Everyone at Doncaster Rovers and in the wider Club Doncaster family was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former manager Maurice Setters at the age of 83, following a long illness.
Born in Devon, Maurice Setters began his playing career with Exeter City before being spotted by First Division West Bromwich Albion. In 1960, after five years in the Midlands, Matt Busby signed him for Manchester United, and Maurice won a FA Cup winners’ medal in 1963. In 1965 he moved on to Stoke City and three years later to Coventry City, before ending his career at Charlton Athletic. A combative and hard-tackling midfielder, Setters made over 430 League appearances. He was also capped 16 times by England at Under-23 level.
In May 1971 he replaced Lawrie McMenemy as manager of Doncaster Rovers. He took over a team that had passed its peak and had just been relegated to Division Four. In his first season, 1971-72, Rovers finished 12th and a year later they fell to 17th. Setters got rid of most of the players he had inherited and put his faith in youth, giving opportunities to the likes of defenders Steve Wignall and Steve Uzelac, winger Terry Curran and strikers Mike Elwiss and Brendan O’Callaghan. In January 1974 Rovers faced the reigning Football League Champions, Liverpool, in the Third Round of the FA Cup. They emerged with a 2-2 draw and almost snatched a sensational win. Defeat in the replay brought the club back to earth with the realisation they were bottom of Division Four and at the end of the season Rovers had to apply for re-election. Rovers made a pretty grim start to the 1974-75 season and in November, with the team in 21st place, Setters was suspended and later dismissed as manager.
Maurice Setters did not manage again, apart from a couple of brief caretaker spells, but he achieved fame as the assistant to the late Jack Charlton, first at Sheffield Wednesday and then with the Republic of Ireland national team who reached the finals of two World Cups (1990 and 1994) with the duo in charge.
Everyone at Doncaster Rovers would like to pass on our heartfelt condolences to Maurice’s family and friends at this sad time.