Walter Langton was Rovers’ longest serving player, appearing for the club in eighteen seasons. He was born in Leabrooks, near Alfreton, Derbyshire on 17th March 1867. After working as a coal miner, he became a machinist at the Great Northern Railway works in Doncaster, otherwise known as the Plant. The Plant had close links with Doncaster Rovers, and Walter first appeared for the club in 1887.
Rovers played friendlies only at that time, but Walter appeared in Rovers’ first competitive match, a FA Cup tie against Rotherham Town in October 1888. He was a member of the teams that won the Sheffield Senior Cup in 1890-91, the Midland League in 1896-97 and 1898-99 and the first team that represented Rovers in the Football League.
Walter, nicknamed “Warhorse” or “Hoss” by his team-mates, started his career at full-back, had a spell as the team’s centre forward, and then returned to play in defence. Although it is difficult to get precise figures for goals scored, Walter scored at least 55 times for Rovers in his long career and was a regular penalty-taker. Between 1901 and 1903 he made 45 Football League appearances, all at left-back.
In 1904 he was appointed reserve team trainer and continued to play for the reserve team until the end of the 1904-05 season, when he retired. He died in Doncaster in 1952, aged 85, and although he had four children none of them survived him. He was a terrific servant of the Rovers and his lengthy career is a testament to his love of football and the Rovers club.
Rovers Debut: 7th September 1901, Division Two vs. Burslem Port Vale (home) Drew 3-3.
Final game: 18th April 1903, Division Two vs. Leicester Fosse (home). Drew 0-0.
Rovers Career: Football League: 45 appearances, 0 goals.
Honours with Rovers: Sheffield & Hallamshire County Senior Cup winner 1890-91, Midland League winner 1896-97, 1898-99.