Alan Warboys started and finished a career which saw him play 480 League games and score 136 goals with Rovers. The Goldthorpe-born striker was just shy of his 17th birthday when he made his debut in a side destined for relegation from Division Three. His immense potential was immediately apparent and the following season, 1967-68, he finished second top-scorer, behind Alick Jeffrey, with nine League goals.
A move to Sheffield Wednesday followed and over the next decade Alan plied his trade at seven different League clubs. Perhaps his most successful spell came at Bristol Rovers, where he formed the partnership known as “smash and grab” with fellow forward Bruce Bannister. Alan was very much the “smash” part of the duo, but he still notched 53 League goals there and helped Bristol’s Rovers into Division Two.
In 1977 he moved back to Yorkshire with Hull City, and here he played alongside the former Leeds United and Scotland captain Billy Bremner. When Bremner became Rovers manager, Alan was an obvious signing. He scored 11 League goals in 1979-80, forming an effective partnership with Ian Nimmo. The following season he helped Rovers secure promotion to Division Three for the first time in ten years. He and Nimmo both scored in the 2-1 win over AFC Bournemouth that sealed promotion. During that season he often played as a centre-back, bringing his rugged qualities to the job of keeping the ball out of Rovers’ goal, while still offering a threat at set-pieces.
1981-82 was to be his final season as, hampered by the back injury that eventually ended his career, he made only 22 appearances. He did go out in style though, scoring the winning goal to beat Cambridge United at Belle Vue and send Rovers through to the fourth round of the FA Cup. Bremner described him as the best professional he had worked with, a player who never left anything out on the pitch. Indeed, he is remembered as fondly at many other clubs as he is at Rovers.
Rovers Debut: 15th April 1967, Division Three vs. Leyton Orient (away) Lost 1-4.
Final game: 2nd January 1982, FA Cup 3rd Round, vs. Cambridge United (home) Won 2-1.
Rovers Career: Football League: 128 appearances, 32 goals. All senior games: 150 appearances, 36 goals
Honours with Rovers: Promotion to Division Three 1980-81 (third).