Well there could only really be one subject matter for this week’s Viva Video episode and that is of course the coming weekend’s opponents. Newcastle United’s standing of the last fifteen years and their fanbase means that there is a hell of a lot of video footage out there at our disposal, from the Toon Army being all passionate and that like, to Tino Asprilla toying with Barcelona in the Champions League we could have had a field day, but instead we went for something in between to link our two sides.
Until today there were two options for Viva Rovers. Dig out footage of Stuart Elliott’s winning goal in Rovers 1-0 friendly triumph of Summer 2008, or get our hands on a highlight reel of Doncaster’s most famous would-be geordie; Kevin Keegan. As tempting as it is to go for the latter, as marvelling at a Doncaster born European Footballer of the Year is always a treat, we’ve already done it once this season already and we don’t want King Kev to burn out. Thankfully we’ve been bailed out by a great piece of film surfacing on YouTube today.
The last time Rovers met Newcastle in a competitive fixture was in the League Cup of October 1973, but the two sides have played one another at St James Park more recently than that and it is this match to which we dedicate this week’s Viva Video.
Despite the wildly contrasting fortunes of the two clubs in the 1997-98 season the reserve sides of Doncaster and Newcastle found themselves in the same division. The fixture on Tyneside was played at St. James Park and not only feature cameos from John Barnes and Ian Rush but a crowd believed to be around the 10,000 mark. An impressive figure when you consider that Rovers’ first team thrice played before sub 1,000 crowds that season.
The highlights from that game made it onto YouTube today courtesy of a Rovers fan, and we are indebted to them for being able to bring you this video. Given the fortunes of Rovers that season a 3-0 defeat for the reserves at a Premier League side should probably have been celebrated as a win.