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Donno Leaves Oakwell

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 22/11/2003

FORMER Mariner Kevin Donovan has left Barnsley by mutual consent after a disastrous spell with the Tykes. Since departing for Oakwell in the summer of 2001, Donovan has suffered relegation, a long-term knee injury, and finally the ultimate humiliation of being placed on the transfer list.

Donovan was a key member of the famous 1997-1998 squad which won the AWS trophy and the Division Two play-offs, scoring a remarkable 16 goals from midfield in the process, including the goal which saw Grimsby win promotion in the play-off final against Northampton.

The Yorkshireman was never able to recapture the form of that glorious season again at Blundell Park, and departed for Oakwell on a "Bosman", signing a lucrative contract with the Tykes, then in Division One and looking to return to the top flight.

Whether Town boss Paul Groves will be tempted to offer the 31-year-old a short-term contract at Blundell Park remains to be seen.

A remarkable number of Grimsby players over the years seem to be cursed when they move to supposedly bigger clubs, of which Donovan is a prime example, as is Grimsby's current top scorer Michael Boulding, who had a disastrous season at Villa Park in between his two spells with the Mariners.

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