ON THIS DAY: 1879: The birth of Doncaster Rovers – PICTURES
As Doncaster Rovers prepare to do battle in their latest League Two encounter with Cheltenham Town this weekend, the match will come almost 137 years to the day since the club first came into existence.
It was on August 19, 1879 that Doncaster Rovers officially arrived for the very first time – and of course, since then, the club and its supporters have gone through all sorts of momentous highs and lows, welcomed dozens of managers and hundreds of players through nearly 140 years of footballing action.
That historic meeting to form a club to represent the town took place at The Guild Hall on Frenchgate – where Marks and Spencer is now – and the decision was taken to call the new team the Doncaster Association Football Club.
Officials were elected, young male players offered to take to the field – which was at a site on Bennetthorpe – but it was a teenage railway fitter who officially gave the town the club the moniker it enjoys today.
Albert Jenkins, 18, who worked at the Plant, cobbled together a team to play against The Yorkshire Institute for the Deaf and Dumb which stood – and indeed remains to this day – opposite Doncaster Racecourse.
After coming from 4-0 down to earn a 4-4 draw in that first game in 1879, the players walked back into town, discussing their efforts.
As they paused at the Hall Cross for a breather, the band of young men mused on a name for their new club – and Doncaster Rovers was born.
The first match under the name came a little later, on October 3, 1879 when they visited Rawmarsh and fought out another draw.
Since then, players and supporters have come and gone, trophies have been won and lost, promotions celebrated and relegations suffered along with countless other twists and turns.
So when Darren Ferguson’s step out this Saturday, they will follow in the footsteps of 137 years of history.
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