They said it could never happen, they said it’d never be able to keep up the early form and that it would slowly slide away into oblivion. But alas they were wrong. Surprising everyone, including ourselves the momentous day has arrived. Yes, that’s right we’ve reached the 100th episode of one of our features. Many badly named Viva Rovers features have tried; Celebrity Rovers Fans, Windmills Of Your Mind, Viva Las Papers, and At Home With the Rovers (yes we’d forgotten that one too), but they all fall way behind the impressive longevity of Viva Video. Allow us to raise a weary mouse-operating index finger to the pavilion and acknowledge this, our maiden century, with a video of (recent) Rovers past glories.
It seems only fair that the 100th episode should feature a video constructed by our own ‘media-partner’ Dazza. The well-known Doncastrian YouTube user is probably behind more of the previous 99 videos we’ve brought you than anyone else so it seems fitting that we use one of his creations to mark the ton. So, come with us back to a past life, a time when Britain was at war overseas and under the leadership of a Labour Government and Rovers were a lowly lower league football club. Yes, you guessed it, its the 2007-08 season, when Rovers were still just “The Arsenal of League One”.
Most folks memories of Rovers 2007-08 season begin and end with the play-offs that ultimately saw Doncaster triumph at Wembley. However, this video was made in the week before that ultimately joyful experience and so just focuses on the highly enjoyable season that preceded it. It’s all in here, including two goals from one of my favourite ever Keepmoat games, the dramatic Jamie Price inspired turnaround against then league leaders Leyton Orient. 2-1 down at half-time Rovers introduced the self-styled Afro Goal Machine at half-time and went on to win 4-2, Price himself equalising thanks to a glorious drag-back turn and finish viewable 30 seconds in on this clip. James Hayter’s acrobatic finish to a goalmouth scramble to seal the win follows that goal on the video too.
One thing that has always impressed me about Hayter is his bravery as a forward, he will hurl himself, and his head in particular, at anything if he thinks there’s a sniff of a goal. Also on this clip is the forward’s incredible diving header at Hartlepool, when he seemed to begin diving before the cross even left Jamie Coppinger’s boot. And there’s more; Copps’ dipping volley at Millwall, the free-kicks of Stock and Roberts that defeated Leeds and Forest respectively, Sean McDaid’s solitary Rovers goal to keep the dream alive against Swindon and Mark Wilson, then sponsored by Viva Rovers, scoring against Huddersfield. Happy days, and a fitting way to acknowledge episode 100.