Doncaster Rovers F.C.

Doncaster Rovers F.C.
Doncaster Rovers
Doncaster Rovers FC.png
Full name Doncaster Rovers Football Club
Nickname(s) The Rovers
Founded 1879
Ground Keepmoat Stadium
(Capacity: 15,231)
Chairman England John Ryan
Manager Wales Dean Saunders
League Football League Championship
2010–11 Football League Championship, 21st
Website Club home page
Home colours
Away colours
Current season

Doncaster Rovers Football Club is an English football club, based at the Keepmoat Stadium in Doncaster, South Yorkshire. The team currently competes in the Football League Championship, after being promoted via the League One play-offs in 2008, and have remained there since.

The club was founded in 1879 and turned professional in 1885.[1] 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 three clubs to win the Division 3/League Two title 3 times.

Since 2008 they have been playing in the second tier of English football. This marks only the fourth time they have played at this level in their history and is the highest league the team has ever played in. They were elected into the old Second Division in 1901 where they only spent two years before going back into the regional league. They were once again re-elected to the league in 1904, but only lasted a year before failing to be re-elected in 1905.[1] Their third stint at this level of English football was for 8 years from 1950 to 1958. This is seen as the club's most successful period. Brian Carey 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.[2]

On 23 September 2011 it was announced that both manager Sean O'Driscoll and assistant manager Richard O'Kelly had been sacked following a poor start to the 2011-12 season, Rovers having lost 6 and drawn 1 of their first seven games of the season. Up to this date O'Driscoll had been the ninth longest-serving manager in English football. Wrexham manager Dean Saunders was named as the replacement with Brian Carey as his assistant.[3]



The 1891 Sheffield and Hallamshire Challenge Cup winning Doncaster Rovers team.

Early Years

The club was formed in September 1879 by Albert Jenkins, a fitter at Doncaster's Great Northern Railway works in response to the emerging popularity of the game in the nearby city of Sheffield. The team turned professional in 1885 and 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).[4] 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 non-league Midland League. A second attempt, in 1904, lasted only one season with Doncaster finishing dead last and being voted out once again. They would have to wait until 1923 before playing English league football again, when they were elected to the Football League Third Division North to replace Stalybridge Celtic.

First Home

The club did not have a permanent ground until 1885 when they started playing their games at the Intake Ground. 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 was turned into an Army base. The club reformed in 1920 after the war's end and due to losing their old ground to the Army were forced to find a new ground. They then found a temporary home and had a two year lease at the Bennetthorpe Ground. The two-year tenancy came to an end and Rovers were offered some undeveloped land. Rovers moved the main stand from the Bennetthorpe Ground to the new home which was named Belle Vue and initially had a capacity of 10,000.[2] Doncaster played their first game there in 1922. Belle Vue was Doncaster's home for 84 years and in that time only received one major upgrade when in 1938 the grounds capacity was increased to 40,000.

1940-Late 90's

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, 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. 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). Harry Gregg kept goal for Doncaster in the 1950s, 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. The late Billy Bremner, who achieved fame for his playing career with Leeds United and Scotland, managed Doncaster twice, his final spell ending in November 1991 – six years before his death.

Richardson Era

In 1997–98, Doncaster also set the record for losses in a season, suffering the humiliation of enduring 34 league defeats as they finished bottom of Division Three and went into the Football Conference. Just after this relegation, the then chairman Ken Richardson was sent to prison for four years after being found guilty of conspiracy to commit arson after a fire in June 1995 within the Main Stand at Belle Vue. They returned to the Football League five years later as Conference playoff winners, and were Division Three champions the following season.

The Rise

Doncaster's fortunes soon began to turn round, due to new owner John Ryan's commitment to invest heavily into the club. The club returned to the fourth tier (known at the time as Division Three) after winning the 2003 Conference Play-Off and they found their best form in 50 years in the 2000s. The club has few financial worries and a new stadium was completed in December 2006. Their first game at the new Keepmoat Stadium was against Huddersfield Town on New Year's Day, 2007[5] and the first goal scored at the Stadium was by Mark McCammon.

Promotion the first season back in the Football League in 2003–2004 under the helm of manager Dave Penney returned them to the third tier, now renamed Coca Cola League I. Penney left in August 2006 feeling he had taken the club as far as he could and was swiftly replaced with former AFC Bournemouth manager Sean O'Driscoll, with Richard O'Kelly as assistant manager. Doncaster were the first team to win the Fourth Division/Third Division (fourth level) championship three times, in 1966, 1969, and 2004). Football League rules state that any team who wins a trophy 3 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 and so they had not won that particular league 3 times. The titles won in 1966 and 1969 were in fact Fourth division (albeit the same in all but name) and Doncaster were the last team to win the Division Three before it was renamed League Two.

In 2005–06, Doncaster beat two Premiership teams in the League CupManchester City[6] and Aston Villa.[7] 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.[8]


On 1 April 2007, Doncaster Rovers travelled with their new manager to the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff to play Bristol Rovers in the Johnstones Paint 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.[9]

Doncasters' starting line-up for the 2008 Play Off Final win against Leeds United.
Doncaster Rovers celebrate victory against Leeds United in the Football League One play-off final on 25th May 2008 at Wembley Stadium.

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 25th 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.[10]

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.[11] 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. This run included derby victories against Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday. 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.[12] 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 in English football|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 have struggled in the first few games of the current 2011-12 season; at the time of writing, Rovers had played seven games, losing six and drawing one. This poor start has led to the sacking of manager Sean O'Driscoll and assistant manager Richard O'Kelly. On Friday 23rd September 2011, Dean Saunders was unveiled as boss leaving Wrexham.[13]

League History

Doncaster Rovers have played their football in the following leagues:[14]

Midland Football League:
1891–92 to 1900–01, 1903–04, 1905–06 to1922–23

Football League:
1901–02 to1902–03, 1904–05, 1923–24 to1997–98, 2003–04 to Present

2nd Tier – Division 2, Championship:
1901–02 to1902–03, 1904–05, 1935–36 to1936–37, 1947–48, 1950–51 to1957–58, 2008–09 to Present

3rd Tier – Division 3 North, Division 3, League 1:
1923–24 to1934–35, 1937–38 to1946–47, 1948–49 to1949–50, 1958–59, 1966–67, 1969–70 to1970–71, 1981–82 to1982–83, 1984–85 to1987–88, 2004–05 to2007–08

4th Tier – Division 3:
1959–60 to1965–66, 1967–68 to1968–69, 1971–72 to1980–81, 1983–84, 1988–89 to1992-93, 1997–98, 2004–05

5th Tier – Football Conference
1998–99 to 2002–03

Last 10 Seasons

Doncaster Rovers: League Standings for last 11 Seasons
Season League Pos P W D L F A GD Pts
2010–11 Championship 21st 46 11 15 20 55 81 −26 48
2009–10 Championship 12th 46 15 15 16 59 58 1 60
2008–09 Championship 14th 46 17 7 22 42 53 −10 58
2007–08 League 1* 3rd 46 23 11 12 65 41 +14 80
2006–07 League 1 11th 46 16 15 15 52 47 +5 63
2005–06 League 1 8th 46 20 9 17 55 51 +4 69
2004–05 League 1 10th 46 16 18 12 63 60 +3 66
2003–04 Division 3 (Now League Two) 1st 46 27 11 8 79 37 +42 92
2002–03 Conference* 3rd 42 22 12 8 73 47 +36 78
2001–02 Conference 4th 42 18 13 11 68 46 +22 67

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.

Managerial History

Below is a list of all the permanent managers that Doncaster Rovers have had since the appointment of Arthur Porter in 1920. In the 41 years prior to Newbould's appointment, the team was selected by club committee, a standard practice by football clubs at the time. The club's current manager, Dean Saunders, is their 37th in all, and was appointed in September 2011, as a successor to Sean O'Driscoll who was sacked in September 2011 following a run of poor results.

  • 1944–1946: England Bill Marsden
  • 1936–1940: England Fred Emery
  • 1928–1936: England David Menzies
  • 1923–1927: England Dick Ray
  • 1922–1923: England Arthur Porter
  • 1921–1922: England Harry Tufnell
  • 1920–1921: England Arthur Porter


The coat of arms of the town of Doncaster that was used by Doncaster Rovers prior to 1972.
The Viking crest used by Doncaster Rovers from 1972.
The golden Viking crest used by Doncaster Rovers from the early 1990s till 2006.

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 therefor 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 todays crest.

When the new crest was introduced it included a monochrome Viking image overlayed over 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. [2]

Kits and Sponsorship

This was the first strip worn by the club when they were elected to the football league in 1901.
This was the first strip worn by the club in 1879.

The club's main colours have been red and white since 1885. However, from 1879 to 1885 they played in blue and white. The club's first strip was a navy blue and white strip with a yellow diagonal cross. The kit was worn along with a blue Tam O'Shanter with a red toorie at the centre. The pattern of the home shirts has varied throughout the years. However, it has always been either a solid red shirt, a solid white shirt, a red and white striped shirt, or a red and white hooped shirt. 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 has always played in a red and white hooped home shirt.[2]

Season(s) Shirt manufacturer Main sponsor
1879–1977 none none
1978–1979 Umbro
1979–1981 Sereena
1982–1984 Gertroot
1982–1984 Hobbott CIL
1984–1987 Pilkington Glass
1987–1988 Spall St. George's Car Centre
1988–1993 Ribero Doncaster Free Press
1993–1994 Matchwinner European Car Rental
1994–1995 Doncaster Star
1995–1996 Hayselden Motors
1996–1997 Patrick East Riding Sacks
1997–1998 Olympic Sports
1998–1999 Asics Beazer Homes
1999–2001 Ledger Mobility
2001–2002 Vandanal One Call Insurance
2002–2003 Ledger Mobility
2003–2006 Carlotti Streetwise Sports
2006–2007 Streetwise Sports Carlotti
2008–2010 Vandenel Wright Investments
2010–Present Nike One Call Insurance


Current home of Doncaster Rovers – the Keepmoat Stadium
The former ground of Doncaster Rovers – Belle Vue. Photograph taken around 2003 when the stadium was renamed the Earth Stadium.

Doncaster Rovers' first permanent ground was established in 1885 after six years of playing football wherever they could. The ground was based 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. When professional competition was suspended in 1915, the club closed down and the Intake Ground was taken over by the Army and used as a military depot. In the summer of 1920 Rovers were revived but were without a home ground as the Army were still using their former home. They then found a temporary home and had a two year lease at the Bennetthorpe Ground. When the two-year tenancy came to an end, Rovers were offered some undeveloped land at Low Pastures. A stand from the Bennetthorpe Ground was moved to the new venue which would eventually become the main stand of Belle Vue. Large amounts of ash were transported from the nearby coal tips to create foundation for the pitch. The stadium opened in 1922.[15] In 1938 the capacity of Belle Vue was increased to 40,000 and it was in 1947 that 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. Belle Vue was Doncaster's home for 84 years. In 2003 it was renamed the Earth Stadium after the Rotherham-based finance company Earth Finance started sponsoring the ground. When John Ryan took over the club in 1998 one of his 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 Ryan took over. A new 15,000 all-seated stadium was completed in December 2006 and their first game at their new Keepmoat Stadium was against Huddersfield Town on New Year's Day, 2007.[5]

Backroom Staff and Ownership

Role Name
Chairman John Ryan
Vice Chairman Dick Watson
President Trevor J Milton
Chief Executive David Morris
Head Of Football Operations John Ryan
Director of Operations Gavin Baldwin
Club Secretary Jenny Short

Paul Aldridge
Mike Collett
Peter Hepworth
Sarah Kell
Andrew Watson
David Blunt
Paul May
Richard Hirst
David Morris


Denise Pickersgill
Suzanne Uttley
Holly Smart

Accounts Manager

Dave Grant
Lee Ferraby

Accounts Office

Debbie Nelson
Kelly Craddock

Commercial Manager

Laura Whiting

Commercial Team

Danny Ireland
Andrew Whitham
Lisa Meek

Media Manager Steve Uttley
Media Executive Masroor Ahmed
Marketing Manager Shaun Lockwood
Marketing Assistant Jade Sims
Customer Services Manager Charles Swallow
Retail Manager Tracy Fernie
Retail Assistants

Carol Haith
Sam Sims
Paul Waller

Doncaster Rovers Sports &
Education Foundation Manager
Eric Randerson
Doncaster Rovers Sports &
Education Foundation Officers

Richard Bailey
Wayne Galloway
Liam Scully
Jenna Cauwood [16]

Management Team

Role Name
Manager Dean Saunders
Assistant Manager Brian Carey
Director of Football Mickey Walker
Goalkeeping Coach Lee Butler
Fitness Coach Mal Purchase
Performance Analyst Paul Fernie
Academy Manager Paul Wilson
Academy Head Coach Paul Stancliffe
Club Doctors Dr. Ken Sykes
Dr. Tim Douglas
Chartered Physiotherapist John Dickens
Club Physiotherapists Craig Schofield
Oliver Freeman
Kit Manager Dave Richards


Current squad

As of 8 November 2011.[17]

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Scotland GK Neil Sullivan
2 England DF James O'Connor
3 England DF George Friend (captain)
4 Curaçao DF Shelton Martis
5 England DF Richard Naylor
6 England DF James Chambers
7 Scotland MF Martin Woods
8 Wales MF Brian Stock
9 England FW Chris Brown
10 England FW Billy Sharp
11 England DF Adam Lockwood
12 England FW James Hayter
13 England FW Ryan Mason (on loan from Tottenham Hotspur until 31 August 2012)
14 England DF Tommy Spurr
16 Wales MF John Oster
17 England MF Giles Barnes
No. Position Player
18 England MF Simon Gillett
19 Senegal FW El Hadji Diouf
21 England DF Sam Hird
23 England MF Kyle Bennett
24 England DF Mustapha Dumbuya
25 England MF James Baxendale
26 England MF James Coppinger
29 Algeria DF Rachid Bouhenna
30 Republic of Ireland MF Paul Keegan
31 Democratic Republic of the Congo DF Hérita Ilunga (on loan from West Ham until 3 January 2012)
33 England GK Gary Woods
34 England DF Eddie Wilding
37 England FW Jordan Ball
38 England GK Jonathan Maxted
39 France DF Pascal Chimbonda
TBA Nigeria GK Carl Ikeme (on loan from Wolves until 4 January 2012)

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.

No. Position Player
15 England MF Mark Wilson (at Walsall until 28 November 2011)
20 England DF Oscar Radford (at Matlock Town until 7 December 2011)
22 Northern Ireland MF Dean Shiels (at Kilmarnock until 16 January 2012)

Other teams

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.


Players signed to, and have played for Doncaster that have had full international caps during their careers. Those with a tick in the 'At Club' box gained caps during their time at Doncaster.

Name Country Capps Goals At Club
Terry Cooper England 20 0
Sam Cowan England 3 0
Brian Deane England 3 0
Kerry Dixon England 8 4
Colin Grainger England 7 0
Charlie Richards England 1 0
George Shaw England 1 0
Chris Kirkland England 1 0
Billy Bremner Scotland 54 3
Steve Nicol Scotland 27 0
Neil Sullivan Scotland 28 0
Brian Flynn Wales 66 7
Graham Moore Wales 21 1
John Oster Wales 13 0
Eddie Perry Wales 3 1 Green tickY
Gareth Roberts Wales 9 0
Neville Southall Wales 92 0
Neil Roberts Wales 4 0
Stephen Roberts Wales 1 0
Brian Stock Wales 3 0 Green tickY
Gareth Taylor Wales 15 1
Peter Doherty Ireland 16 3 Green tickY
Paddy McConnell Ireland 2 0 Green tickY
Christy Giles Ireland 1 0 Green tickY
Hugh Dowd Northern Ireland 3 0
Stuart Elliott Northern Ireland 36 4
Len Graham Northern Ireland 14 0 Green tickY
Harry Gregg Northern Ireland 25 0 Green tickY
Kevin Horlock Northern Ireland 32 0
Michael Ingham Northern Ireland 3 0
Jon McCarthy Northern Ireland 18 0
Eddie McMorran Northern Ireland 15 4 Green tickY
Name Country Capps Goals At Club
Alan Blayney Northern Ireland 4 0
Dean Shiels Northern Ireland 9 0 Green tickY
David Healy Northern Ireland 87 35
Jimmy Walker Northern Ireland 1 1 Green tickY
Gerry Daly Republic of Ireland 48 13
Paul Green Republic of Ireland 9 1
Alfie Hale Republic of Ireland 14 2
Kit Lawlor Republic of Ireland 3 0
Brendan O'Callaghan Republic of Ireland 6 5
John Sheridan Republic of Ireland 34 5
Darren Byfield Jamaica 6 1
Jamie Lawrence Jamaica 24 1
Darren Moore Jamaica 3 0
Mark McCammon Barbados 5 4 Green tickY
Jonathan Forte Barbados 2 0
Dave Mulligan New Zealand 28 3 Green tickY
Colin Walker New Zealand 15 10
Colin Miller Canada 61 5
Paul James Canada 47 2
Anthony Griffith Montserrat 2 0
Shelton Martis Netherlands Antilles 3 0
Guðmundur Torfason Iceland 26 4
Pascal Chimbonda Guadeloupe 3 0
France 1 0
Dean Walling Saint Kitts and Nevis 2 0
Warren Hackett Saint Lucia 21 2
Quinton Fortune South Africa 46 2
El Hadji Diouf Senegal 69 21
Hérita Ilunga Democratic Republic of the Congo 19 2

Noteable Former Players

The following is a list of noteable Doncaster Rovers players.

Main article: List of notable Doncaster Rovers players

Name Nation Position Year League
Keetley, TomTom Keetley England FW 1923–1929 231 180 241 186 Record Doncaster goalscorer (180 league goals between 1923 and 1929)
Emery, FredFred Emery England WH 1924–1936 417 30 439 32 Record Doncaster appearances
Manager of Doncaster 1936-1940
Jordan, ClarrieClarrie Jordan England FW 1945–1948 60 48 67 50 Most Doncaster league goals in one season (42 in 1946/47)
Williams, CharlieCharlie Williams England DF 1948–1959 158 1 174 1 Famous comedian
Doherty, PeterPeter Doherty Republic of Ireland IF 1949–1953 103 55 109 58 Ireland international whilst at Doncaster
Manager of Doncaster 1949-1958 (PM until 1953)
Graham, LenLen Graham Northern Ireland MF 1949–1958 312 3 332 3 Northern Ireland international whilst at Doncaster
Lawlor, KitKit Lawlor Republic of Ireland IF 1950–1954 127 47 143 49 Republic of Ireland international whilst at Doncaster
Gregg, HarryHarry Gregg Northern Ireland GK 1952–1957 94 0 99 0 Northern Ireland international whilst at Doncaster.
Hero of the Munich air disaster
Jeffrey, AlickAlick Jeffrey England FW 1954–1956, 1963–1968 262 129 293 140 Youngest Doncaster player (15 years 229 days v Fulham, 15 September 1954).
Bremner, BillyBilly Bremner Scotland MF 1979–1981 5 0 7 0 Manager of Doncaster 1979-1985, 1989–1991
Snodin, IanIan Snodin England MF 1980–1985, 1998–2000 190 25 216 27 Player-manager of Doncaster 1998-2000
Douglas, ColinColin Douglas England FW 1981–1986, 1988–1993 404 53 443 62 Forward in his first spell, fullback in his second
Cusack, DaveDave Cusack England DF 1985–1987, 1990 101 4 114 4 Manager of Doncaster 1985–1987
Penney, DaveDave Penney England MF 1998–2002 53 13 61 17 Player and manager of Doncaster between 2001 and 2006
Sharp, BillyBilly Sharp England FW 2009-Present 71 34 75 35 Record Transfer Fee: £1,150,000
Fortune, QuintonQuinton Fortune South Africa MF 2009-2010 6 0 6 0 Former Manchester United player
Former South Africa international
Chimbonda, PascalPascal Chimbonda France DF 2011-Present 5 0 5 0 Former Tottenham Hotspur player
France international
Diouf, El HadjiEl Hadji Diouf Senegal FW 2011-Present 2 2 2 2 Former Premiership star
Won African Footballer of the Year twice

Personnel Honours

Football League 100 Legends

The following have been included in the Football League 100 Legends whilst playing for Doncaster.

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.

Season Winner
1998–99 England Ian Duerden
1999–00 England Simon Marples
2000–01 Scotland Jamie Paterson
2001–02 Scotland Jamie Paterson
2002–03 England Paul Barnes
2003–04 England Gregg Blundell
2004–05 Scotland Michael McIndoe
2005–06 Scotland Michael McIndoe
2006–07 England Adam Lockwood / Graeme Lee
2007–08 England Richie Wellens
2008–09 England Matthew Mills
2009–10 England Billy Sharp
2010–11 England Billy Sharp

For notable Doncaster Rovers players in a sortable-list format, see List of notable Doncaster Rovers players
For all Doncaster Rovers players with a Wikipedia article, see Category:Doncaster Rovers F.C. players


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[18]. 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.


Under 18s Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Youth England GK Jon Maxted
Youth England GK Aaron Busby
Youth England DF James Husband
Youth Northern Ireland DF Evan Finnegan
Youth England DF Alex Peterson
Youth England MF Liam Wakefield
Youth England FW Jordan Ball
Youth England Brett Lucas
No. Position Player
Youth England Nathan Davison
Youth England Jake McCormick
Youth England Paddy Mullen
Youth England Harry Middleton
Youth England Jordan Binns
Youth England Joshua Meade
Youth England Chris Whinchop
Youth England Kreshnik Krasniqi


Role Name
Head of Youth Paul Wilson
Youth Team Coach Paul Stancliffe
Head of Technical Development Colin Walker
U16's Coach Shaun Mycroft
U16's Coach Mark Illman
U15's Coach Mick Tarmey
U15's Coach Don Mckinna
U14's Coach Paul Cavell
U14's Coach Sean O'Neill
U13's Coach Ollie Learoyd
U12's Coach Steve Makin
U12's Coach Ian Sutcliffe
U11's Coach Terry Curran
U11's Coach Jamie Irwin
U10's Coach Ian Scotting
U9's Coach Ricky Ravenhill
U9's Coach John Mcgrath
Goalkeeper Coach Mark Samways
Youth Physiotherapist Oliver Freeman


Noteable Youth Team Players

The following are noteable players that have played in Doncaster's youth team past or present.


Football League Trophy

English 3rd tier
Champions: 1934/1935, 1946/1947,1949/1950
Play-off winners: 2007/2008
Runner up: 1937-1938, 1938-1939

English 4th tier
Champions: 1965/1966, 1968/1969, 2003/2004
Promoted: 1980-1981
Runner up: 1983-1984

English 5th tier
Play-Off Winners: 2002/2003

Conference Cup
1998-1999, 1999-2000

Yorkshire Electricity Cup

Midland Football League
Champions: 1896-1897, 1898-1899

Sheffield and Hallamshire County Cup
1890/1891, 1911/1912, 1935-1936, 1937/1938, 1955/1956, 1967-1968, 1985-1986




  • Record League Goal-scorer: Tom Keetley, 180 league goals, between 1923 and 1929 [1]
  • Record Appearances: Fred Emery, 417 league matches [1]
  • Most Capps While at Rovers: Len Graham (14 caps for Northern Ireland)
  • Most Capped Player: Neville Southall (92 for Wales)
  • 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
  • Youngest Player: Alick Jeffrey (15 years, 229 days, 1954) [1]
  • Oldest Player: John Ryan (52 years and 11 months, 2003)
  • Record Transfer Fee: £1,150,000 to Sheffield United for Billy Sharp[22]
  • Record Fee Received: £2,000,000 from Reading for Matthew Mills[23]


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. [24] [25]


Doncaster Rovers main rivals are usually those of neighbouring football teams with Rotherham United considered by fans their main rival.[26] Others include Leeds United, Barnsley, Scunthorpe United, Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday, Hull City, York City and Grimsby Town. A rivalry of sorts has also arisen with Nottingham Forest who were promoted alongside Doncaster to the Championship in 2008 and spent most of the 2008–09 season battling against the Rovers to avoid relegation back to League One. During Doncaster's days in the Football Conference, rivalries also emerged with clubs such as Chester City, Boston United, Rushden and Diamonds and Yeovil Town.

In Popular Culture

Ricky Tomlinson's Mike Bassett is said to have played for Doncaster in 1975. This is affirmed by Mike's wife who states "I first met Mike in 1975, when he was with Crewe Alexandra, and he was at loan from Doncaster at the time so I remember thinking they might ask for him back, luckily Doncaster told Crewe they could keep him". Due to the following statement of Mike; "playing for 14 clubs, in 9 different positions, including goalie" (which is followed by a clip of Mike in net, and an atrociously bad back pass going past him).


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Doncaster Rovers History and Honours
  2. ^ a b c d Doncaster Rovers Historical Kits
  3. ^ "BBC Sport". 
  4. ^ "Rovers History". 
  5. ^ a b Doncaster 3–0 Huddersfield – BBC Sport
  6. ^ Doncaster 1–1 Man City (aet) – BBC Sport
  7. ^ Doncaster 3–0 Aston Villa – BBC Sport
  8. ^ Doncaster 2–2 Arsenal (aet) – BBC Sport
  9. ^ Bristol Rovers 2–3 Doncaster (aet) – BBC Sport
  10. ^ Doncaster 1–0 Leeds – BBC Sport
  11. ^ Derby 0–1 Doncaster – BBC Sport
  12. ^ "Doncaster Rovers Match Report – Doncaster Rovers 1 – Sheffield Wednesday 0". Doncaster Rovers Official Website. 2009-02-14.,,10329~44661,00.html. Retrieved 2009-07-10. "Time ran out for them and left the Rovers with their first-ever League win over the Wednesday." 
  13. ^ "Dean Saunders replaces Sean O'Driscoll at Doncaster". BBC. 2011-09-23. Retrieved 2011-09-23. 
  14. ^ Rovers league and cup history at FCHD
  15. ^ "Doncaster Rovers Football Club History". Retrieved 2009-09-11. 
  16. ^,,10329,00.html
  17. ^ Doncaster first team profiles
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^,,10329~1497414,00.html] Doncaster Rovers Facts & Figures
  22. ^ [1] - "Billy Sharp Signs in Club Rrecord Deal" - Doncaster Rovers Official Website
  23. ^ {{[2] "Mills Completes Reading Transfer" - BBC Sport}}
  24. ^ "Donny Dog Barred!" - Doncaster Rovers Official Website
  25. ^ "Doncaster Rovers sack mascot Donny Dog for posing in her underwear"‎ - Guardian
  26. ^ "Rivalry Uncovered". 

External links


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