Rovers’ Celebrity Fan Club; #3 Tom the Cabin Boy

Tom looks on from his vantage point on the Pop Side 'crows nest'

Having been created by John Ryan there was only really one team that could be at the hearts of the cast of Captain Pugwash who were fortunate enough to begin their Doncaster fandom in the late 1950s when the Rovers were last playing in the second tier of English football. However, there was one member of the Black Pig’s crew who followed the Rovers more fanatically than the others and proudly wore his red and white hoops throughout. The never aging Tom the Cabin Boy was and remains an ardent Rovers fan throughout his years at sea.

Though his years at sea prevented his regular attendance at Belle Vue, Tom did still manage occasional trips to Doncaster’s home ground. However, in an effort to avoid the sort of mobbing that could occur should such a celebrity head to the match Tom would regularly watch from the roof of the Popular Stand in the camera gantry or ‘crows nest’ as it became known. As arguably the most intelligent member of the ship’s crew Tom is believed to be a keen admirer of Sean O’Driscoll’s thoughtful approach to the game.

Such was Tom’s support of the Rovers that many episodes of the Captain Pugwash series actually referenced events at the Doncaster Rovers. The 1997 episode Muddling Monsters was actually a reference to the Richardson and Weaver double act at the helm of Rovers at the time, with the same series also containing an episode devoted to infamous goalkeeper Dave Smith; The Fat Cat. It wasn’t just the later series that held Rovers references either as the original 1975 TV series also contained a number of Doncaster tribute episodes. The show titled A Fair Exchange was based upon the transfer which brought Dennis Peacock to the club from Nottingham Forest in a swap deal with Terry Curran, whilst The Great Bank Robery refered to the 4-2 Boxing Day defeat at Lincoln City’s Sincil Bank.


About glen wilson

Former schoolboy, Glen Wilson writes on football and travel and has been editor of the award-winning popular STAND fanzine since before the award.


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