Doncaster Rovers are currently 8th in the second tier. It’s the highest they’ve been in my life-time. I’ve mentioned these facts quite a few times already this week, but I make no excuses, it’s the sort of thing which comes up in conversation when catching up with friends, chatting to work colleagues, or standing on a busy junction yelling loudly at passing traffic whilst wearing a sandwich board displaying the same sentiments. I’m normally as down to earth and as pragmatic as Rovers fans come, but at one point this week I confess I did find myself staring gooey-eyed at the play-off positions. Thankfully I can use this week’s viva video to haul me back down to earth.
What I needed from this week’s viva video, and indeed what I think all we Rovers fans need right now, was grounding. A reminder to not get complacent about our current lofty position, something to bring me back to earth and remind me that supporting your team is not always a continual climb of wonderful football. So to counteract watching Rovers take the field tomorrow at the highest point I’ve ever seen them, this week’s video shows Rovers at the lowest point I’ve ever seen them. The 1997-98 season and relegation from the Football League.
So desperate were Doncaster Rovers in that campaign, so rotten and ruined from within that being twenty-two places lower at the foot of the Conference midway through the following season was viewed by all connected as a massive leap forward. Today’s clip comes from the Ashes to Glory DVD, produced last summer which charts Rovers progress from relegation to the Conference to promotion to the Championship. This first segment of the Ashes to Glory story shows just how poor a state Rovers were in. Can there be any lower ebb as a supporter than watching your club’s commercial manager handed the reigns of team selection and subsequently tell a group of professional players that they are a laughing stock? This was how it was, watch it and then savour tomorrow that bit more, whatever the outcome.