In the Sheffield United matchday programme at the weekend, amongst the player profiles and club facts there was a section dedicated to Rovers Famous Fans. The Blades’ list consisted of just two names; Paul Daniels and Jeremy Clarkson. The former’s links to the clubs were well documented in the early 1990s. But the latter has only attended a Rovers fixture once; for a somewhat sneering feature for his chat-show Clarkson back in Belle Vue’s Conference days. Famous? Yes; a fan? No. However, there are many famous Roverites out there and Viva Rovers has decided to give them the acknowledgement they deserve, starting here with episode number 1 of our Celebrity Fan Club. Up first the man who took Rovers’ hoops worldwide; Wally.
A Rovers fan through and through Wally has been a proud wearer of the red and white hoops pretty much since the moment he was first conceived in the late 1980s. So fanatical is Wally’s support that it has rubbed off on his girlfriend Wilma who is also always seen sporting Rovers colours. The fanatic even decks out his dog in Rovers merchandise though there his support has inspired jealousy as he is often followed on his travels by Ken Bates. Though Wally has sadly been unable to convince his arch nemesis Odlaw to follow Donny, instead the ‘anti-Wally’ as he has become known persists in wearing this season’s Celtic away shirt.
Wally’s fame has often led to criticism from other Doncaster fans that he is not exerting his influence as well as he may. As Rovers were brought to their knees in the mid-1990s Wally was at the height of his global fame. Many fans demanded that their most high profile representative step in and use his accumulative wealth to purchase the club from Ken Richardson. Where’s Wally? asked the supporters but alas when he was needed most he was nowhere to be seen, unless that was him, there, just behind the big hooped flag, is it him? Hold on a minute. I need my glasses.
Despite this undue criticism there is no doubt that Wally has been a great ambassador for the Rovers, travelling the world in his Rovers shirt and ensuring the red and white hoops are recognised throughout the land. Despite his travels though he still makes it back to Rovers matches regularly and can often be spotted amongst the Rovers faithful, if you look really closely, though you’ll probably see at least four people and three objects that look a bit like him first.