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Dave Roberts – R.I.P
Dave Roberts – R.I.P

Our Bromley reporter Colin Head looks back on the life of fan Dave Roberts who sadly passed away on Saturday evening.

I first heard from Dave back in 2008, he messaged me on the old forum asking about purchasing a subscription for Two Footed Tackle fanzine. It was around the time The Bromley Boys had just been published and we got chatting about all things Bromley and our experiences of supporting Bromley from childhood. 

I loved the book and read it twice within a couple of weeks, it rang so many bells and made me smile that someone had pretty much lived the same Bromley existence just a few years earlier. 32 Programmes was a great tribute to what these things can mean and the memories they evoke, Home and Away captured the life of a Bromley fan embarking on the National League adventure brilliantly and The Long Road to Wembley chronicled the path to the biggest day in the club’s recent history, the triumph and ultimate heart break of following The Ravens.     

We remained friends from then on, I read all of his football books when they came out and loved them all. He contributed to the fanzine and would often get in touch asking about various things that happened at the club during the years he was away in New Zealand and USA and always asked how my family was.  

I was lucky enough to stand next to Dave for the second half of the FA Trophy semi final at Gateshead in 2018, probably the most tense, nerve wracking and emotional game I’ve experienced as a Bromley fan. When the full time whistle went and it was confirmed that our club had reached the final at Wembley he hugged me so tight, you could feel the emotion pouring out of him, it meant so much to us. It’s the only time I’ve ever cried at football and I know I’m not the only one. We shared the same outlook on all things Bromley, the pessimism that comes as a self defence mechanism from years of disappointment, but all the time there was hope it would come good and that day it actually happened.

I saw Dave at Wembley on the day of the FA Trophy Final, he was in a daze with all of the media demands on him, but he took time out to say hello and generally express our amazement at it all. 

Emma & I were invited to the film premier of Bromley Boys at Wembley later that week, but missed it due to illness, which was a real shame. We did get to both of the book launches which were hugely enjoyable and it was good to chat with him and Liz after both events.

When I heard Dave was ill earlier this year we caught up a few times, but the news of his passing still came hard when it was announced on Sunday. He was one of the nicest blokes I’ve met, a brilliant writer, a friend and a fellow Bromley fan. He will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him either in person or by reading his marvellous books.