Doncaster Rovers F.C.
|Full name||Doncaster Rovers Football Club|
|2012–13||League One, 1st
|Website||Club home page|
Doncaster Rovers Football Club is an English football club based in Doncaster, South Yorkshire. On 27 April 2013 they became Champions of Football League One, gaining promotion to the Football League Championship, the second tier of the English football league system.
The club was founded in 1879 and turned professional in 1885. Doncaster have spent the majority of their playing history between the third and fourth tiers of the English football league system and are one of four clubs to win the Division 3/League Two title three times.
The club's colours have traditionally been red and white. Their home strip is red and white hoops which has been the main design of the club's home shirt since 2001.
The associated Doncaster Rovers Belles L.F.C. are one of the most successful women's clubs in English football.
- 1 History
- 2 League history
- 3 Managerial history
- 4 Crests
- 5 Kits and sponsorship
- 6 Stadium
- 7 Ownership
- 8 Management team
- 9 Players
- 10 Centre of Excellence
- 11 Honours
- 12 Records
- 13 Other teams
- 14 Mascot
- 15 Fanzine
- 16 Quotes
- 17 Rivalries
- 18 TV
- 19 Charity
- 20 References
- 21 External links
The club was formed in 1879 by Albert Jenkins, a fitter at Doncaster's Great Northern Railway works. He gathered together some friends to play a match against the Yorkshire Institute for the Deaf and Dumb in September 1879. On walking back from the game, the team took a rest at the Hall Cross, and had a discussion in which they decided to play more and called themselves Doncaster Rovers.
The first match under the name was on 3 October 1879, a draw away against Rawmarsh. Gradually, they became the main team in the town, and appear to have had their first professional players in 1887–88.
Rovers first entered the FA Cup in 1888–89, losing 9–1 to Rotherham Town at home. Season 1890–91 was to be a significant move forward. The club were a founder member of the Midland Alliance League and came second. The following season, saw them enter the Sheffield and Hallamshire FA Challenge Cup, beating Sheffield United 2–1 at Bramall Lane to win the final. That same season, they also moved up to the Midland League, becoming Champions in 1896–97 and 1898–99.
They were first elected to the Football League in 1901, as a replacement for New Brighton Tower. Their first season in the League was precisely the one when Doncaster achieved their highest position ever (7th in the Football League Second Division). They only lasted two seasons in the league before being voted out in favour of local rivals Bradford City due to finishing the 1902 season in the bottom three.
They spent the subsequent season in the Midland League, only managing 11th place out of 18 but were elected back to Division 2. This time, in 1904–05, Doncaster finished bottom with W3 D2 L29, adrift by 12 points, gaining only 8 points – an unfortunate still standing record. They were voted out once again. The following several seasons saw them finish lower midtable of the Midland League, till between 1910–13 they had greater success. The last few years before the war mediocrity returned, and in August 1914 debts run up over the years led to voluntary liquidation. However, a new club was formed in time for the 1914–15 season and was accepted into the Midland League to continue where the old club had left off. The outbreak of World War I meant the club closed down, and the army took over its ground using it as a depot.
Inter war period
The Club reformed as a limited company after the war in 1919, rejoining the Midland League a year later playing at their new temporary Bennetthorpe Ground. The first two seasons Rovers finished lower-mid table. The third season they moved to Belle Vue, finished runners up and were accepted into the Football League Division 3 North for 1923–24 to replace Stalybridge Celtic.
The first match back in the Football League was a 0–0 draw against Wigan Borough at Belle Vue on 25 August 1923, with Rovers playing in red tops with white shorts. One of the players in that first match was Rovers legend Tom Keetley who went on to become the Clubs highest scorer with 186 goals in 241 appearances. Doncaster ended the season in 9th place. The next few seasons saw them rise towards the top of the table, then decline towards the bottom, before in the early 1930s finishing consistently near the top and finally becoming Champions in 1934–35.
Rovers spent two seasons in Division 2, relegated in 1936–37. However, they did well in the following two seasons before the outbreak of war, being runners up in Division 3 North, with only the champions being promoted at that time.
Post war−late 1990s
Doncaster Rovers were involved in the longest ever football match, against Stockport County at Edgeley Park on 30 March 1946. The match was the second in a Division Three (North) two-legged cup tie and, after 30 minutes of extra time the match was deadlocked at 2–2 (also the score in the first leg). After the referee had sought advice from the authorities, it was decided that the game would carry on until one team scored. However, after 203 minutes, and with darkness closing in, the game was finally stopped. Stories abound of fans leaving the game, going home for their tea, and coming back to watch the end of the game. The replay, at Doncaster, was won by Rovers 4–0, goals coming from Steven Bain, Billy Mortimer and a late double from Graeme Dunne.
In 1946–47 Doncaster set a record for the most games won in a league season (33), when they won the Third Division North title. The following season saw them relegated from the Second Division, but two years later with Peter Doherty as player-manager, they won the Third Division North again. This time they stayed in the Second Division for eight seasons, their most successful period to date.
During this time, several high class players were with Doncaster including Harry Gregg who kept goal, and was sold to Manchester United in December 1957 for £23,500. At the time, he was the most expensive goalkeeper in the world. He went on to help save lives in the Munich air disaster and was a regular goalkeeper for Northern Ireland. Another player, lesser known outside Doncaster, was Alick Jeffrey. Matt Busby, manager of Manchester United, had lined him up to be bought, however in October 1956 Jeffrey badly broke his leg playing for England under−23s. This ended his move and any chance of what was seen to be an almost certain glittering international career to come.
During the early 1990s, Ken Richardson, who was later described by detectives as "the type that would trample a two-year-old child to pick up a 2p bit" took over as the majority shareholder of the club. He ploughed a lot of money into Doncaster Rovers with one thing on his mind, a new stadium. When he was refused a new stadium by the council he soon lost interest. Richardson hired three men to torch Belle Vue and planned to sell the ground to developers. The attempt put Richardson in jail for four years, ruined Belle Vue and Rovers were edging closer to relegation. In 1998 Rovers dropped out of the league with a −83 goal difference. He withdrew his financial backing and as a result the club was subject to an administration order. The better players left to ease some of the financial burden but unfortunately, the players who were left at Rovers were just not up to the task. The fans blamed Richardson for effectively destroying Rovers and even a funeral was held at Belle Vue on the last game of the 1997/98 season complete with coffin along Carr House Road. Just weeks after Rovers were relegated, Richardson was found guilty of trying to set fire to the Rovers ground, apparently hoping to pay off the clubs debts with the insurance money.
The Westferry Consortium took over the Club just before the beginning of the 1998–99 season with a commitment to invest heavily in the club. They also brought in John Ryan as a non-executive chairman and he took over at the end of this season. Having aspirations of returning it to the second tier where he had seen them when he was a boy, he stated he would build a new stadium within ten years, both of which he went on to achieve within the ten years. Doncaster found their best form in 50 years in the 2000s.
After five seasons in the Conference League, under the helm of manager Dave Penney the club returned to the fourth tier (known at the time as Division Three) after winning the 2003 Conference Play-Off final. In 2003–04, the first season they were back in the Football League, Rovers achieved promotion to the third tier as Champions. Doncaster were the first team to win the Fourth Division/Third Division (fourth level) Championship three times, 1966, 1969, and 2004. Football League rules state that any team who wins a trophy three times can keep it. When Rovers tried to retain ownership of the actual Third Division trophy, the Football League claimed that Rovers could not keep the trophy because the league names had changed from Fourth to Third Division, and so they had not won that particular league three times. Doncaster were the last team to win Division Three before it was renamed League Two.
In 2005–06, Doncaster beat two Premiership teams in the League Cup – Manchester City and Aston Villa. They reached the quarter finals of the competition where they met Arsenal. They went ahead in normal time and Arsenal equalised, and in extra time Rovers went up for a second time but Gilberto Silva equalised in injury time and the North London side went on to win on penalties.
A new stadium was completed in December 2006. Doncaster's first game at the new Keepmoat Stadium was against Huddersfield Town on New Year's Day, 2007 and the first goal scored at the Stadium was by Mark McCammon.
On 1 April 2007, Doncaster Rovers travelled with their new manager to the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff to play Bristol Rovers in the Football League Trophy final. Playing in front of over 59,000 people, this was Rovers' first major cup final in the club's history. They got off to the perfect start when a tap in from Jonathan Forte and brilliant finish from Paul Heffernan put Rovers 2–0 up within the first 5 minutes. However, after a brave fight back from Bristol, the game finished 2–2, so it went to extra time. In the second half of extra time a Sean Thornton corner was headed home by skipper Graeme Lee who had come forward from his central defensive position. Doncaster held on to claim their first major trophy.
2007–08 proved to be one of the most exciting seasons in Doncaster's history. After a slow start they were in serious contention for a top-six finish for much of the second half of the season. Defeat away at Cheltenham Town on the final day of the season cost them automatic promotion and they finished third, with Nottingham Forest taking 2nd place. After a 0–0 draw away to Southend United in the playoff semi-finals first leg, Rovers beat their opponents 5–1 at home in the second leg including a James Coppinger hat-trick to advance to the League One play-off final at Wembley on Sunday 25 May 2008 where they beat Leeds United 1–0 to move into Football League Championship after a half century absence. A James Hayter headed goal in the 47th minute was enough to secure victory in front of over 75,000 fans at Wembley.
The first half of the 2008–09 season saw Doncaster struggling to adapt to the Championship despite a promising start with an away win over newly relegated Derby County. A long run of bad results saw them bottom of the Championship on 20 December 2008 following a narrow 1–0 defeat to Wolves at home. Rovers managed to turn things around soon after and enjoyed an undefeated run of 8 Championship games, starting with a thrilling 4–2 win at relegation rivals Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day. The win against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday 14 February was especially memorable considering it was the first time Doncaster had defeated the Owls in any league competition. The streak ended at the hands of Swansea City on Saturday 21 February after a 3–1 defeat at the Liberty Stadium. Doncaster Rovers secured their place in the Championship for the 2009–10 season after an emphatic 3–0 win at Home Park against Plymouth Argyle. Doncaster ended their first season in the Championship comfortably in 14th position, finishing above 8 former Premier League teams, including Charlton Athletic, Watford, Crystal Palace and Derby County. The survival was also a major feat, as before the start of that season, they were tipped by many as strong favourites for relegation.
Doncaster started the 2009–10 season away at Vicarage Road with a 1–1 draw against Watford. Their first win of the season came at home against Cardiff City 5 games into the season when they won 2–0. Doncaster finished the 2009–10 season marginally better than their first season back in the Championship, finishing two places higher in 12th and earning two more points than the previous season finishing on 60 points. This was despite a promising period towards the end of the season which saw Doncaster close to the play-off places, thanks in part to Sheffield United loanee Billy Sharp who scored 15 goals for Doncaster during his stay. The 2009–10 season's success became a football league record. Having become the first team to be bottom of the table at Christmas, but still managed to survive the drop.
The 2010–11 season proved to be Doncaster's most trying season in the Championship thus far. Despite a club record signing of £1.15 million for Billy Sharp, the season was plagued by injuries to key players, as well as poor form. Doncaster did however manage to ensure their Championship survival, finishing in 21st place, 6 points clear of relegated local rivals Sheffield United and Scunthorpe United. This meant Rovers would spend a fourth successive season in the second tier of English football.
Doncaster Rovers struggled in the 2011–12 season; seven games into the season, Rovers failed to win a game (W0,D1,L6). This led to the sacking of manager Sean O'Driscoll and assistant manager Richard O'Kelly. On 23 September 2011, Dean Saunders was unveiled as the new boss, leaving Wrexham. His reign started unbeaten in three games, with a 1–0 win at home to Crystal Palace followed by an away win at Peterborough and a draw against local rivals Hull. With the controversial help of football agent Willie McKay, Rovers brought in several players in on loans and short term contracts, and on low wages, including El Hadji Diouf, Pascal Chimbonda, Herita Ilunga, Carl Ikeme, Frédéric Piquionne, and Habib Beye. There were even discussions with Robert Pirès and the ex-Real Madrid midfielder Mahamadou Diarra. However, Doncaster were relegated to League One with three games still to play. Many supporters blamed the failure to stay in the Championship on McKay's involvement, others felt it was worth the try. At the end of the 2011–12 season, chairman John Ryan deemed the McKay "experiment" over as it "didn't work" and "wouldn't work in the third tier" anyway.
The squad was rebuilt for the 2012–13 season with 19 players leaving. Expectations were low, but after an average start, Saunders' team ended up firmly in the promotion positions by the end of 2012. On 7 January, Saunders was chosen to fill the vacant managers position at Wolves and on 17 January caretaker manager Brian Flynn was given the permanent managers job till the end of the season with Rob Jones as player coach. In an incredible finale to the season at Griffin Park, they beat Brentford 0–1 when James Coppinger scored in the last seconds of 5 minutes of added time, only seconds after Brentford's Marcello Trotta had hit a penalty against the crossbar. If Brentford had won, they would have been promoted and Doncaster would have to compete in the play-offs. As it was, the goal put Doncaster one point above Bournemouth as Champions. In the summer of 2013, current manager Paul Dickov was instated as the manager of Doncaster Rovers- who immediately contributed to the club by signing a 16 year-old named Toby Cox. Cox, who is known as the next Olivier Giroud, was signed from a local amateur team, after scoring over 40 goals in a single match against the Barcelona Second Team. This fearsome display by the 6-foot-5 centre forward earned him the nickname 'El Matador' in Spain. The young powerhouse was signed in return for 2 fully grown Mexican Cacti, eight cuts of lean beef, 37 out-of-date freddos, and 50 packets of PG tips tea.
Following promotion to the Championship for the 2013–14 season, Brian Flynn was moved to become Director of Football and overseeing the newly formed development squad which would be playing competitive games. Paul Dickov was brought in as manager with Brian Horton as his assistant. The club also signed Louis Tomlinson of boy band One Direction. Tomlinson will train with the squad and appear for the club's reserve team as part of a campaign to raise funds for Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice.
On 9 November, John Ryan gave an emotional farewell and stepped down as Chairman of the Club after 15 years, minutes before the kick-off against a Championship encounter against Barnsley at Oakwell, amid reports of boardroom disagreements following a proposed takeover bid by a hedge-fund consortium lead by Sequentia Capital.
Doncaster Rovers have played their football in the following leagues:
Midland Alliance League
3rd Tier – Division 3 North, Division 3, League 1:
1923–24 to 1934–35, 1937–38 to 1946–47, 1948–49 to 1949–50, 1958–59, 1966–67, 1969–70 to 1970–71, 1981–82 to 1982–83, 1984–85 to 1987–88, 2004–05 to 2007–08, 2012–13
Last 11 seasons
Pos = Position; P = Played; W = Won; D = Drawn; L = Lost; F = Goals For; A = Goals Against; GD = Goal Difference; Pts = Points
∗ Denotes promotion via the Playoffs.
Below is a list of all the permanent managers that Doncaster Rovers have had since the appointment of Billy Calder in 1920. In the 41 years prior to Calder, the team was selected by club committee, a standard practice by football clubs at the time. After Brian Flynn was appointed Director of Football, Paul Dickov became the clubs 40th full-time manager.
|Paul Dickov||May 2013||Present|
|Brian Flynn||Jan 2013||May 2013|
|Dean Saunders||Sept 2011||Jan 2013|
|Sean O'Driscoll||Sept 2006||Sept 2011|
|Mickey Walker||Sept 2006||Caretaker manager|
|Dave Penney||Jan 2002||Aug 2006|
|Steve Wignall||May 2000||Jan 2002|
| Dave Penney/
|Apr 2000||May 2000||Player/caretaker managers|
|Ian Snodin||Aug 1998||Apr 2000||Player/manager|
| Mark Weaver/
|Dec 1997||May 1998||Bergara was appointed Director of Football and worked alongside general manager Mark Weaver as the "management team"|
|Danny Bergara||Nov 1997|
|Dave Cowling||Oct 1997|
|Colin Richardson||Sep 1997||Caretaker manager|
|Kerry Dixon||Aug 1996||Aug 1997||Player/manager|
|Sammy Chung||Jul 1994||Aug 1996|
|Ian Atkins||Jan 1994||June 1994||Atkins made seven appearances during 1993–4 but was not a "player-manager"|
|Tony Cunningham||Dec 1993||Jan 1994||Player/caretaker manager|
|Steve Beaglehole||Nov 1991||Dec 1993|
|Billy Bremner||June 1989||Nov 1991|
|Joe Kinnear||Mar 1989||June 1989|
|Dave Mackay||Dec 1987||Mar 1989|
|Dave Cusack||Oct 1985||Dec 1987||Player/manager|
|Billy Bremner||Nov 1979||Oct 1985||Bremner made 5 appearances for the club between 1980 and 1982|
|Cyril Knowles||Nov 1979||Caretaker manager|
|Stan Anderson||Feb 1975||Nov 1979|
|Johnny Quigley||Nov 1974||Feb 1975||Caretaker manager|
|Maurice Setters||June 1971||Nov 1974|
|Lawrie McMenemy||Nov 1968||May 1971|
|Jackie Bestall||Nov 1968||Caretaker manager|
|George Raynor||June 1967||Nov 1968|
|Keith Kettleborough||Dec 1966||May 1967||Player/manager|
| Jackie Bestall/
|May 1966||Dec 1966||Garnett (secretary) and Bestall were in charge of team affairs until December 1966|
| Jackie Bestall/
|Feb 1966||May 1966||Joint caretaker managers after Leivers resignation|
|Bill Leivers||Aug 1964||Feb 1966||Player/manager|
|Oscar Hold||Apr 1962||Apr 1964|
|Frank Marshall||Mar 1962||Apr 1962||Caretaker manager|
|Danny Malloy||Aug 1961||Mar 1962||Player/manager. Malloy's title was "player-coach", but he was in charge of team affairs|
|Norman Curtis||Aug 1960||Jul 1961||Player/manager|
|Jackie Bestall||Apr 1959||Aug 1960|
|Jack Crayston||June 1958||Apr 1959|
| Syd Bycroft/
|Jan 1958||June 1958||Joint managers|
|Peter Doherty||May 1949||Jan 1958||Doherty retired as a player after the 1952–3 season. From 1951 he simultaneously managed Northern Ireland.|
|Jackie Bestall||Feb 1946||May 1949|
|Billy Marsden||Apr 1944||Feb 1946||Part-time manager|
|Fred Emery||Mar 1936||Jul 1940||Emery was appointed "manager" while still a player, but ceased playing after the 1935–36 season|
|David Menzies||June 1927||Feb 1936||Secretary-manager|
|Dick Ray||June 1923||May 1927||Secretary-manager|
|Arthur Porter||May 1922||Mar 1923||Secretary-manager|
|Harry Tufnell||May 1921||Mar 1922||Secretary-manager|
|Billy Calder||June 1920||?||Honorary manager|
Like most of the early English football clubs, the original crest adopted by Doncaster Rovers was that of the local coat of arms. The coat of arms of Doncaster at the time was of two lions holding Yorkshire roses in their mouths as well as a red shield depicting the old medieval Doncaster Castle. The coat of arms is primarily red and white which explains the teams decision to adopt red and white as their colours. The club stop using Doncaster's coat of arms in 1972 when the Viking crest was introduced.
In the sixties Doncaster council denied Rovers to use the coat of arms and therefore a competition was held which the best design would be selected as the clubs new badge. Named "the Viking" which was designed by a group of local students which is now today's crest.
When the new crest was introduced it included a monochrome Viking image overlaying a red and white circle, which denoted the club's colours, along with the year of the club's formation 1879. The Viking image would become known as "The Turk's Head". Also included on the crest was a shield with the club's initials – D.R.F.C as well as the Yorkshire white rose in reference to the club's location. The inset shield was also coloured red and white to denote the teams colours. In the early 1990s the crest was altered, omitting the red and white circle background and the Viking image was coloured gold.
A further modification to the Doncaster Rovers' crest was introduced in 2006 and is the one currently in use today. The new adaptation includes a new Yorkshire rose design on the shield as well as a slightly different Viking image in dark yellow. 
Kits and sponsorship
From 1879 to 1885 Doncaster played in blue and white, and since then red and white. The club's first strip was a navy blue and white strip with a yellow diagonal cross. The kit uniquely included a blue Tam o' Shanter with a red toorie at the centre. A solid red shirt with a black collar was the first design adopted when the club first entered the English Football league in 1901. Since 2001 the club have played in a red and white hooped home shirt.
The home shirts, in order of frequency, have been either a solid red, red and white hooped, solid white, or red and white striped.
|Season(s)||Shirt manufacturer||Main sponsor|
|1987–1988||Spall||St. George's Car Centre|
|1988–1990||Doncaster Free Press|
|1993–1994||European Car Rental|
|1996–1997||Patrick||East Riding Sacks|
|2001–2002||Vandanel||One Call Insurance|
|2010–2013||Nike||One Call Insurance|
|2013 – present||Avec|
1885–1915 – Intake Ground
For the first six years the club began playing their games wherever they could, on playing fields at Town Moor and the Racecourse. They gained a permanent ground in 1885 when they started playing their games near the Institute for the Deaf and Dumb and so was known as the Deaf and Dumb Ground. A year later the stadium was officially named as the Intake Ground. A few months after completion, the roof blew off the stand, and the same happened in 1994 on the press and team officials stand after a gale. They played their football there until August 1914 when the club went into liquidation. A new company did take over the club soon after but all English league competition was suspended in 1915 due to the First World War and the club was closed down and the ground turned into an Army depot.
1920–1922 – Bennetthorpe Ground
When the Club was reformed after the war in the summer of 1919, the Army were still occupying the old Intake Ground as a depot. They had wanted to move to Low Pastures but restrictions set by the local council meant this wasn't a viable option. The Club didn't join the Midland League until 1920–21, by which time and as a temporary solution, a field was found on the south side of Bennetthorpe for which they were given a two-year lease. On the first day of the second season (1921–22) there, in the Midland League, the Bennetthorpe Ground saw 7,219 people watch Rovers against Gainsborough Trinity. The ground consisted of a small stand on one side and small organised terraces around the pitch. Some of the fencing/gates on Town Moor Avenue remain.
1922–2006 – Low Pasture, Belle Vue
With council restrictions on the six acre Low Pastures site having been satisfactorarily negotiated, the Club moved there for the beginning of the 1922–23 season. Large amounts of ash from nearby coal tips was laid as a base for the pitch, serving it well throughout its years of use with superb drainage. Initially, there was a stand for 4,000 seated fans with terracing in front for another 3,000. The ground had a unique feature in that home and away teams had separate entrances. The stadium was opened in 1922 by Charles Sutcliffe, a representative of the Football League when it was named Belle Vue. The first match there was against Gainsborough Trinity in the Midland League with an attendance of 10,000. After two years, shelter was added for standing spectators on the "Popular Side". A few years later in 1927, the stand from the Bennetthorpe Ground was jacked up and moved to the new venue providing a sheltered stand at the "Town End". The "Popular Side" was extended in 1927 and concreted in 1928. Turnstiles, gates and fencing were added in 1935, and in 1938 the "Popular Side" stand roof was replaced and put further back increasing the capacity of Belle Vue to 40,000. In 1947 the stadium recorded its highest attendance of 37,099 against Hull City, although apocryphal accounts refute this and claim that many more gained entry to the ground by climbing over walls and thus avoided having to pay.
Following the Bradford City stadium fire disaster, in 1985 the wooden "Cow Shead", as the old Bennetthorpe stand was known, had to be removed for safety reasons. Mining subsidence in 1987 meant much of the "Pop Side" was removed, drastically reducing the grounds capacity to around 10,000. Further safety conditions imposed after the Hillsborough disaster led the capacity to fall to 7,294.
When the Westferry Consortium took over the club in 1998 one of the first guarantees was to help establish a new stadium for the club. Belle Vue had never been upgraded heavily since 1938 and despite minor cosmetic changes and the addition of some seating was really showing its age by the time Westferry took over. Despite this, some improvements were made in the last few years of its use as the Club rose out of the Conference, through Division 3 and into League 1. The Town End terracing was made safe and usable with portacabins added as executive stands behind it. The Rossington End was also extended and updated, with the capacity in its final years rising to around 11,500.
In 2003 it was renamed the Earth Stadium after the Rotherham-based finance company Earth Finance started sponsoring the ground. Belle Vue was Doncaster's home for 84 years.
2007–present – Keepmoat Stadium
A new 15,231 all-seated stadium owned by Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council and rented by the club, was completed in December 2006. The first game at the new Keepmoat Stadium was against Huddersfield Town on New Year's Day, 2007. The game also saw the first three red cards in the new stadium. Doncaster Rovers' centre forward Mark McCammon was the first player ever to score on the new pitch in a football match. The official opening of the Keepmoat Stadium was on 3 August 2007, with Doncaster Rovers playing a Manchester United XI in front of a crowd of 13,080. United won the game 2–0 with Anderson making his debut for them.
On 19 June 2012 it was confirmed that Doncaster Rovers F.C. had secured a 99 Year operating lease from Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council to lead the management of the Keepmoat stadium with a view to improving operating results. The change placed the Club back in charge of its home Stadium after the period of renting since its move from Belle Vue (also leased from the Council) in 2007.
|Directors||Terry Bramall, Gavin Baldwin|
|Chief Executive||Gavin Baldwin|
|Director of Football||Brian Flynn|
|Assistant Manager||Brian Horton|
|Goalkeeping Coach||Paul Gerrard|
|Fitness Coach||Ben Rome|
|Club Doctor||Dr. Tim Douglas|
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Out on Loan
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
The following is a list of players who have made at least 50 appearances and either:
- hold a significant Doncaster Rovers record
- have achieved significant football honours whilst at, or after playing for Doncaster (not before)
- have some other notable characteristic e.g. significantly famous outside of football
|Langton, WalterWalter Langton||LB / CF||1887–1905||45||28||48||48||Doncaster's longest serving player
Appearance stats don't include seasons 1887–1901 nor 1903–04 which are likely to put his total appearances well over 200
|Keetley, TomTom Keetley||FW||1923–1929||231||180||241||186||Record all time goalscorer.
Most goals in one game – 6 v Ashington in 1929
|Emery, FredFred Emery||WH||1924–1936||417||30||439||32||Record league appearances
Manager of Doncaster 1936–1940
|McConnell, PaddyPaddy McConnell||IF||1925–1930||137||20||143||21||The first current Doncaster player to represent his country at international level, Paddy played for Ireland|
|Bycroft, SydSyd Bycroft||DF||1936–1951||333||2||355||2||Including Wartime League matches, he played 501 games for Doncaster giving him the overall all-time record number of appearances.
Joint manager of Doncaster January–June 1958
|Perry, EddieEddie Perry||CF||1936–1938?||98||44||102||?||Welsh international whilst at Doncaster|
|Jordan, ClarrieClarrie Jordan||FW||1945–1948||60||48||67||50||Most Doncaster league goals in one season (42 in 1946/47)|
|Williams, CharlieCharlie Williams||DF||1948–1959||158||1||174||1||Famous comedian|
|Doherty, PeterPeter Doherty||IF||1949–1953||103||55||109||58||Ireland international player and manager of Northern Ireland whilst at Doncaster
Manager of Doncaster 1949–1958 (PM until 1953)
|Graham, LenLen Graham||MF||1949–1958||312||3||332||3||Northern Ireland international whilst at Doncaster|
|Lawlor, KitKit Lawlor||IF||1950–1954||127||47||143||49||Republic of Ireland international whilst at Doncaster|
|Gregg, HarryHarry Gregg||GK||1952–1957||94||0||99||0||Northern Ireland international whilst at Doncaster.
Hero of the Munich air disaster
|Jeffrey, AlickAlick Jeffrey||FW||1954–1956, 1963–1968||262||129||293||140||Youngest Doncaster player (15 years 229 days v Fulham, 15 September 1954).|
|Douglas, ColinColin Douglas||FW||1981–1986, 1988–1993||404||53||444||62||Record total appearances (not including the Wartime League games).
Forward in his first spell, fullback in his second
|Stock, BrianBrian Stock||MF||2006–2012||193||18||216||23||Welsh international whilst at Doncaster|
|Sharp, BillyBilly Sharp||FW||2009–2012||71||34||75||35||Record Transfer Fee Paid: £1,150,000|
Football League 100 Legends
The following Doncaster players have been included in the Football League 100 Legends.
The FIFA 100 is a list of the world-renowned Brazilian striker Pelé's choice of the "greatest living footballers". Unveiled on 4 March 2004 at a gala ceremony in London, the FIFA 100 marked part of the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the international governing body of football.
PFA Team of the Year
The following have been included in the PFA Team of the Year whilst playing for Doncaster.
Player of the Year
The following players have won Doncaster Rovers Player of the year award.
Centre of Excellence
The role of the Doncaster Rovers Centre of Excellence is to develop players and their abilities to their full potential for the club's first team. Rovers youth team were runners-up of the FA Youth Cup in 1988 and the winners of the Youth Alliance Cup in 2012.
The youth team runs 9 teams and has over 100 players from the ages of 8 to 17. The head of youth is Paul Wilson and the head of Technical Development is former York City manager Colin Walker. The youth team annually compete in the Gothia Cup. The academy team plays in the Football League Youth Alliance, North East Conference and is only for players below the age of 18. Home games are played at the club's training at Cantley Park.
|Head of Youth||Paul Wilson|
|Youth Team Coach||Paul Stancliffe|
Notable Youth Team Players
The following are players from Doncaster's youth team past or present who have gone on to play in the top 2 tiers of the Football League, or the top tier in another country with prominent national leagues.
Midland Alliance League
Runners up: 1890–91
- Highest Overall League Finish: 7th, Division 2, 1901–02 Season
- Record League Victory: 10–0 v Darlington, Division 4, 25 January 1964
- Record Cup Victory: 7–0 v Blyth Spartans, FA Cup First Round, 27 November 1937
- Record Defeat: 0–12 v Small Heath, Division 2, 11 April 1903
- Record Home Attendance at Belle Vue: 37,149 vs Hull City, Division 3 (N), 2 October 1948
- Record Home Attendance at Keepmoat Stadium: 15,001 vs Leeds Utd, League 1, 1 April 2008
- Record League Points: 92, Division 3, 2003–04
- Record League Goals: 123, Division 3 (N), 1946–47
- Record League Appearances: Fred Emery, 417 league matches
- Record Appearances: Colin Douglas, 444 matches
- Record Appearances, including Wartime League: Syd Bycroft, 501 matches
- Longest Serving: Walter Langton, 18 seasons
- Record League Goal-scorer: Tom Keetley, 180 league goals, between 1923 and 1929
- Record Goal-scorer: Tom Keetley, 186 goals in all competitions
- Highest League Scorer in a Season: 42, Clarrie Jordan, Division 3 (N), 1946–47
- Most Goals in One Match: 6, Tom Keetley in 7–4 win at Ashington, 1928–29
- Scoring in Most Consecutive Games: 10, Clarrie Jordan 1946–47
- Most International Caps While at Rovers: Len Graham (14 caps for Northern Ireland)
- Youngest Player: Alick Jeffrey (15 years, 229 days, 1954)
- Oldest Player: John Ryan (52 years and 11 months, 2003)
- Record Transfer Fee Paid: £1,150,000 to Sheffield United for Billy Sharp
- Record Fee Received: £2,000,000 from Reading for Matthew Mills
Doncaster Rovers Belles became the club's official women's team in 1969 as Belle Vue Belles. They currently play in the FA Women's Super League, at the top tier of women's football. Their home games are played at The Keepmoat Stadium.
The team's mascot, previously portrayed by Andrew Liney, is a brown dog known as Donny Dog that wears a red and white Rovers jersey. Before a scheduled appearance during the game against Huddersfield Town at the Galpharm Stadium on 4 March 2006, police prevented Liney from entering the stadium in costume, citing unspecified "police intelligence", and refused him permission to wear any part of the costume within 50 metres of the stadium. Mr Liney later received a full written apology for these unfounded allegations from the head of West Yorkshire Police. The mascot was next portrayed by Tracy Chandler and in June 2011, she was relieved from the position after she posed in her underwear for a Sunday newspaper. Later in the same week she was reinstated back as the clubs mascot. 
A second mascot, a yellow haired and bearded Viking with a helmet and wearing the away shirt named Eric the Viking, made its first appearance at the home game against Yeovil on 25 February 2013.
Doncaster Rovers' fanzine is called "Popular Stand" which was first launched in January 1998. Previously there have been two other fanzines "Raise The Roof" and "Keegan Was Crap Really" which are no longer being published. The fanzine sells at £1 which is the same price as when it was first published in 1998. All of its profits of the fanzine are donated to Doncaster Rovers or related causes. Popular Stand is currently edited by Glen Wilson.
I can't think of any other football club that has endured the same traumas as Doncaster Rovers. Thankfully, true fans are now in charge at the Club.
I believe the nightmares of the past are over and only sweet dreams will follow. The club is now on the right footing.
Mention Doncaster Rovers and I am reminded of a Saturday afternoon at Bramall Lane and my first experience of a sending off. Charlie Williams, as I remember, was dispatched for inserting his right boot in Doc Pace's shorts! I am delighted that the decline in Rovers fortunes has been arrested and that, like Charlie Williams, Rovers seem to be smiling again.
In a 2003 survey Doncaster Rovers fans stated their main rivals were Rotherham United, followed by Scunthorpe United and Barnsley/Chester City. The Football League clubs whose fans voted Doncaster as one of their main rivals were Mansfield Town, Rotherham and York City.
In 1998 Rovers featured in a documentary on Yorkshire Television. This episode titled "Trading Places" documents and contrasts the 1997–98 season for two of the region's football clubs; Rovers heading out of the Football League and Halifax Town heading the opposite the way as Champions of the Conference. Also in 1998 the club was featured in the 1998 Channel 5 'fly-on-the-wall' documentary "They Think It's All Rovers" in which it showed the fall of Rovers. In the early 1980s there was a documentary about Billy Bremner as the manager of Rovers. The documentary is notable not only for the inside look at the pre-match preparations, warm-up conducted in the dressing-rooms, starting line-up read out as if it's coming to Bremner there and then, but for such rare footage of early 1980s Belle Vue, with a full-size Popular Stand and the Cow Shed still standing at the Town End.
Rovers worked with the NSPCC since the beginning of 2009 with a number of events to raise money. A significant event was the Inca Trek walk which Mark Wilson, James Coppinger and James O'Connor took part in along with other Rovers staff. The 62 mile walk raised almost £50,000 for the NSPCC. Mark Wilson said about the walk "We are doing this challenging trek to raise awareness of the NSPCC and Childline, helping to raise funds to allow them to run this vital service. I have wanted to do something like this for a few years, as it's close to my heart, especially with all the high profile child abuse cases that have been in the news. I wanted to do something to help prevent and put a stop to child abuse, so this is where the idea came from". Rovers have also played a number of charity football matches, playing in green and white hooped football kits, and selling these shirts.
Voted for by the club's supporters, the Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice was chosen as the primary official charity partner for 2012–13. Money has been raised in bucket collections as well as through a charity match initiated by Doncaster born Louis Tomlinson of boy band One Direction.
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- "Bluebell Wood have thanked Doncaster Rovers and our supporter for the money raised on the New Year’s Day fixture". Doncaster Rovers official site. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
- "Charity Game Proves Huge Success". Doncaster Rovers official site. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
- "What friends are for... The One Direction boys support Louis Tomlinson as he plays in charity football match Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2221581/One-Direction-support-Louis-Tomlinson-charity-football-match.html". Daily Mail. 22 October 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2013.