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Club News

Hall of Fame: vote for the standout player of the 1920s

4 November 2019

Club News

Hall of Fame: vote for the standout player of the 1920s

4 November 2019

Voting for the standout Rovers player of the 1920s is now open.

This will be the fifth player inducted into the Hall of Fame via a supporters' vote as part of the 140 year celebrations.

Rovers are inducting a fan-elected player from each of the club’s 14 decades. The four man shortlist from the 1920s has been put together by club historian John Coyle is below and supporters can vote via the form at the bottom of the page.


The nominees

Tom Keetley

Tom came from a footballing family, five of his brothers playing professional football, three of them (Harold, Joe and Frank) having spells with Rovers. He is the club's leading goal scorer. Joining Rovers from Bradford Park Avenue in 1923, in six seasons at Belle Vue he scored a remarkable 185 goals, 180 in the Football League, club records which will surely stand forever. He also scored six in one match, at Ashington and hit numerous hat-tricks. His best season was his last, 1928-29, when he scored 40 League goals from 32 appearances. Subsequently he continued his prolific goalscoring feats with Notts County.


Sam Cowan

Centre-half Sam Cowan was born near Chesterfield but brought up in Doncaster. He came to Rovers’ attention when playing against them for Denaby United in the Midland League and was signed before the start of the 1923-4 season. A classy and cultured half-back with an eye for goal, Sam scored 13 times for Rovers in 48 League appearances, including one hat-trick. His performances soon caught the eye of bigger clubs and he joined Manchester City in December 1924. While with City he won the FA Cup and also gained three England caps.


Fred Emery

After joining Rovers in 1924, Fred went on to become one of Rovers’ longest serving players. He made 417 Football League appearances for the club in a career that spanned 12 seasons, a club record only beaten by James Coppinger. Overall he played 438 games for Rovers and stands behind only Coppinger and Colin Douglas for total appearances. The scorer of 31 goals, many from the penalty spot, Fred helped Rovers to their first divisional title in 1934-35 as club captain and later served as manager from 1936 to 1940.


Paddy McConnell

Often a creative foil for the prolific Tom Keetley from the inside-forward position, Paddy had the honour of being the first current Rovers player to win a full international cap. In February 1928 he played for his native Northern Ireland against Wales in Belfast. Over five seasons at Belle Vue between 1925 and 1930 he contributed 21 goals for Rovers but he was involved in an awful lot more. He also played for Bradford City and Southport, as well as having spells in Scotland.



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Voting closes at 4pm on Friday, November 8 and the winner will be announced on November 16 at our home match vs Shrewsbury Town.


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