Rovers’ Celebrity Fan Club; #4 Debbie Harry

Debbie Harry proudly wears the hoops

Not wanting to belittle our opening three Celebrity Rovers fans but we are pretty pleased that this week’s edition takes us both away from the animated world and onto three-dimensional Rovers fans. And not only that but three very fine dimensions as well. Thanks go to VSC Forum poster Muttley for reminding us of one of Rovers most aesthetically pleasing fans, the one and only Blondie singer, Debbie Harry.

Born and raised in the United States Debbie first came into contact with the Rovers in the late 1960s whilst working as a secretary for the BBC’s New York office. Here the young Harry would listen ardently every Saturday to Sports Report thanks in part to her crush on presenter Peter Jones and his impeccable received pronunciation. Harry felt she should adopt a football team as a means to start a conversation in case she should ever chance on meeting Jones and whilst deciding her team the picturesque sounding Belle Vue ground struck a chord with Harry. And whilst her crush on Jones subsided the attachment to Doncaster grew stronger; Debbie Harry was hooked.

The success of the band Blondie meant that Harry was finally able to travel to the UK and see her beloved Rovers in the flesh ten years after adopting them as her own. And so in August 1978 a week after Blondie’s first gig on these shores Harry was on hand to see Rovers record a dramatic 4-3 opening day win at Hartlepool. She was particularly delighted to be able to see goalkeeper Dennis Peacock in the flesh, he being the inspiration behind the Blondie hit Denis. Indeed the translation from the French section of that song contains the line “Denis Denis, for you it is easy”.

Though she did not wear the hoops as relentlessly as our previous three celebrity fans, as the picture shows Debbie Harry has often let her love of Rovers be known by donning the colours for photo-shoots and even music videos. And given that the subject was indeed a Rovers legend Debbie Harry infamously chose to wear the red and white hoops (and little else) in the video for Denis.

After years away from the spotlight Harry returned to the UK in 1999 to acknowledge Rovers’ recovery from near oblivion. Her song, penned in tribute to one of Rovers midfielders stormed the charts, and though its title was often misquoted, the single Maamria catapulted her back to the number 1 spot. Rumours abound that Harry will return again soon reworking the Blondie hit The Tide is High to honour Quinton Fortune’s favoured shorts style as He Ties Them High. You heard it here first.


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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