James Coppinger says he can’t wait to get his boots back on for a good cause when he takes part in the all-star charity football game at the Keepmoat Stadium on October 17.
The match will kick off at 3pm and Coppinger will be joined by a group of well-known faces who will swap their glamorous lifestyles for the football pitch to support the childhood cancer charity Niamh’s Next Steps.
Niamh’s Next Step exists to raise money and awareness of neuroblastoma while offering help, support and advice to children and families affected by it.
Around 100 children are diagnosed with neuroblastoma each year in the UK, of which only around 30% will survive. There is currently no government or NHS funding into the research of neuroblastoma in the UK.
The event has been organised by Sellebrity Soccer, which was launched in 2012 to help charities raise money by arranging all-star football matches across the UK.
Coppinger said: “I can’t wait for the game, I was happy when my career came to an end but I didn’t hesitate in getting involved with a fantastic charity for this game.
“I’m looking forward to being on the pitch again and playing with some big named celebrities.
“I’m going to try and enjoy the day and hopefully I can get a few goals in front of the fans.”
Coppinger’s playing career came to an end in May after making 695 appearances in 17 years with Rovers.
He didn’t get to say his ideal goodbye with supporters unable to be in the stadium due to COVID-19 protocols, so is hoping the fans are out in force on Sunday.
“One of the reasons why I’m playing is to get to play in front of the supporters again,” he said.
“There were so many people that asked me to play for one more year, this seems like a win win for everybody.
“I might be a slower rustier version of what the fans are used to, but I’ll try my best.”
The 40-year-old’s book ‘Ahead of the Game’ is due to be published soon, and Coppinger is proud of the final outcome.
His passion for developing players’ mentalities is evident and he is hoping young footballers can take some tips on how to improve their on psychological outlook.
“The reason for the book is when I was looking to develop as a person and a player I couldn’t find any books that spoke about football and what it looked like,” Coppinger added.
“There were very few books out there, if any on that subject. I then stumbled across the stupid footballer is dead by Paul McVeigh.
“I managed to get in touch with him and spoke to him about how he studied psychology.
“The same person who wrote his book has written mine, and it’s to help players understand more about what mental performance is.”
The game will kick off at 3pm on Sunday, October 17, however doors will be open from 1pm.
Tickets cost £10 for adults, £5 for under 16s and OAPs and £35 for VIPs.
To book tickets please visit tickets.clubdoncaster.co.uk or call 01302 762576 or call into the Club Doncaster Box Office Office.
The Club Doncaster Box Office is open at the Keepmoat Stadium from 9am to 4.30pm (Monday to Thursday) and 9am to 4pm (Fridays).
To find out more about Niamh’s Next Steps you can visit www.NNS.org.uk.