Its been a frustrating week as a Rovers fan, as one of the most ridiculous stories ever to come from the club – or more specifically from a woman connected to the club who likes to disrobe in front of photographers – managed to occur slap bang in the middle of a rare dirth in transfer news and rumour. A double whammy which has seen the club’s profile sky-rocket in “And finally” columns the world over, and the hitherto squeeky clean image of Donny Dog dragged by it’s fore-legs through the dated shag-pile of the world’s spare bedroom.
So, for this week’s Viva Video we thought we would look back on happier times for Donny Dog, when he was ‘manned’ not by “a forty year-old mum of three”, but by Supporters’ Director Andy Liney. Amongst Liney’s Donny Dog career highlights were attempting the triple jump during on the adjacent athletic track a pre-season friendly at Gateshead, being taken to task by some visiting American Wrestlers, and of course his inadvertent Evil Kineavil-esque antics along the touchline on a scooter donated to the club as a draw prize. Sadly, whilst footage of those moments remains lost to us, we have managed to dig out some video of Andy/Donny in happier times aboard the supporters’ bus to Port Vale.
It’s often all too easy to diss ITV Sport, but in the mid 2000s in the Yorkshire region they were impressive in the embracing of new ideas. Their coverage of Rugby League’s lower levels in which they’d merge documentary and highlights to follow a different play-off side each brought them awards, and on regional football highlights show ‘Soccer Night’ they launched the Fan Cam. A surprisingly no holds barred take on away games, filmed by supporters of either Doncaster, Huddersfield or Hull during the 2004-05 season, the footage was impressively edited together by Yorkshire TV and as the programme went out at 11pm at night things such as censorship went out the window.
Sadly, there is also an element of the pleasure/pain theory in effect within Soccer Night, as whilst the programme may have brought us the interesting diversion of Fan Cam, but it also helped launch the media careers of Andy Townsend and Peter Beagrie… the latter of which made a niche for himself in the category of weak puns, and the seldom trodden path of the single entendre. Still, let us enjoy a simpler time. Over to you Andy…