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140 Years of History

1879

September - Albert Jenkins, a fitter at Doncaster’s LNER Engineering works, “The Plant,” gets up a team to play the Deaf and Dumb Institute. The game ends up a 4-4 draw and Jenkins and his team-mates decide to form a football club called Doncaster Rovers.

3rd October - Doncaster Rovers play their first match, a friendly at Rawmarsh. The game ends in a 0-0 draw.

 

1882

14th July - First recorded Annual General Meeting of Doncaster Rovers FC. Albert Jenkins elected captain and secretary.

 

1885

Rovers obtain their first permanent home which became known as the Intake Ground. Also, they entered their first Cup competition, the Sheffield & Hallamshire FA Minor Cup.

 

1886

Rovers enter the Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Challenge Cup for the first time.

 

1888

6th October - Rovers play their first FA Cup Tie, a first round qualifying match at home to Rotherham Town. Rovers exit the competition after a 1-9 defeat.

 

1890

June - Rovers join their first league competition, the Midland Alliance League.

 

1891

21st March - Rovers win their first silverware, defeating Sheffield United 2-1 in the Final of the Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Challenge Cup at Bramall Lane. George James and Tom Kisbey scored the goals for Rovers who had gone a goal down early on.

6th June - Rovers elected to membership of the Midland Counties League.

 

1897

27th April - A 2-2 draw away at Glossop North End means that Rovers secure their first League Championship, the Midland League for 1896-97.

 

1899

29th April - Rovers beat Rushden 6-0 at the Intake Ground to secure the Midland League title for the second time in three years.

 

1901

4th September - Rovers invited to take the place of New Brighton Tower, who had gone out of business, in the Second Division of the Football League.

7th September - Rovers play their first Football League game, at home to Burslem Port Vale. The match ended in a 3-3 draw, with Len Goodson scoring Rovers’ first Football League goal early in the second half.

 

1902

April - Rovers finished 7th in their first season in Division Two, their highest ever finish in the Football League.

 

1903

25th May - Rovers not re-elected to the Football League after finishing 16th in Division Two. Bradford City took their place.

 

1904

May - After a season back in the Midland League, Rovers elected back into the Football League for 1904-05.

1st July - Formation of a Limited Company, Doncaster Rovers Football & Athletic Club Ltd. Share capital was £1,000 with 2,000 ordinary shares.

 

1905

May - After finishing bottom of Division Two with only eight points, Rovers were not re-elected into the Football League and returned to the Midland League.

 

1912

16th March - Rovers beat Sheffield United Reserves 3-0 at Wath-on-Dearne to win the Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Challenge Cup for the second time. Pav Reed (2) and James Taylor scored the goals.

 

1914

3rd November - A new company- Doncaster Rovers Ltd., formed to take over the assets and liabilities of the previous company. Nominal capital was £500.

 

1916

Following the suspension of the Midland League and the short-lived Midland Combination, Rovers ceased activities for the duration of World War One.

 

1920

30th April - At a meeting at the Cleveland Café it was resolved to revive the Doncaster Rovers club.

12th June - Rovers elected to the Midland League for season 1920-21.

25th June - A new company was formed to replace the old 1914 limited company. Doncaster Rovers Football Club (1920) Ltd. had share capital of £10,000.

28th August - Rovers played their first competitive match since 1916, a Midland League fixture against Rotherham Town at Bennetthorpe. Rovers lost 1-2.

 

1921

7th June - Doncaster Corporation granted Rovers a lease on the Low Pastures opposite the racecourse. This was to be the site of Rovers’ new permanent home.

 

1922

26th August - The first competitive match was played at Rovers’ new ground, named Belle Vue. In front of a crowd of 10,000, Rovers beat Gainsborough Trinity 1-0 in a Midland League game.

 

1923

May - Rovers elected to one of the two additional places in Division Three (North) of the Football League.

25th August - Rovers played their first match in the Football League since 1905, when they faced Wigan Borough at Belle Vue. In front of a crowd of 10,923, the match finished 0-0.

 

1924

May - Tom Keetley becomes the first player to score 20 League goals in a season. He finished the 1923-24 season with 21 goals. Rovers finished 9th out of 22 clubs in their first season in Division Three (North).

 

1926

23rd January - Rovers scored eight goals for the first time in a Football League match, beating Coventry City 8-1 at Belle Vue. Tom Keetley scored three goals, his brother Harold scored two, with Fred Emery, Billy Boardman and Paddy McConnell scoring the others.

 

1927

19th November - Rovers went top of Division Three (North) for the first time after beating Bradford Park Avenue 2-0 away from home. This was Rovers’ 9th win in succession. Rovers finished the 1927-28 season in fourth place, their highest placing since returning to the League.

 

1929

16th February - Tom Keetley scored six goals in a 7-4 victory over Ashington at Portland Park. This remains the highest number of goals scored by an individual player in a match. It also remains Rovers’ highest score in an away game.

April - Tom Keetley finished the season on 40 League goals, 41 in all matches. This was then a club record. Keetley moved on at the end of the season to Notts. County.

 

1930

For the 1930-31 season, Rovers wore red and white hooped shirts for the first time. Previously the shirts had featured red and white vertical stripes.

 

1935

19th April - A then record Belle Vue crowd of 27,554 saw Rovers lose 3-5 to Rotherham United.

27th April - Rovers clinched the Division Three (North) Championship with a 2-1 home win over Wrexham. This was Rovers’ first divisional title within the Football League.

December - Rovers played continental opposition for the first time with a home friendly against FC Austria of Vienna. The Austrians won the match, played on a Monday afternoon, 2-1.

 

1936

4th May - Rovers won the Sheffield County Cup for the first time, beating Sheffield United 2-1 at Belle Vue with two goals from Reg Baines.

October 21st - Rovers travelled to Rotterdam to play the Dutch National Team in a friendly, the first time Rovers had travelled abroad for a match. The Dutch side won 7-2, although several Rovers players were affected by seasickness after a rough crossing of the North Sea.

 

1937

May - Rovers were relegated to Division Three (North) after two seasons in Division Two.

 

1938

14th May - Rovers won the Sheffield County Cup for a second time when they won 1-0 against Barnsley in a Final played at Belle Vue. Mick Killourhy scored the only goal.

 

1939

21st January - Rovers played a First Division team for the first time in the FA Cup when they were drawn to play Everton away in the Fourth Round. Unfortunately, Rovers lost the game 0-8, their heaviest defeat in the FA Cup competition proper.

2nd September - Rovers played their final match before the outbreak of World War Two, going down 2-4 to New Brighton.

 

1946

30th March - A Football League Division Three (North) War Cup match between Stockport County and Rovers at Edgeley Park was abandoned after 203 minutes. The game was supposed to be played to a finish but was stopped with many players suffering from fatigue and cramp. This is believed to be the longest football match ever played.

31st August - Rovers resume League football after World War Two with a 2-1 home victory over Rochdale.

 

1947

25th January - Rovers record their record victory to date, beating Carlisle United 9-2 at Belle Vue. Clarrie Jordan scored a hat-trick in the victory.

4th April - Rovers beat Oldham Athletic 4-2 in front of a Good Friday crowd of 25,366 at Belle Vue. This was Rovers 10th League victory in succession, which remains a club record.

24th May - Rovers beat Bradford City 1-0 at Valley Parade to secure the Division Three (North) Championship with a game to spare. Ralph Maddison scored the only goal of the game.

7th June - The longest ever Football League season ends for Rovers with a 0-0 draw at home to York City. Rovers finished the season on 72 points, then a League record. Their 123 goals remain a club record as does the 42 League goals scored by Clarrie Jordan.

 

1948

17th April - Rovers’ relegation from Division Two confirmed following a 2-2 draw at Plymouth Argyle. Rovers were back in Division Three (North) after only one season.

2nd October - A record crowd of 37,099 at Belle Vue for the visit of Division Three (North) leaders and eventual Champions Hull City. The match ended 0-0.

 

1949

18th May - Northern Ireland international Peter Doherty replaced Jackie Bestall as manager. Doherty had been signed from Huddersfield Town for £8,000 and would continue as a player as well as being manager.

 

1950

19th April - Rovers, in their first season under player-manager Peter Doherty were confirmed as Champions of Division Three (North) following a 2-0 win over Crewe Alexandra.

7th October - In front of a crowd of 32,937 at Belle Vue, Rovers come from three goals down at half-time to beat the then Division Two leader Manchester City 4-3. Ray Harrison, Kit Lawlor and Peter Doherty (2) scored the goals.

 

1952

23rd February - Rovers played in the Fifth Round of the FA Cup for the first time in their history. Following wins over Buxton and Middlesbrough they travelled to meet First Division Portsmouth at Fratton Park. The home side won the tie 4-0.

 

1953

10th September - Rovers win 4-1 at Brentford to complete their sixth win from the first seven games of the League season. This put Rovers top of Division Two for the first time, although eventually they finished 12th.


1954

15th September - Alick Jeffrey, aged 15 years and 229 days, becomes the youngest player to make his senior debut when he plays in Rovers’ 4-0 home victory over Fulham.

 

1955

15th February - Rovers and First Division Aston Villa met for the fifth time in the space of 18 days in the FA Cup Fourth Round. After four drawn games, the Fourth Replay, played at the Hawthorns, West Bromwich, was won 3-1 by Rovers. Alick Jeffrey (2) and Geoff Walker scored the goals.

19th February - Rovers lost 1-2 to Birmingham City at St. Andrew’s in the Fifth Round of the FA Cup. This was their third appearance at this stage of the competition.

 

1956

18th February - Rovers played in the Fifth Round of the FA Cup for the fourth time, also their last appearance at this stage until 2018-19. After wins over Nottingham Forest and Bristol Rovers, Rovers hosted First Division Tottenham Hotspur in front of a crowd of 30,436. Spurs won the game 2-0.

10th May - Rovers beat Sheffield United 4-0 at Belle Vue to win the Sheffield County Cup. Ron Walker (2), Johnny Mooney and Alick Jeffrey scored the goals.

26th September - Alick Jeffrey becomes the first Rovers player to win an Under-23 international cap, playing in a 3-0 win over Denmark in Copenhagen.

17th October - On his second Under-23 appearance for England, against France at Ashton Gate, Bristol, Alick Jeffrey sustains a broken leg. The injury eventually forced him to retire from the game. At the time, Jeffrey had scored 15 goals in 13 Division Two appearances for Rovers in 1956-57 season.

 

1957

December - Goalkeeper Harry Gregg is transferred to Manchester United for a fee of £25,000. At the time this was a world record fee for a goalkeeper.

 

1958

20th January - Peter Doherty resigns as Rovers manager to take up a similar position with Bristol City. Doherty had been at loggerheads with the Rovers’ directors for some time and decided to move on.

26th April - Rovers end their stay in Division Two with a 1-1 home draw against Ipswich Town. They finished bottom of the table and were relegated to the new, non-regionalised Division Three. Rovers would not return to the Second Tier for 50 years.

 

1959

April - Rovers’ relegation from Division Three to Division Four after only one season is confirmed.

 

1960

18th October - Rovers play their first match in the new Football League Cup competition, beating Stoke City 3-1 at Belle Vue. In the next round Rovers lost 0-7 to First Division Chelsea.

 

1962

June -  Rovers forced to apply for re-election to the Football League after finishing 21st in Division Four. They were duly re-elected along with Hartlepools United and Chester.

 

1963

28th December - 24-year-old Alick Jeffrey resumes his Rovers career after overcoming his broken leg. He had played for Skegness Town and then in Sydney, Australia. His return drew a crowd of 11,719 to Belle Vue, who saw Rovers beat Southport 3-0 via a hat-trick from leading scorer Colin Booth.

 

1964

25th January - Rovers record their record League victory, beating Darlington 10-0 at Belle Vue. Alfie Hale scores four goals, while Colin Booth (2), Keith Ripley (2), Dennis Windross and Albert Broadbent complete the scoring.

 

1965

27th April - Alick Jeffrey scores his 36th League goal of the season in a 1-0 home win over Tranmere Rovers, making him the top scorer in England for the 1964-65 season.

24th August - Rovers use their new floodlights for the first time in a 4-0 evening win over Hartlepools United. New signing Laurie Sheffield scores his third goal in two games.

28th August - Keith Ripley becomes Rovers’ first ever substitute, replacing the injured Laurie Sheffield in a 1-2 defeat at Southport.

 

1966

10th February - Rovers manager Bill Leivers left the club by mutual consent. Leivers later stated that he was frustrated by members of the board questioning his tactics and team selections. Chief Scout Jackie Bestall and Trainer Frank Marshall were placed in charge of the team.

3rd May - Rovers beat Barnsley 2-1 at home to maintain their lead of the Division Four table. Laurie Sheffield and Alick Jeffrey scored their 28th and 22nd League goals respectively.

18th May - A 1-1 draw at Bradford City confirms Rovers’ position as Division Four Champions, their first divisional title since 1950. This was achieved despite the loss of manager Bill Leivers in February.

4th September - Rovers club captain John Nicholson dies in hospital having been seriously injured in a car crash near Warmsworth three days earlier. Alick Jeffrey, who was a passenger in the car, was also injured and was unable to play again until December.

 

1967

May - Rovers relegated from Division Three after only one season. They conceded 117 goals, a club record.

 

1968

February - A five-player transfer deal is concluded between Rovers and Rotherham United. Harold Wilcockson, Colin Clish and Chris Rabjohn join Rovers with Dennis Leigh and Graham Watson going in the other direction.

29th October - Rovers win the 1967-68 Sheffield County Cup Final, beating Barnsley 1-0 at Belle Vue with a goal from Roger Barrett.

 

1969

12th April - Rovers win 1-0 at Peterborough United, their 20th unbeaten League match in succession. They had not lost in the League since Boxing Day. This remains Rovers’ longest unbeaten run.

5th May - Rovers win 3-1 away at Grimsby Town to secure the Division Four championship for the second time in three years. Steve Briggs, Graham Watson and skipper Stuart Robertson scored the goals.

 

1971

May - Rovers relegated from Division Three after two seasons. They would spend the rest of the decade in Division Four.

 

1974

January -  Rovers hold Football League champions Liverpool to a 2-2 draw at Anfield in the Third Round of the FA Cup. Peter Kitchen and Brendan O’Callaghan score for Rovers. The replay, three days later, had to be played in the afternoon due to restrictions on the use of floodlights. Despite this, a crowd of 22,499 packed into Belle Vue to see Liverpool win 2-0.

 

1975

21st March - Rovers beat Swansea City 3-2 at Belle Vue to record their seventh win in eight games under new manager Stan Anderson.

15th September - Chris Balderstone becomes the only man to play in a first-class cricket match and a Football League match on the same day. After playing for Leicestershire against Derbyshire at Chesterfield he turned out in the evening for Rovers against Brentford at Belle Vue. The match ended in a 1-1 draw.

11th November - Rovers beat Hull City 2-1 at Belle Vue to reach the Quarter-Finals of the League Cup for the first time. Peter Kitchen and Ray Ternent scored in a match watched by a crowd of 25,702.

3rd December - Rovers are defeated 7-2 in the Quarter-Final of the League Cup by Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.

 

1976

7th May - Rovers win the Sheffield County Cup, beating Sheffield United 2-1 in the Final at Bramall Lane. Peter Kitchen scored both goals for Rovers.

 

24th August - Rovers win their first ever penalty shoot-out, beating Lincoln City 3-2 on penalties after a drawn League Cup replay at the City Ground, Nottingham. Both legs of the original tie had finished 1-1.

 

1977

30th April - Peter Kitchen scores his 23rd League goal of the season in a 2-1 win over Crewe Alexandra. It was to be his final game for the club as he moved on to Leyton Orient during the summer.

 

1978

27th November - Rovers appoint the former Leeds United and Scotland captain Billy Bremner as manager to succeed the departing Stan Anderson.

 

1979

4th October - Rovers assistant manager, Les Cocker, collapses and dies of a heart attack after a training session. Cocker had worked closely with Billy Bremner at Leeds United.

 

26th October - Billy Bremner’s team complete a sixth League win in succession beating Portsmouth 2-0 at Belle Vue in front of a crowd of 9,801.

 

1981

2nd May - Rovers clinch promotion from Division Four with a game to spare, beating AFC Bournemouth 2-1 at Belle Vue. The match was watched by a crowd of 11,373. Alan Warboys and Ian Nimmo scored the Rovers goals.

 

29th September - Rovers beat Preston North End 1-0 at Belle Vue to go top of Division Three. After a disappointing second half of the season they finished 19th.

 

1982

25th September - One of the most remarkable games ever played at Belle Vue. Rovers beat Reading 7-5 in a Division Three match. Future Rovers player-manager Kerry Dixon scored four goals for Reading but finished on the losing side. Ian Snodin scored a hat-trick for Rovers.

 

1983

May - Rovers are relegated to Division Four after two seasons in the third tier.

 

1984

22nd February - Rovers play their first match in the new Associate Members Cup, which later became known as the Football League Trophy. They beat Lincoln City 2-0 at Sincil Bank with goals from David Harle and Neil Woods.

 

1984

6th March - Rovers beat Bristol City 1-0 at Belle Vue, their 15th unbeaten game in a row.

7th May - Goals from Ian Snodin and Ernie Moss help Rovers to defeat Stockport County 2-0 at Edgeley Park. This result seals Rovers promotion from Division Four with two games remaining. They finished as runners-up to York City.

 

1985

5th January - Third Division Rovers beat First Division QPR 1-0 in a Third Round FA Cup tie. David Harle scores the only goal of the game ten minutes from time. The crowd at Belle Vue was 10,583.

26th January - Rovers bow out of the FA Cup in the Fourth Round at the eventual League Champions Everton. Rovers lost 0-2 at Goodison Park in front of a crowd of 37,537.

21st October - Manager Billy Bremner resigns to return to his former club, Leeds United, as manager. Club captain Dave Cusack takes over as manager.

 

1988

April/ May - Rovers’ Youth Team, managed by Steve Beaglehole, reach the Final of the FA Youth Cup, having beaten Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur along the way. Rovers faced Arsenal in the Final, losing 0-5 at Belle Vue in the first leg. They drew 1-1 at Highbury in the second leg, losing 1-6 overall.

April - Rovers are relegated to Division Four after four seasons in the third tier.

 

1989

30th June - A new consortium led by Peter Wetzel and including John Ryan took over the club, re-appointing Billy Bremner as manager.

 

1990

12th March - Rovers lose 0-2 away to Tranmere Rovers in the first leg of the Football League Trophy area final. They drew 1-1 in the second leg the following month and so missed out on a possible first ever trip to Wembley.

26th December - Rovers beat Maidstone United 3-0 at Belle Vue to go top of Division Four. Unfortunately, their form fell away in the second half of the season and they finished 11th.

 

1991

2nd November - After a poor start to the season, manager Billy Bremner resigns. His assistant, Steve Beaglehole, takes over as manager.

 

1992

31st March - Damage to a floodlight pylon meant that Rovers’ home game against Barnet had to be played at 2pm on a Tuesday afternoon. A crowd of only 1,247 saw Rovers win 1-0 with a goal from Mike Jeffrey.

 

1993

10th March - Rovers announced that Isle of Man based company Dinard Trading Ltd. had acquired a 52% controlling interest in the club. Their representative would be Ken Richardson, a businessman and former president of Bridlington Town.

 

1994

2nd January - Manager Steve Beaglehole dismissed after a poor run of results. He was eventually replaced by Ian Atkins, who also registered himself as a player and made seven appearances.

30th June - Ian Atkins is sacked, reportedly because he refused to move from his home in Solihull. The former Wolves boss Sammy Chung was his replacement.

 

1995

28th June - A fire caused serious damage to the Main Stand at Belle Vue. The police soon arrested two people after a mobile phone was found at the scene. Both people were charged with arson.

 

1996

25th March - Ken Richardson arrested by police in connection with the fire at Belle Vue in June 1995. Subsequently he was charged with conspiracy to commit arson.

17th August - Manager Sammy Chung and his assistant George Foster were sacked when they turned up to take charge of Rovers’ opening League game at home to Carlisle United. Former Chelsea and England forward Kerry Dixon was appointed player-manager.

October - General Manager Mark Weaver announced plans to start building a new stand at the Town End of the ground. However, Rovers were unable to obtain the necessary funding.

 

1997

February - At a supporters’ meeting at the Park Hotel, Kerry Dixon revealed that he was not picking the team and he was merely advising Ken Richardson over selection.

26th April - Rovers lost 0-1 to bottom club Brighton & Hove Albion in the final game played at Brighton’s Goldstone Ground. However, other results meant that Rovers were safe from relegation from the Football League.

June - Rovers were placed into Administration after a High Court hearing into a winding-up order. The Administrators revealed that the club had debts of £3.9 million.

21st August - Kerry Dixon resigned after disagreements with Ken Richardson. Colin Richardson, no relation to Ken, was appointed caretaker-manager, although Ken Richardson selected the team.

2nd December - After failing to win any of the first 20 League matches of the season, Rovers beat Chester City 2-1 at Belle Vue in front of the lowest attendance ever for a home League game, 864. Mark Weaver had now taken over as team manager, with Danny Bergara coaching the players.

 

1998

11th April - Rovers lost 1-2 at the Deva Stadium against Chester City, and other results meant that Rovers would be relegated from the Football League after 65 years of membership.

2nd May - Rovers’ final League game of the season, at home to Colchester United, was marked by fan protests and pitch invasions. Colchester won the game 1-0, but the result had little meaning for Rovers fans who feared they might have seen the club’s final ever game.

3rd June - It was announced that an Irish consortium had bought the club, although the deal could not be completed until the club came out of Administration. Subsequently it was agreed that the takeover would go ahead on 1st August.

22nd July - The Irish consortium, now identified as Westferry, appointed former player Ian Snodin as player-manager and former Oldham Athletic player Ian McMahon as CEO.

1st August - The takeover was completed, and all Dinard Trading and Ken Richardson’s shares were transferred to Westferry.

15th August - Rovers opened their Football Conference career with an away match at Dover Athletic. Despite an encouraging display by a scratch side, Rovers went down to a 0-1 defeat.

August - Confirmation received that Mr. Aidan Phelan of Westferry owned 96.6% of shares in Doncaster Rovers. Former director John Ryan was appointed as Chairman.

14th November - Despite struggling in the league, Rovers recorded a notable success in the First Round proper of the FA Cup, winning 1-0 away at Third Division Southend United. Dave Penney scored the only goal of the game.

19th December - A remarkable match at Belle Vue sees Rovers come from 0-3 and then 3-4 behind to beat Dover Athletic 5-4. Glenn Kirkwood (2), Dave Penney, Dino Maamria and an own goal were the scorers.

 

1999

January - Ken Richardson is found guilty of conspiracy to commit arson at Sheffield Crown Court. He is sentenced to four years imprisonment. In the same week a late Ian Duerden goal gives Rovers a 1-0 away victory at league leaders Kettering Town.

3rd May - In front of a crowd of 7,160, Belle Vue’s largest attendance for many years, Rovers beat Farnborough Town 3-0 to complete a 4-0 aggregate victory in the final of the Endsleigh Trophy, the Conference’s League Cup. Colin Sutherland and Ian Duerden (2) score the goals.

May - John Ryan announced that he and Peter Wetzel had agreed a deal with Westferry to take over the football club.

 

2000

20th April - With Rovers struggling near the foot of the Conference table manager Ian Snodin and his assistant, his brother Glynn, were sacked. Caretaker-managers Mark Atkins and Dave Penney steered the side to safety.

3rd May - Former player Steve Wignall was appointed the new manager.

22nd November - Club President and legend Alick Jeffrey died while on holiday in Benidorm aged 61.

 

2001

May - Rovers beat Emley 2-1 at Hillsborough to win the Sheffield & Hallamshire Senior Challenge Cup for the first time since 1912.

November - John Ryan stepped down as Chairman and publicly criticised the Council for not doing more to secure a new ground for Rovers. Subsequently his replacement as Chairman, Trevor Milton, met with the Council who agreed to fund a feasibility study for a potential new stadium in the Lakeside area.

 

2002

10th January - Manager Steve Wignall was dismissed as part of a cost-cutting exercise with his assistant, Dave Penney, being placed in charge of team affairs.

March - Dave Penney confirmed as manager, with coach Mickey Walker as his assistant. Additionally, the FA and Football League reached agreement that two clubs would be promoted from the Conference from 2002-03, the second place being decided by play-offs.

 

2003

26th April - With Rovers’ play-off place confirmed, owner John Ryan becomes the oldest player to make a senior appearance for the club, coming on as a late substitute in Rovers’ 4-2 win away at Hereford United. He was 52 years, 361 days old at the time.

1st May - A late equaliser by Tristram Whitman gives Rovers a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the Conference Play-Off semi-final at home to Chester City.

5th May - After another 1-1 draw in the second leg at the Deva Stadium, Rovers beat Chester City 4-3 on penalties to earn a place in the Promotion Final at Stoke.

10th May - Francis Tierney scores a dramatic golden goal in extra-time to give Rovers a 3-2 victory over Dagenham & Redbridge at Stoke. Rovers led 2-0 via goals from Dave Morley and Paul Green but were pegged back to 2-2 at the end of normal time. After 110 minutes Tierney turned in Paul Barnes’s cross to send Rovers back into the Football League after a five-year absence.

9th August - Rovers win 3-1 at Leyton Orient in their first match back in the Football League. Gregg Blundell and Leo Fortune-West (2) score the goals.

29th October - Doncaster Council’s Cabinet Ratification Committee gave unanimous approval for the new community stadium to go ahead, with a planned opening date of the 2005-06 season.

26th December - Rovers beat Scunthorpe United 1-0 at Belle Vue to secure their 11th win in 12 League matches and confirm their place at the top of Division Three.

 

2004

12th April - In front of a crowd of 9,510, Rovers beat Cambridge United 2-0 at Belle Vue to confirm their promotion from Division Three. Bayo Akinfenwa and Paul Green scored the goals.

1st May - A 0-0 draw away at Boston United confirmed that Rovers were champions of Division Three, their first divisional title since 1968-69.

 

2005

21st September - Roves beat Premier League Manchester City 3-0 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in the Second Round of the League Cup.

29th November - Another memorable League Cup night as Rovers demolish Aston Villa of the Premier League 3-0. In front of a crowd of 10,590 goals from Michael McIndoe, Paul Heffernan and Sean Thornton secure a 3-0 win that sends Rovers into the quarter-finals for only the second time.

21st December - Rovers go out of the League Cup in heart-breaking fashion. Having led Arsenal twice via goals from Michael McIndoe and Paul Green, they concede an equaliser with the last kick of extra time. Arsenal subsequently won the penalty shoot-out 3-1.

 

2006

6th May - Despite a strong finish to the season, in which they won their last four games, Rovers just miss out on the League One play-offs, finishing 8th.

30th August - Manager Dave Penney left the club by mutual consent after almost five years in the job.

8th September - Rovers appointed AFC Bournemouth manager Sean O’Driscoll as manager, with Richard O’Kelly as his assistant.

November - Terry Bramall and Dick Watson, major shareholders of Keepmoat PLC, joined the Rovers’ Board. Keepmoat won the naming rights for the new community stadium, which was scheduled to open in January 2007.

23rd December - Rovers played their final League game at Belle Vue, a crowd of 8,923 witnessing a 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest. Theo Streete scored the final goal at the ground which had been Rovers’ home for 84 years.

 

2007

1st January - Rovers open their career at the new Keepmoat Stadium with a 3-0 win over Huddersfield Town. Mark McCammon scored the first goal at the new venue after 9 minutes and Jonathan Forte and Paul Heffernan also scored in a match which saw three players sent off.

12th February - A dramatic night at the Keepmoat as Rovers came from two goals behind to beat Crewe Alexandra 3-2 in the second leg of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Area Final. The teams had been level 3-3 from the first leg at Crewe. Paul Heffernan scored twice and then J. J. Price scored the goal that sent Rovers into their first Football League competition final.

1st April - Rovers beat Bristol Rovers 3-2 after extra time to win the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy (otherwise the Football League Trophy) at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. Rovers led 2-0 early on with goals from Jonathan Forte and Paul Heffernan before being pulled back to 2-2. In the 109th minute skipper Graeme Lee scored the winner, heading in from a corner.

July - AFC Bournemouth striker James Hayter signed for Rovers for a then club record fee of £200,000.

29th December - A third successive home win meant Rovers went into the New Year in 4th place in League One.

 

2008

1st April - A crowd of 15,001, a record for the Keepmoat Stadium, saw Rovers lose 0-1 to play-off rivals Leeds United.

3rd May - Rovers miss out on the chance to secure automatic promotion from League One when they lose 1-2 at relegation-threatened Cheltenham Town. Rovers finish in third place, two points behind runners-up Nottingham Forest.

16th May - Rovers beat Southend United 5-1 in the second leg of the play-off semi-final to reach Wembley for the first time ever. The tie started 0-0 after the first leg and Rovers took a 2-0 lead via a Brian Stock penalty and an own goal. Then James Coppinger struck a magnificent hat-trick to seal the victory.

25th May - Rovers returned to the second tier of League football after beating Leeds United in the Play-off Final at Wembley. The only goal came when James Hayter headed in Brian Stock’s corner three minutes into the second half.

July - Central defender Matt Mills, who had spent most of the 2007-08 season on loan from Manchester City, signed for a club record fee of £300,000.

9th August - Rovers win their first game in the second tier in 50 years when they beat Derby County 1-0 at Pride Park. Lewis Guy scores the only goal of the game.

 

2009

18th April - A 3-0 away win at Plymouth Argyle secures Rovers’ position in the Championship for a second season.

August - Matt Mills transferred to Reading for a fee amounting to around £2,000,000, the record fee received by Rovers.

 

2010

July - Striker Billy Sharp signs for Rovers from Sheffield United for a fee of £1,150,000. This is the only time Rovers have paid over £1 million for a player.

13th November - A 3-2 win at Portsmouth puts Rovers into 7th place in the Championship, just outside the play-off places. However, they fell away in the second half of the season and only just avoided relegation.

 

2011

23rd September - After taking only one point from the first seven games of the season, Rovers part company with manager Sean O’Driscoll and assistant Richard O’Kelly. Dean Saunders, the manager of Wrexham, is appointed as his replacement.

October - Rovers sign former Liverpool striker El-Hadji Diouf, one of several players brought in by agent Willie McKay as part of what became known as “The Experiment.”

 

2012

14th April - A controversial 3-4 home defeat by Portsmouth sees Rovers’ relegation from the Championship confirmed after four seasons.

27th November - A David Cotterill goal gives Rovers a 1-0 win at home to Oldham Athletic, their fourth win in succession, and puts them into second place in League One.

 

2013

7th January - Manager Dean Saunders leaves the club to become manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers. Brian Flynn, assisted by club captain Rob Jones, is placed in charge for the rest of the season.

27th April - Perhaps the most dramatic finish to a League season ever. Rovers went into their final match of the season needing a point to secure promotion as runners-up. Opponents Brentford would leap-frog Rovers with a win. In stoppage time, Brentford were awarded a penalty, but taker Marcello Trotta’s effort hit the bar. The ball was cleared upfield and Billy Paynter found James Coppinger who scored. The win and other results meant that Rovers ended the season as Champions of League One.

20th May - The former Manchester City player and Oldham Athletic manager Paul Dickov was appointed manager of Rovers as they prepared for life back in the Championship.

9th November - Following the failure of a takeover bid, John Ryan steps down as Rovers chairman on the day that Rovers earn a 0-0 draw at Barnsley.

 

2014

3rd May) - Rovers lose 0-1 at Leicester City and other results mean they are relegated back to League One after only one season.

 

2015

8th September - Following a poor start to the season, manager Paul Dickov is sacked. Player-coach Rob Jones is placed in temporary charge of team affairs.

16th October - Rovers appoint former Peterborough United and Preston North End manager Darren Ferguson as their new boss.

7th November - James Coppinger makes his 469th senior appearance for Rovers in the FA Cup 1st Round win over Stalybridge Celtic. This meant he replaced Colin Douglas as the player who had made the most senior appearances for the club.

8th May - Rovers are relegated to League Two after finishing 22nd in League One.

 

2016

1st April - John Marquis becomes the first Rovers’ player to score a Football League hat-trick away from home since January 1997 when he scores three in a 5-1 win at Grimsby Town. He is also the first player to score more than 20 goals in a Football League season since Peter Kitchen in 1976-77.

8th April - Rovers beat Mansfield Town 1-0 at home courtesy of a Tommy Rowe goal to secure promotion from League Two at the first time of asking. This is also the earliest date Rovers have ever secured promotion from a league.

 

2018

4th June - Darren Ferguson resigns as Rovers manager despite a season of consolidation in League One.

27th June - Grant McCann appointed to replace the departed Darren Ferguson, with Cliff Byrne becoming his assistant.

20th November - Rovers record their biggest win to date at the Keepmoat Stadium, beating non-League Chorley 7-0 in a First Round FA Cup replay. Alfie May scores four goals to become the highest individual scorer in a match at the stadium.

 

2019

17th February - Rovers take on Crystal Palace of the Premier League in a Fifth Round FA Cup tie at the Keepmoat. This equalled Rovers best progress in the competition and was also the first time they had reached this stage for 63 years. Also, it was the first time Rovers had reached the Fifth Round when starting in Round One. A crowd of 14,010 saw Rovers lose 0-2 to two first-half goals.

12th May - After finishing in 6th place, Rovers are at home to Charlton Athletic in the first leg of the League One play-off semi-final. After going two goals behind, a late goal from Mstty Blair gives them some hope for the second leg.

17th May - Rovers’ hopes of a second Wembley appearance are dashed despite a 3-2 win after extra time in the second leg at Charlton. After conceding early on, Tommy Rowe’s equaliser gives them hope before Andy Butler’s late goal takes the tie into extra time. John Marquis then puts Rovers ahead in the tie, but Charlton soon level to force penalties. In the shoot-out, Rovers miss two kicks to lose 3-4.

21st June - Grant McCann leaves Rovers to take up the vacant manager’s job at Hull City, along with his assistant Cliff Byrne.

10th July - Former Rovers defender Darren Moore is appointed manager to replace McCann.