Voting for the standout player of the 1940s is now open!
Using the form below, supporters can vote for their favourite player of the 1940s to be inducted into the Rovers Hall of Fame. The four man shortlist was put together by John and you can read more about each nominee below.
Middlesbrough-born Paul had trials with Wolves and Leicester before the Second World War broke out. He joined Rovers in 1945 after serving in the Doncaster area and was made captain by manager Jackie Bestall. An inside-forward, he was a key member of the team that won the Third Division (North) with then-record points tally of 72. He scored 23 goals, finishing second top-scorer behind Clarrie Jordan, and was involved in many of Jordan’s goals. He was an ever-present when Rovers won the Third North title again in 1949-50 under Peter Doherty, and then moved on to Blackburn Rovers, where he was reunited with Bestall. In all, he scored 57 goals in 172 senior games for Rovers.
Few players can have made more impact in their first season in League Football than centre-forward Clarrie. Having played for Rovers in wartime games, his first full season was 1946-47, when he scored an incredible 42 League goals to beat the club record previously held by Tom Keetley. A powerfully built player with a fierce shot, Clarrie also worked as a miner at South Upton Colliery and often turned out for Rovers after a shift at the coalface. Rovers went on to win the Division Three North Title for 1946-47, with an amazing haul of 123 goals. Having taken his Rovers tally to a round 50 goals in 67 senior appearances, Clarrie was transferred to Sheffield Wednesday in February 1948. His career was eventually ended by persistent knee injuries and he later became a publican.
The third-highest goal scorer in Rovers’ history, Bert originally made his mark as an outside-right but went on to play in every forward position. He joined Rovers in 1944, aged 18, and went on to play for the club until 1958, by which time he had made 429 senior appearances and scored 129 goals. He was an ever-present in the 1949-50 season as Rovers won the Division Three (North) Championship and remained a regular during the next eight seasons in Division Two. His best goalscoring season was 1955-56, when he scored 19 in all competitions, outscoring his inside-forward partner, the prodigious Alick Jeffrey. He went on to play for Bristol City and Barnsley.
Goalkeeper Ken Hardwick came from the North-East but settled in Doncaster, joining Rovers while working at Rossington Colliery. He missed the 1946-47 season due to war service but established himself as Rovers No. 1 the following season. He was an ever-present as Rovers won the Division Three (North) Championship in 1949-50 and kept his place as first choice until being displaced by Harry Gregg. He made 331 senior appearances for Rovers, a record for a goalkeeper until being overtaken by Dennis Peacock. Ken, who was once mistakenly called up for the England Under-23 team, later played for Scunthorpe United.