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Welcome Back Donny!

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 25/06/2003

DONCASTER Rovers away at Belle Vue. Not the finest ground in the country but it tells a story of survival for a club about the same size as ours. A history of being ripped off, nearly bankrupted twice in as many years and looking to fold almost every other season.

In the hands of crooks, shysters and ne'er do wells Doncaster Rovers was destined for the scrap heap. But it survived amid stories of directors trying to burn down the stadium, the club books disappearing into the night and eventually someone taking over at the last minute.

But it struggled, down the divisions and into the Conference league, the no mans land for once successful clubs where it languished for five years.

But the small core of fans and supporters never gave up and despite their many troubles, they have stood by the club and, last season, saw their club begin the long trail back, with promotion to the third division via the play off final.

Their fans have suffered long and hard over the past years and they still have a long way to go but Doncaster Rovers are survivors and it is pleasing to see them back in the league.

Soon they will meet the Mariners in a 'local derby' courtesy of the Carling Cup, the first meeting for 13 years, and if anyone thinks this will be an easy game, they are mistaken. Doncaster Rovers are a 'hungry team' and will be looking to impress. They have a lot at stake this season and these Yorkshire folk do not give up easily.

I hope too that when the Mariners fans make the short journey to Doncaster, they remember the battle for survival that Doncaster have had and show a little respect.

For what happened there could so easily have happened to us. Had it been the case, I wonder if we would have had the same fortitude and patience as the Donny fans have shown while they have been fighting their way back.

I hope the Mariners win the game because I am a Grimsby fan. But Doncaster Rovers are one 'Yorkie' team I admire and respect. They represent what is best in football. A small club, little cash but big hearts and the commitment of their fans, which has brought them back from the brink!

I wish them well!

If you are available to play in the Fishy team in a one day comp at Blackpool in August, Click here to submit your name!

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