A supporter described as a ‘Bristol City legend’ has sadly passed away, with fans hopeful that he will be remembered in the upcoming Severnside Derby.
Alan Rimes died aged 46 after a recent battle with cancer, but is fondly recalled by his fellow reds.
He grew up living across the road from the Ashton Gate Stadium, next to the former Wedlocks pub and followed City wherever they played, becoming a familiar face on the supporters’ coaches over the past 30 years.
Fans who knew him have asked for a minute’s applause for Alan in the 46th minute against Cardiff City on Saturday to mark his passing.
Bristol City supporter liaison officer Jerry Tocknell has been working on the City coaches as a steward since 1990, over a period of 36 years, and he knew ardent City fan Alan well from trips to the various football grounds around the country.
Alan also attended games with his mother Pauline, who sadly passed away a few years ago too.
“I’ve known Alan for years . They used to come on the CATS coaches and then in the summer his mum used to invite us all round to their house for barbecues,” recalled Tocknell.
“That’s the sort of family they were.
“We went to Scunthorpe one time and after that all of the coach goers affectionately called him Scunthorpe Snoring Man, as he was a big boy and he’d fallen asleep on the coach and was giving it some on the way back.
“We all had nicknames for each other on coaches 1 and 2 - the ones who go to Preston and the ones who go to Middlesbrough - so rather than knowing people’s names you’d refer to them as that.
“I got a message at Fulham and when I told the coach, everyone was really sad and knew of him like that,” explained Tocknell.
Alan helped out stewarding coaches himself, such as when a much larger number went up to Manchester City for the Carabao Cup semi final.
He helped check people on and off the list, to lend a hand too. That was indicative of the type of supporter he was, described by many as having a ‘heart of gold’.
“He was a really nice guy. I can’t think of anyone who would have anything negative to say of him,” said Tocknell.
“He was ultra friendly and a gentle giant really. That’s exactly what he was.”
One of Alan’s best friends, Martin Short, echoed those sentiments, having also witnessed a great sense of humour through many years of watching Bristol City together.
“He was a larger than life character. He was a really nice, friendly guy who would do anything for anybody and who loved Bristol City,” added Short.
“We had some great times. One time about 26 years ago we went away to see City play Blackpool - and it was the coldest weekend ever.
“And we were walking down Blackpool promenade and he was in just a shirt. I said, “you’re mad!”
“He was turning me blue just looking at him. He will be really missed,” he explained.
Another fond recollection involved drinking with Joe Jordan and the Bristol City squad themselves in the old Wedlocks pub near to the ground, celebrating a win over Bristol Rovers in 1996.
Friends will be hoping City can do Alan proud at the weekend, who idolised former Robins Dariusz ‘Jacki’ Dziekanowski and Paul Agostino and others, and particularly enjoyed the times under Danny Wilson and Jordan.
Meanwhile, Cardiff City supporters will be remembering one of their own at the weekend too.
Bluebirds fans are hoping that Bristol City supporters will join them when they remember Bradley James Jones in the 18th minute of Saturday’s game, after the 18-year-old sadly passed recently as well.
Saturday’s contest will be the 98th Severnside Derby, and a big crowd is expected at Ashton Gate.