Cheltenham Town: Bristol Rovers return so special for Elliott
STEVE Elliott is hoping for another special return to the Memorial Stadium tomorrow night as Cheltenham Town take on his former club Bristol Rovers.
The 33-year-old centre-half was given a genuine hero's welcome last season by Rovers fans who clearly appreciated his efforts during an six-year spell with the Gas.
Mark Yates' side went on to produce one of their finest displays of the season to win 3-1 and make it a memorable day all round for Elliott.
Goals from Kaid Mohamed, Luke Summerfield and Jimmy Spencer stunned Rovers a year ago yesterday as the Robins stormed into form after a mixed start to the campaign.
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Injury kept Elliott out of the return match later in the season as Mark McGhee took charge of Rovers for the first time and guided them to a comprehensive 2-0 victory at the Abbey Business Stadium, with Chris Zebroski opening the scoring.
Elliott is now fully focused on helping Cheltenham do what he helped Rovers achieve in 2007: win promotion to League One.
But he said he would always have special memories of his time in blue and white quarters.
"I have good memories of last season's game down there, when we got a fantastic result," Elliott said.
"I was given a great reception, and totally enjoyed the day so I want to repeat that on Wednesday night.
"When you play for a club you want to do well and make an impression on the fans.
"A lot of players are here, there and everywhere and they don't settle or build up a rapport with the fans.
"I was lucky enough to be able to do that at Rovers so it's great they acknowledge what I did there. I was proud to do it and proud to wear the shirt.
"I will be looking for three points, but maybe I'll have a chance for a sneaky pint with some old friends after the game."
Rovers have endured a dismal start to the season, but they picked up their first win at Exeter City on Saturday.
Elliott is still based in Bristol and has plenty of friends who follow the Gas.
He was disappointed to be released in the summer of 2010 by then boss Paul Trollope, but he is thoroughly enjoying his new challenge at Cheltenham.
"I would have been happy to stay there for longer because I am settled in Bristol, all my friends down there are Gasheads and I love the South West," he said.
"But I also love what the gaffer and Neil (Howarth) are doing at Cheltenham.
"I like the management style, I love training and I want to achieve something with Cheltenham.
"If the Memorial Stadium gets going it's a fantastic place to play and they've made a few loan signings and picked up their first win, so we have to be fully focused."