|Full name||Peter Roney|
|Rovers apps (goals)a||178 (1)|
|Date of birth||15 January 1887|
|Date of death||25 August 1930|
|1909 from Norwich City|
|1915 to join 17th Middlesex Battalion|
|a League appearances and goals only|
Last updated by Gasheadsteve on 17/04/2012
Peter Roney was a goalkeeper who played for Rovers in the years preceding the First World War, joining in 1909 from Norwich City and staying until league football was suspended due to the conflict. He was the first, and so far only, goalkeeper to score for The Gas in a league match.
During the war he joined the 17th Middlesex Batallion, known as the footballers' batallion and the subject of the book When The Whistle Blows by Andrew Riddoch and John Kemp. He did not fare well on the battlefield however and he developed what is now known as posttraumatic stress disorder, then called shell shock because it was thought to be due to damage to the brain caused by the shockwaves from exploding shells.
Of his experiences in the trenches, Roney wrote in 1917 "You could hear the Germans talking and singing among themselves as though there was no war on at all. Then all of a sudden our artillery would send them a reminder, and then all you could hear were cries of agony. I've nearly turned grey listening to the groans of the wounded". On the prospect if his return to football, he wrote in a letter home "the sole topic now is 'Will I play for the Rovers when this war is finished?' It all depends on what Fritz has to say. Anyway, I'm living in hope of playing for the old club again, and very soon". Unfortunately he was never able to play again, it being reported in 1919 that he had suffered "such experiences during the war that he is unlikely to be heard of again in professional football".
Roney was never the same again after the conflict, and he died aged just 43 on 25 August 1930 in Clydebank.
- (Sources: Bristol Rovers Football Club: The Definitive History 1883-2003, From football pitch to battlefield (Bristol Evening Post, 30 December 2008)
Peter played for just two clubs in a short career curtailed by the war, starting out with Norwich City before joining Bristol Rovers in 1909, aged 21. He played 178 times in the league for Rovers, scoring once from the penalty spot in the final game of the 1909–10 season against Queens Park Rangers.