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Bristol Rovers are not a big money spending League One club by any means, and the majority of their record signings came during their time competing in Division One and Two around the 1990s, The Pirates faced two relegations in four years which saw them playing in the Conference Premier for the 2014-15 season, and this played a massive factor in future spendings to date.
Despite this, the Pirates are still one of the highest spending League One clubs and have paid a transfer fee for 21 players over the years. Incredibly, Andy Tilsons £400k transfer fee from 1992-93 still stands as the club’s all-time record arrival almost 30 years later.
The 26-year-old English defender made his move from Premier League side QPR, and he soon became a Rovers legend after earning the captains armband and racking up over 250 games up to the start of the millennium where he moved on to Walsall.
Following Tilson’s arrival, in 1998-99, a young French left-back almost became the club’s new record signing, though he was just £40k short off the top spot. Stephane Leoni joined the Pirates from Ligue 1 side FC Metz, and this was a historic moment for the club as they had paid for a player from a foreign league for the first time in history.
Despite the full-backs large price tag, Leoni only went on to play 38 games across two seasons for the Pirates, scoring only one goal for the club in an FA Cup tie against Rotherham United in 1999. Soon after the start of the new millennium, Leoni moved to the Scottish Premier League side Dundee United for free.
Jason Roberts famously arrived at Bristol Rovers back in 1998 originally on loan from Wolves. After impressing the Pirates, Roberts signed for just over £300k, and became an instant hit for Bristol – he scored an incredible 38 goals in just 78 games.
The Grenada international caught the eye of many other top sides during his two seasons at Bristol, and in 2000 he was sold to First Division side West Brom for an increased £2.70m fee making him the clubs joint top record sale in history. Roberts’ famous transfer mirrored Barry Hayles move to Fulham in 1998, as the centre-forward was sold for the same price.
One of the most famous Bristol Rovers transfers of all time was Rickie Lambert who arrived from Rochdale in 2006. Lambert arrived for just £270k, making him the clubs fourth record signing, and this is where the former England international really made a name for himself, scoring 51 goals in 128 games.
The star striker caught the eye of many other clubs around England, and just three seasons later in 2009, he moved to League One rivals Southampton where he went on to score an amazing 106 goals in just 207 games before making his move to Premier League giants Liverpool in 2014.