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A memorable day in Bristol football: Matty Taylor joins City

Deadline day often throws up shocks but surely no one in Bristol would have thought today’s outcome possible. For the first time in over 30 years a player has transferred from one city club to the other. The man in question is striker Matty Taylor, who scored 67 goals in 132 league games for Bristol Rovers before heading south of the River Avon to join City.

Taylor’s future at Rovers had looked precarious since the summer, amid rumours that his contract contained a minimal release fee. When City triggered this clause “The Gas” were forced to allow their main man to speak with the Championship side. The transfer, which will cost a £300,000 release fee, plus add-ons, is guaranteed to further fuel tensions between Bristol’s two teams.

Typically, the clubs do not do business with one another: the last permanent transfer between them was in 1987, when David Francis joined City from Rovers. Taylor’s transfer is made all the more controversial by the fact that Rovers are sitting comfortably in League One’s top half, whereas City loom just two points above the Championship’s relegation zone.

Many Rovers fans are likely to feel that the two teams were becoming more equally matched after City’s recent dismal performances and will wonder why Taylor chose to leave. Perhaps the transfer can be explained by the off-field progress City are making. Top facilities, including a modern 27,000 capacity stadium and consistent crowds of over 20,000, are a big reason why players want to join, even in circumstances as controversial as these.

The signing of Taylor is bound to lift both the club and its supporters. With 16 goals in 26 League One games for Rovers, City will hope that he scores a few more before the end of the season and helps to ensure Championship survival!