viva video

Viva Video Special: Rovers’ Manager Billy Bremner

Whilst Doncaster Rovers transform themselves from that plucky little footballing club to the sort of side that throws money at big name free-agents, we’ve decided to escape to the relative sanctuary of nostalgia. Come with us quickly to a simpler time, away from gardening leave and mystery investors, to thirty years ago and a place where football managers wore spare goalkeeper jerseys, smoked cigarettes in the dug-out and didn’t even bother to wash the bird-shit off their car before the tv cameras turned up.

To most football fans Billy Bremner is one of two things, the captain at the heart of Don Revie’s Leeds United, or the man appealing to retain his shirt from the grasp of Dave MacKay in that iconic photograph. But for Doncaster Rovers supporters he is regarded as a great club manager, who brought the club two promotions from the fourth tier in 1981 and 1984, and then in a second spell with the club, safeguarded the side from relegation to the Conference in 1990.

This fantastic video which appeared on one of the club messageboards recently comes from the first of those promotion seasons, Rovers’ 1980-81 campaign. The clip is a short fly-on-the-wall style mini documentary following Bremner as he prepares for, and takes charge of Rovers during, a crucial Friday night match with Bradford at Belle Vue in late April. The video is notable not only for the inside look at the pre-match preparations, warm-up conducted in the dressing-rooms, starting line-up read out as if it’s coming to Bremner there and then, but for such rare footage of early 1980s Belle Vue, with a full-size Popular Stand and the Cow Shed still standing at the Town End. A true gem of a clip. Enjoy…

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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