League One Lowdown: Doncaster Rovers

Last updated : 20 July 2019 By Jim Bonner

Vital Statistics

Founded: 1879

Chairman: David Blunt

Last Season: League One - 6th

Nicknames: Donny, Rovers

Rivals: Rotherham United, Barnsley, Hull City, Leeds United

Major Honours


Scheduled Matches

Portsmouth vs Doncaster: Saturday, January 4th (3pm)

Doncaster vs Portsmouth: Saturday, October 5th (3pm)

Doncaster Rovers: A brief history

Doncaster Rovers were formed in 1879 and were elected to the Football League in 1901 when they finished in their highest ever position of 7th in Division Two. They would be voted out, in, then out of the league again soon after and by 1914 the club folded due to huge debts but would reform and continue to play in the Midlands League.

The new club were part of the Football League again in 1923 but the 1940's saw Doncaster achieve two football records. The first was for longest match against Stockport which went on for 203 minutes (cup ties played after extra time carried on until a goal was scored but neither team managed to find the net before it was called off due to darkness) and the second is for most wins in a league season, when they won 33 games in the 1946-1947 season.

The 1990's saw Rovers run into the ground by criminal Ken Richardson who was jailed for attempting to set fire to Belle Vue to claim the insurance money. The club were relegated in 1998 with a -83 goal difference but found new investment under John Ryan and won a double promotion between 2004-2006 to take the club to the third tier.

In 2008 they reached the Championship and yo-yo'ed between the second and third tiers of English football before their relegation to League Two two seasons ago. Rovers bounced straight back to League One but despite holding a 17 point lead over Pompey at one point, they missed out on the title on the final day having lost their last four games.

The Manager: Darren Moore

The 45-year-old centre back is best known for his playing days at West Bromwich Albion, making 104 appearances for the Baggies in five years and it was at Albion where he was given his first managerial job, taking over from Alan Pardew in 2018 but couldn't keep the club in the Premier League.

Moore was sacked the following season and appointed Doncaster manager in the summer of 2019 having played for the Yorkshire club early in his career. Pompey fans will remember his spell at Fratton Park from 1999-2001 and he has also played for Bradford, Derby, Barnsley and Burton having started his career at Torquay.

The Ground: The Keepmoat Stadium (Capacity: 15,200 - Away: 3,300)

After spending 84 years at Belle Vue, it was time for Doncaster to move into their new stadium built in the middle of nowhere, although it is the only football league ground situated next to a lake.

There was a unique place to drink nearby called The Toad Brewery which is situated in part of a nearby warehouse but unfortunately it has now been closed down, meaning its a fair walk to the nearest boozer.

The exterior of the Keepmoat Stadium is more interesting than the interior. The floodlight design is unique and the ground looks tidy as you'd expect.


Pompey fans are housed in the North Stand which looks just like the South Stand opposite. The concourse inside is a good size though which means less chance of being bundled pre-game and during half-time.


This is the rather plain looking East Stand.


And this is the also rather plain looking West Stand. Basically, the Keepmoat Stadium is a smaller scale version of St. Mary's and so isn't very spectacular at all.


This is a slightly-skewed photo of the Keepmoat when it is "full" before kick-off back when both Donny and Pompey were in the Championship. With so many empty seats, the atmosphere from the home fans can't be heard but the away end is very condusive to creating a loud noise.