As you’ve probably gathered from the headline, this is indeed the shocking story which emerged from Doncaster Rovers today. Incredibly Rovers midfielder Mark Wilson has done a runner from the club, taking with him all the cash from the ticket office and club shop tills. He was last spotted driving along the M180 hurling fivers out of his car window yelling “Look at me, I’m like Bill bloody Gates”. Of course I’m lying. Because, if that were the case, the title would obviously be Wilson Leaves Rovers With Moderate Petty Cash. No, instead this is the news that Rovers have chosen not to renew the contracts of midfielders Quinton Fortune and Jack Wilson.
Both Fortune and Wilson (Jack) had arrived in Doncaster early in the season on short-term contracts after impressing in trials at the club. Jack Wilson came to Rovers having been released by Hibernian where he had spent his formative years. The midfielder had been unable to assert himself on the playing squad at Easter Road, and sadly the same was true of his time at Rovers with the young player leaving the club without breaking into Sean O’Driscoll’s squad during his time in South Yorkshire.
Quinton Fortune had enjoyed more luck in making the starting line-up. As a South African international and boasting time at Manchester United at Atletico Madrid on his playing CV there was no doubting of Fortune’s talent, but given that he arrived in Doncaster having barely played in the preceding two seasons there was a rustiness to the midfielder’s play. After looking way off the pace against Tottenham in the Carling Cup, Fortune did steadily assert himself on the game and notched a fantastic goal to secure a 3-3 draw against Ipswich at the Keepmoat in September. A very creditable performance at Newcastle followed and he even captained the side which so impressively beat Queens Park Rangers in November.
However, a recurring injury had hampered Fortune’s subsequent involvement in the team and with the return to fitness of Brian Stock, not to mention the arrival of Jordan Mutch on loan he has dropped down the pecking order. With the player’s initial six-month contract at an end Rovers have taken the decision not to renew, a decision probably made for them with the long term signing of Shelton Martis and the added wage bill costs that will have brought. Still Fortune can at least leave knowing he made his mark whilst at Rovers. In particular a couple of very distinct dark red six-studded marks on the thigh and chest of Scunthorpe United’s Cliff Byrne.