James Errington, vice chair
Name: James Errington
Where were you born and raised?
Where do you live?
Balby - I have the delight of seeing the glow of the Eco-Power Stadium’s floodlights in the distance from my window when a night match is lingering.
What supporters’ groups are you affiliated to?
The Retford Branch of the Doncaster Rovers Supporters’ Club
Tell us about your background
I have a degree in computing. My first graduate job was a database analyst and I have since become a data analyst. I provided Rovers stats for the popular Football Manager game series for two years and held an assistant researcher position with the developers Sports Interactive between 2014 and 2016. I did the same for the FIFA games between 2014 and 2017 and even dabbled into Mansfield Town to fill a vacancy for a season.
How long have you supported Rovers?
My first Rovers match was a 1-0 win over Torquay on November 1, 2003, with Paul Green scoring the only goal. It was a close shave for me as a supporter because my first live football match was Barnsley v Chesterfield earlier in the year. I got my first season ticket in 2008 and I’ve had one in the West Stand ever since - dipping into the South Stand for cup matches or nervy end-of-season games where I can’t sit down. My first away game was the FA Cup third round replay at Aston Villa in 2009. I’ve been going home and away almost religiously since the 2012/13 season - as soon as I became self-sufficient. I’ve now been to more than 70 of the 92 grounds watching Rovers and could really do with us having a stint in the Premier League to tick off most of the others.
Where do you sit at the Eco-Power Stadium?
The James Coppinger West Stand
How long have you been part of the Supporters/Shadow Board?
I was part of the Supporters’ Board from the inception and decided to apply for the chairperson’s position as we began the migration to a Shadow Board. Derek Daniels was elected by the members and I am more than happy to serve as vice chair as he is doing an excellent job as we continue to lead the way and set the standard for other clubs to follow.
Why are you part of the Shadow Board?
I was in my early 20s when I first joined the Supporters’ Board and I felt many fans my age were becoming disillusioned and losing support with some aspects of the club. I felt I could offer a view of the younger audience. At the time I was comfortably the youngest member and it took time for me to feel as if I belonged.
I made several notable contributions - one of which was the move to ensure supporters would not pay full adult prices until they reached 25. I identified we were most likely to lose fans up to this age due to the demographic of the city, as well as the large disparity between kids and adult pricing at the time. Data overwhelmingly backed up this theory and we are now seeing great retention figures at those ages due to the change of policy.
Having become an established member of the group, I felt it was necessary for me to accept the role as vice chair as I felt I had lots to offer in meetings but also in the wider reach of how the club sets standards for others to follow.
I hope the Shadow Board can achieve the trust of the fanbase and that supporters can feel they are represented as best as possible. We are all lovers of the same club and get just as frustrated when on-the-field performances aren’t the best. But as a Board, we have accountability when things aren’t right off-the-pitch and I’d like to think we’re making great strides already.
Shadow Boards are in the infancy stage for the majority of EFL clubs, but due to great progress made previously, we are already a leader in the area - with the club nominated for the supporter engagement award by the Football Supporters’ Association and the Shadow Board playing an integral part of the nomination.