBath and you could win the opportunity to deliver the match ball at the first game of the Gallagher Premiership season at the Rec.