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Doncaster Features: REVIEW: The Fall and Rise of Doncaster Rovers

This is the book that Rovers historian Tony Bluff has been wanting to write to follow up his previous 1993 definitive tome, The History of Donny.

A story of Doncaster Rovers from 1993 onwards. It charts the trials and tribulations that befell the club on Ken Richardson's watch, before moving onto its rise under John Ryan. It investigates the ascension of the club through the divisions to the Championship. It is officially backed by Doncaster Rovers Football Club.

It runs through season by season the rapid decline to non-league football and then the turning points and the rise to The Championship and the trophies along the way. Tony is accompanied by Rovers Steve Uttley who for the latter supplied some of the better pics.

The first half of the book represents the near death experience of the club through some of the worst photo's they could find and as such it misses an opportunity to visually document the characters involved fully and instead puts in some bizarre photo's instead. The latetr half is better illustrated.

The story is relayed by Bluff in a formal manner as regurgitating the news on a day by day basis and brushing through the key events as if they merit no more than a few words. No emphasis on the turning points, on with what happened two days later. There's no emotion, no fun, no amusement, no teasing, the only words from the fans included here are those documented from the desperate supporters club meetings.

There is room for another book on the subject, one filled with the character, rumour, dread, humour from the unofficial fans point of view. This however is the definitive guide to who was sold when and how much for, these are the official facts and as such is one of the most important books in the history of Doncaster Rovers.

For those who were emotionally involved in the dark times of the Ken Richardson era, this is dark and difficult reading. But it's important, and enlightening, without having many words from those involved - a feat in itself.

Essential. 9/10.

You can get £4 off this book at Amazon

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