As we count down to the launch of the 2016/17 Doncaster Rovers official home kit, doncasterroversfc.co.uk is taking a look at kits that will go down in history as having significance upon the club.
Sponsor: Wright Investments
It’s just over eight years ago to the day that Rovers overcame Yorkshire rivals Leeds United at Wembley to earn promotion to the second tier for the first time in 50 years.
More than 75,000 people attended the national stadium for what was Doncaster’s first visit and they made it a winning one when James Hayter powered home a diving header just after the interval.
It was a rewarding end to a campaign that had promised so much yet nearly didn’t deliver at all.
One of the best footballing sides in a division that contained Swansea City, Nottingham Forest and Leeds United, Rovers played some scintillating stuff but proved to be an enigma as they won just one of their opening five league games – incidentally a 2-1 win over eventual Champions Swansea on their own turf.
Rovers didn’t hit their stride until Christmas time when they strung together an incredible and improbable 13 wins from 16 games. That haul propelled them north in the table and, despite only winning three of their last nine games, Sean O’Driscoll’s men went in to the final game of the season knowing that they only had to equal Nottingham Forest’s result to secure automatic promotion.
As Forest won 3-2 over Yeovil at the City Ground, Rovers fluffed their lines by losing 2-1 at a nervy Whaddon Road against Cheltenham who needed the win to avoid relegation.
The play-offs loomed and after grinding out a 0-0 draw at Roots Hall against dark horses Southend United in the semi-final first leg, Rovers – through James Coppinger – routed the Shrimpers 5-1 in the second leg to set up the White Rose showdown against Leeds.
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