Bristol Rovers fan gets Joey Barton tattoo after losing bet on club’s promotion

Gas fans celebrated promotion from League Two in their own ways but one supporter has gone a step further by getting a unique tattoo of their manager

A Bristol Rovers fan has honoured a bet to get a tattoo of manager Joey Barton after the former Newcastle United midfielder led the club to promotion from League Two.

The Gas will begin life in League One this coming Saturday as they welcome fellow newcomers Forest Green Rovers to the Memorial Stadium in what is set to be another packed out crowd.

A huge part as to why they are there is Joey Barton, who after overseeing the club’s relegation in 2021 was able to turn their fortunes around and guide them back at the first time of asking.

At Christmas, promotion looked unlikely and they entered the New Year in 17th place but in the most dramatic of circumstances, won promotion.

Even the most optimistic Rovers fan wouldn’t have expected an immediate return to the third tier given the precarious position they were in.

Adam Purnell, who runs the Cooking on Gas podcast alongside his son, believed promotion was so unlikely that he said he’d have a tattoo of Joey Barton at the wheel if Rovers did win promotion.

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After an upturn in form, Rovers became one of the most in-form teams in the top four tiers of English football and after a 7-0 win over Scunthorpe United on the final day of the season, claimed the third and final automatic promotion spot, having only held the position for the last ten minutes of the campaign.

Happy to be proved wrong and also keen to honour a bet, Purnell on the same week his beloved club begin the new season, has got himself inked with the said bet.

Appearing on his leg and quite distinguishable, the tattoo has Barton in his trademark cap and tracksuit combo at the wheel of a ship.

Keen to share the finished art work, Purnell tweeted the club and Joey Barton with the photo and said: “@Official_BRFC At Christmas I said I’d have a tattoo of @Joey7Barton at the wheel if he got us promoted thinking it wouldn’t happen. You proved me wrong so here it is.”

As the old saying goes, a bet is a bet, Adam decided to go through with it and began the process of making it a reality.

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Seeking the help of his daughter’s friend who is ‘very good’ at heart, he provided what he would like and was happy with what was provided.

The tattoo will act as a permanent reminder of what was a remarkable season for Rovers. Promotion has been achieved to League One before and there have been better days but last season was one which saw the club united.

With a new tattoo to boast, Adam will be amongst the supporters on Saturday with new-found status of being perhaps the only Rovers fan of their popular manager.

He said: “I will look back with great fondness of that season it’s up there with beating city to the title in 1989/1990 season. Also I couldn’t go back on my word.

“I’m really looking forward to the new season and hope we can hit the ground running it’s going to be tough with some big teams  but with a few more signings we will be hard to beat and of course we have Barton at the wheel.”

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Barton himself was a fan of the act and quote tweeted Adam’s tweet with the caption: “That’s madness from you,” accompanied with three laughing faces and a hashtag of UTG, which means Up the Gas, a saying used by many supporters.”