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The Ashton Gate Eight

On February 3rd 1982, eight players selflessly tore up their contracts to save the club from financial ruin – an act which will never be forgotten. 

Bristol City were just minutes away from folding with the club set to cease trading at midday.

There was seemingly only one way out of the hole: the club would be declared bankrupt, a new club would be formed under a new board and the players who were on long-term deals would be asked to tear up their contracts. Without these measures, the club would no longer exist.

Enter the Ashton Gate Eight. Geoff Merrick, Chris Garland, Trevor Tainton, David Rodgers, Gerry Sweeney, Jimmy Mann, Peter Aitken and Julian Marshall were given the ultimate ultimatum. Either they agreed to have their contracts terminated or the club would fold.

Those eight selfless men are the reason the club is still thriving 40 years on and here we celebrate each heroic individual.

Learn more about each of the eight and their careers by clicking on the player profiles below.