Linlithgow bar sponsors team 380 miles away

Platform Three owner Ian Gibson with Rovers fan Bernie Reid and Becky Simth, Platform Three.
Platform Three owner Ian Gibson with Rovers fan Bernie Reid and Becky Simth, Platform Three.

It could rank as the football season’s most unusual match sponsorship north or south of the Border, and it has put Linlithgow on the map in an English city almost 400 miles away.

Bernie Reid, who regularly travels south to watch his beloved Bristol Rovers, was told by the chairman Steve Hamer that his side didn’t have a match sponsor for a hastily re-arranged Sky Bet League One match against Walsall.

Bernie, of Baron’s Hill Avenue, then asked Platform 3 owner Ian Gibson if he might consider stepping in to help. Rugby daft Ian, who last year sponsored Linlithgow Rose for a home game, readily agreed.

Said Ian: “I’ve got to know Bernie well over the years - he’s a much-loved regular in P3, and it all sounded like a bit of fun.”

From then on events moved quickly, and it was red carpet treatment all the way for Ian.

“I was flown down, and had a marvellous tour of the city. I was guest of honour at the game, which unfortunately only ended in a draw. Platform 3 and Linlithgow featured in the match-day programme, and on the team-sheet, we were thanked when the sides were announced, and I helped choose the man of the match.”

A delighted Bernie said that he and Ian had spread the word about how attractive and historic a town Linlithgow was to visit.

Bernie added: “It was great to be able to present Ian with a specially-engraved Bristol Blue vase on behalf of the club.”