Andy Warrington’s finest hour probably came in the second leg of the Football Conference play-off semi-final at Chester in May 2003. After two 1-1 draws, the teams faced a penalty shoot-out to decide the game, though not before Andy had saved brilliantly from Dave Cameron. In the shoot-out itself his saves from Daryl Clare and Cameron’s spot-kicks ensured Rovers went to the Britannia Stadium, where they beat Dagenham & Redbridge to return to the Football League after five years.
Andy had joined Rovers from York City in July 1999 and after being an ever-present in his first season he had to beat off competition from Barry Richardson, Lee Butler and Stuart Nelson to secure the No. 1 jersey. By 2002-03 he was recognised as Rovers’ first-choice goalkeeper. The following season, with Rovers back in the Football League, Andy played in every game of Rovers’ Division Three Championship campaign. His sustained excellence between the posts helped ensure that Rovers had the meanest defence in the entire Football League, conceding only 37 goals.
After missing part of 2004-05 due to injury, Andy began the following season as the man in possession of the gloves, at least until the dramatic League Cup-tie with Manchester City. During extra time he went into a challenge with his customary bravery and sustained a broken leg. This injury, which allowed Jan Budtz to cap a memorable debut with two fine saves in the shoot-out, forced Andy onto the side-lines for the rest of the campaign. Another injury before the start of the following season meant that he fell down the pecking order and he moved on to Bury. Subsequently he played for Rotherham United and Grimsby Town, where he also acted as goalkeeping coach.
An engaging and popular man, Andy remains third on the list of Rovers’ goalkeepers in terms of first team appearances- only Ken Hardwick and Dennis Peacock have appeared in more games.
Rovers Debut: 14th August 1999, Football Conference, vs. Forest Green Rovers (home) Won 3-2
Final game: 21st September 2005, Football League Cup, 2nd Round vs. Manchester City (home) Drew 1-1, won 3-0 on penalties.
Rovers Career: Football League: 89 appearances, 0 goals. All senior games: 214 appearances, 0 goals
Honours with Rovers: Sheffield and Hallamshire Senior Challenge Cup winner 2000-01. Promoted to the Football League via play-offs 2002-03. Division Three Championship 2003-04.