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'The Rise of Forest Green Rovers'

‘The Rise of Forest Green Rovers – The Road to Wembley’ a book in aid of GDA

Chair of local deaf charity, GDA (Gloucestershire Deaf Association), Chris Gardner; a long-standing fan of Stroud-based football club, Forest Green Rovers (FGR) has gone the extra mile to support the services the charity provides to deaf and hard of hearing people in Gloucestershire.

Chris has written ‘The Rise of Forest Green Rovers – The Road to Wembley’; a heart-warming and unusual account of FGR’s amazing rise to the verge of glory, then heartbreak at Wembley. Chris ‘Rambling Man’ Gardner is ably assisted by a host of literary, and not-so-literary, commentators –like club legends, the Farmcotian, Jokerman and travelling companions Compo and Foggy –in taking the reader on the rollercoaster ride that was the 2015/16 season.

Chris decided to tap into his footballing passion and write the book with the intention of raising money for GDA; a charity close to his heart, having become profoundly deaf in his right ear in 1989.

GDA’s Chief Executive Jenny Hopkins said “We are honoured that Chris has decided to write this book in aid of GDA. Chris has been a breath of fresh air to the charity since he joined in 2015, and this step to supporting GDA is testament of his commitment to improving the lives of people living with hearing loss.

‘The Rise of Forest Green Rovers – The Road to Wembley’ is a story interspersed with charming match reports written by a talented array of primary school children, FGR’s ‘Student Ambassadors’ and backed up by the Press Officer’s official reports and statistics. Renowned author and fellow FGR supporter, Jilly Cooper OBE provides the foreword, as does FGR owner, Dale Vince.

It is an astonishing mix of contributions that covers the gamut of human emotions, a fair sprinkling of gallows humour and a surprising anthology. Thus, the author traces Forest Green Rovers’ ascent through the hurly burley of emotions endured by its supporters, whose joy and despair will be recognizable to football fans the world over.

Copies of the book are now available to pre-order by contacting the GDA office on 01452 372999 or emailing admin@gda.org.uk. Copies are also available in local book stores from Monday 24th October.

The book launch will take place at Forest Green Rovers, New Lawn Stadium at 1pm on Saturday 22nd October. Chris, along with Jilly Cooper will be there to sign copies. Normal retail price is £12.99, but anyone attending the launch can pick up a copy for a special discount price of £10.00. 

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