1997–98 Doncaster Rovers F.C. season

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Doncaster Rovers
1997–98 season
Chairman England Ken Richardson
Manager England Kerry Dixon (until August)
England Dave Cowling (during October)
Uruguay Danny Bergara (during November)
Uruguay Danny Bergara[1] and England Mark Weaver (from November to May)
Stadium Belle Vue
Third Division 24th (relegated)
FA Cup First round
League Cup First round
Football League Trophy First round
Top goalscorer League:
Prince Moncrieffe (8)
All:
Prince Moncrieffe (8)
Highest home attendance 4,547 (vs. Nottingham Forest, 11 August)
Lowest home attendance 580 (vs. Rochdale, 9 December)
Average home league attendance 1,772[2]

During the 1997–98 English football season, Doncaster Rovers competed in the Football League Third Division. Doncaster had an awful season finishing bottom of the table and being relegated to the Football Conference. They lost 34 matches, setting a new league record.

Season summary[edit]

Doncaster suffered the worst season in their history. They were rooted to the bottom of the table for almost the entirety of the season, had to wait 21 matches for a first league victory of the season, won only 4 league games all season, finished 15 points adrift of 23rd-placed Brighton & Hove Albion and lost 34 league games, the most for any English club in a season - the worst of these defeats being 7-1 at Cardiff City (who finished 21st) and 8-0 at Leyton Orient. This poor form saw Doncaster rightly relegated from the Football League to the Conference for the first time in their history.[3]

Rovers' poor form came amidst a background of gross interference and poor judgment from the board. Player-manager Kerry Dixon was sacked in August; youth-team coach Dave Cowling replaced him, but only managed the club for two games (losing both) before resigning due to interference from chairman Ken Richardson. Cowling was replaced by experienced Uruguayan Danny Bergara, who allowed Richardson to pick the team: Bergara lasted seven games, picking up only two points. Eventually Richardson's right-hand man Mark Weaver appointed himself manager.

Just weeks after Rovers were relegated, Richardson was found guilty of attempting to set fire to the Belle Vue, apparently to claim insurance money to pay off the club's debt.

Kit[edit]

Rovers wore four kits during the season, all produced by new kit manufacturer Olympic Sports. The first, worn from August to September, featured sleeves with jagged red shapes on a white background. An alternate kit, with the jagged red shapes also featured on white panels on the sides of the shorts, was also used during this period. From October to April Rovers wore a red kit with white panels on the sides of the shorts, plain red socks with a white band around the ankle and a buttoned collar; this kit was the only one worn by Doncaster this season to bear the club's crest. During May the club returned to wear the first kit, albeit with completely red shorts.[4] The away kit evoked that worn by the Brazil national side, with a yellow shirt with green collar, sky blue shorts with white panels on the side, and white socks.[5]

None of the kits worn by Doncaster this season carried sponsorship.

Final league table[edit]

Pos Team Pl W D L F A Pts
1. Notts County 46 29 12 5 82 43 99
2. Macclesfield Town 46 23 13 10 63 44 82
3. Lincoln City 46 20 15 11 60 51 75
4. Colchester United 46 21 11 14 72 60 74
5. Torquay United 46 21 11 14 68 59 74
6. Scarborough 46 19 15 12 67 58 72
7. Barnet 46 19 13 14 61 51 70
8. Scunthorpe United 46 19 12 15 56 52 69
9. Rotherham United 46 16 19 11 67 61 67
10. Peterborough United 46 18 13 15 63 51 67
11. Leyton Orient 46 19 12 15 62 47 66
12. Mansfield Town 46 16 17 13 64 55 65
13. Shrewsbury Town 46 16 13 17 61 62 61
14. Chester City 46 17 10 19 60 61 61
15. Exeter City 46 15 15 16 68 63 60
16. Cambridge United 46 14 18 14 63 57 60
17. Hartlepool United 46 12 23 11 61 53 59
18. Rochdale 46 17 7 22 56 55 58
19. Darlington 46 14 12 20 56 72 54
20. Swansea City 46 13 11 22 49 62 50
21. Cardiff City 46 9 23 14 48 52 50
22. Hull City 46 11 8 27 56 83 41
23. Brighton & Hove Albion 46 6 17 23 38 66 35
24. Doncaster Rovers 46 4 8 34 30 113 20
Key
Promoted to Division 2
Qualified for the promotion playoff
Relegated to Conference

Results[edit]

Doncaster's score comes first

Legend[edit]

Win Draw Loss

Football League Division Three[edit]

Match Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
1 9 August 1997 Shrewsbury Town A 1 – 2 3,029 Conlon
2 16 August 1997 Peterborough United H 0 – 5 1,920
3 23 August 1997 Macclesfield Town A 0 – 3 2,635
4 30 August 1997 Exeter City H 0 – 1 1,186
5 2 September 1997 Leyton Orient H 1 – 4 1,098
6 5 September 1997 Mansfield Town A 1 – 1 2,874 Moncrieffe
7 13 September 1997 Scunthorpe United A 1 – 1 3,378 McDonald
8 20 September 1997 Cambridge United H 0 – 0 1,258
9 27 September 1997 Torquay United A 0 – 2 1,650
10 4 October 1997 Brighton & Hove Albion H 1 – 3 2,351 Cunningham
11 11 October 1997 Hartlepool United H 2 – 2 1,526 Moncrieffe (2)
12 18 October 1997 Darlington A 1 – 5 2,451 Moncrieffe
13 21 October 1997 Colchester United A 1 – 2 2,588 McDonald
14 24 October 1997 Swansea City H 0 – 3 1,170
15 1 November 1997 Scarborough A 0 – 4 2,345
16 4 November 1997 Cardiff City H 1 – 1 1,004 Moncrieffe
17 8 November 1997 Barnet A 1 – 1 2,015 Warren
18 18 November 1997 Lincoln City A 1 – 2 2,957 Moncrieffe
19 22 November 1997 Rochdale H 0 – 3 1,503
20 29 November 1997 Hull City A 0 – 3 4,721
21 2 December 1997 Chester City H 2 – 1 846 Helliwell, Smith
22 13 December 1997 Notts County A 2 – 5 4,024 Pell, Smith
23 19 December 1997 Rotherham United H 0 – 3 3,533
24 28 December 1997 Leyton Orient A 0 – 8 4,437
25 10 January 1998 Shrewsbury Town H 1 – 0 1,116 Moncrieffe
26 17 January 1998 Exeter City A 1 – 5 4,145 Pemberton
27 27 January 1998 Macclesfield Town H 0 – 3 1,707
28 30 January 1998 Scunthorpe United A 1 – 2 2,036 Mike
29 3 February 1998 Mansfield Town H 0 – 3 1,538
30 7 February 1998 Cambridge United A 1 – 2 2,478 Wilson
31 10 February 1998 Peterborough United A 1 – 0 4,577 Smith
32 14 February 1998 Brighton & Hove Albion A 0 – 0 6,339
33 21 February 1998 Torquay United H 0 – 1 1,424
34 24 February 1998 Darlington H 0 – 2 1,342
35 28 February 1998 Hartlepool United A 1 – 3 1,920 Rowe
36 3 March 1998 Barnet H 0 – 2 739
37 10 March 1998 Scarborough H 1 – 2 1,129 Rowe
38 14 March 1998 Cardiff City A 1 – 7 2,931 Mike
39 21 March 1998 Lincoln City H 2 – 4 2,357 George, Donnelly
40 28 March 1998 Rochdale A 1 – 4 1,858 Tedaldi
41 4 April 1998 Hull City H 1 – 0 2,597 Mike
42 11 April 1998 Chester City A 1 – 2 1,593 Mike
43 13 April 1998 Notts County H 1 – 2 2,485 Messer
44 18 April 1998 Rotherham United A 0 – 3 4,328
45 25 April 1998 Swansea City A 0 – 0 3,661
46 2 May 1998 Colchester United H 0 – 1 3,572

FA Cup[edit]

Main article: 1997–98 FA Cup
Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
R1 15 November 1997 Preston North End A 2 – 3 7,953 Mike, Hammond

League Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
R1 1st Leg 11 August 1997 Nottingham Forest H 0 – 8 4,547
R1 2nd Leg 27 August 1997 Nottingham Forest A 1 – 2 9,908 Armstrong (o.g.)

Football League Trophy[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
R1 9 December 1997 Rochdale H 0 – 1 580

Squad[edit]

Appearances for competitive matches only

Name League FA Cup League Cup Football League Trophy Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
England Robert Betts 2(1) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2(1) 0
England John Borg 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
England Darren Brookes 9(2) 0 1 0 2 0 0(1) 0 12(3) 0
England Ian Clark 1(1) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1(1) 0
England David Conlon 4(10) 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 4(10) 1
England Harvey Cunningham 32(1) 1 0 0 1(1) 0 1 0 34(2) 1
England Craig Davis 15 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 16 0
England Robert Debenham 4(2) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4(2) 0
Scotland Jim Dobbin 28(3) 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 30(3) 0
England Mark Donnelly 8(1) 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 8(1) 1
England Wayne Dowell 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
England Paul Edwards 5(4) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5(4) 0
England David Esdaille 9(3) 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 11(3) 0
England Darren Esdaille 22(1) 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 23(1) 0
England Gary Finley 6(1) 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 7(1) 0
England Daniel George 16(2) 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 16(2) 1
England Ian Gore 25 0 1 0 2 0 1 0 29 0
England Andrew Hammond 1 0 0(1) 1 0 0 0 0 1 1
England Steve Hawes 8(3) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8(3) 0
England Mark Hawthorne 7(1) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7(1) 0
England Ian Helliwell 8 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 9 1
England Maurice Hilton 9(1) 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 10(1) 0
England Gary Hoggeth 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 0
England Gary Ingham 10 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 12 0
England Simon Ireland 34 0 1 0 1(1) 0 1 0 37(1) 0
Scotland Martin McDonald 15 2 1 0 2 0 0 0 18 2
England Gary Messer 4(9) 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 4(9) 1
England Adie Mike 42 4 1 1 2 0 1 0 46 5
Jamaica Prince Moncrieffe 30(8) 8 1 0 2 0 1 0 34(8) 8
England Tony Parks 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0
England Robert Pell 6(4) 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 6(4) 1
England Martin Pemberton 24(2) 1 0 0 0(1) 0 0 0 24(3) 1
England John Ramsay 2(8) 0 0(1) 0 0(1) 0 0 0 2(10) 0
England Zeke Rowe 6 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 2
England Matt Russell 4(1) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4(1) 0
England Steve Sanders 19(6) 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 22(6) 0
England Michael Smith 10(10) 3 1 0 1 0 1 0 13(10) 3
Wales Dominico Tedaldi 0(2) 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0(2) 1
England Rob Thornley 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
England Andy Thorpe 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
England Darren Utley 2(2) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2(2) 0
England Lee Warren 44 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 47 1
England Dean Williams 6 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 7 0
England Paddy Wilson 10 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 10 1

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bergara was appointed Director of Football and worked alongside general manager Mark Weaver as the "management team"
  2. ^ 42528/24
  3. ^ http://www.statto.com/football/teams/doncaster-rovers/1997-1998
  4. ^ "Doncaster Rover - Historical Football Kits". Historicalkits.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  5. ^ "Iconic Change Kits - Historical Football Kits". Historicalkits.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 

External links[edit]