celebrity fan club, features

Celebrity Fan Club; #11 ‘The Boy’

If I was Rupert Murdoch I would have axed this feature weeks ago, stealthy, in the middle of the night, without telling any of the celebrity fans what I was doing. Thankfully, for so many reasons, I am not he, and so I am more open to the suggestion and whimsy of the Viva Rovers’ readership. The problem is that as fast as I run out of celebrity Rovers fans to honour, some helpful sod emails in with another, so despite promising the end of this feature quite a while ago, here I am some time later still, fading it out. Celebrity Fan Club has become the feature equivalent of Hey Jude.

So, at the risk of coming over all Blue Peter on you, this week’s Celebrity Fan Club suggestion comes from Viva Rovers’ fan Evan, aged two and a half, from Doncaster. (No, it genuinely does). ‘The Boy’ is the central character in a series of illustrated children’s books by Oliver Jeffers, including Lost and Found, The Way Back Home, and How to Catch a Star. And as you can see from the picture above, he is clearly a massive Rovers fan.

I will confess, I have not read Jeffers’ books myself, but I understand that understandably Doncaster Rovers hold a key influence on the plotline as well as the dress of the boy who proudly wears his red and white hooped shirt and bobble hat at all times. In Lost and Found he is just getting ready to set-off for the Keepmoat when a penguin appears at his front door. With John Ryan’s mantra of returning the club to its rightful home close to his heart, The Boy feels obliged to do the same for the penguin and ferry him back to the South Pole.

In The Way Back Home The Boy runs out of fuel whilst flying in his aeroplane and inadvertently becomes stuck on the moon. Just as he is beginning to think he will never escape a friendly martian stops by and helps The Boy back down to his rightful place on earth. This book is a clear metaphor for Doncaster Rovers years in the Conference, struggling to find their way back ‘home’ to the football league, the martian representing John Ryan of course.

Jeffers latest book to feature The Boy is called How to Catch a Star, in which a boy who loves stars wishes he could have one of his very own. He watches them nightly from his bedroom dreaming of how he could be their friend and so sets out to get a star of his own. Unsurprisingly this book is based on Rovers’ capture of Billy Sharp; of Sean O’Driscoll wishing he had a star to complete his footballing system and how he watched other stars on the television nightly until finally he managed to get Billy Sharp and have all manner of fun climbing the table.

That’s enough for now, join us for more convoluted fun in the final instalment of Rovers Celebrity Fan Club next Thursday.

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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