The Only Fan in The Valley

The Only Fan in The Valley

It’s 19 years since I left Doncaster but I’ve not lost the accent. Nor have I lost that ingrained sense of pragmatism that comes with growing up in the town. So before the fixtures had even been released for the current season I’d come to the terms with the fact I was unlikely to see Rovers play in it. I haven’t had a season ticket in a decade, I live 200 miles away. If there’s to be a pecking order I’m lower mid table at best. Continue reading “The Only Fan in The Valley”

Don’t call it a comeback

Don’t call it a comeback

Don’t call it a comeback. To be fair, when I elected to take a break from popular STAND 17 months ago, I didn’t expect the world as we know it to grind to a halt. It would be particularly pretentious to suggest these two things are directly connected, but we miss one season in 22 years and suddenly the final League One standings are being calculated on the back of a fag packet and the FA can’t bring themselves to let fans back into football grounds. So yeah, let’s not call it a comeback. It’s much more of an intervention. Continue reading “Don’t call it a comeback”

How I watched football: 2019-20

How I watched football: 2019-20

This felt like a season of 0-0 draws. Which is hard to explain given that in reality I saw only one. But stick with me, whilst I thrash this out. I saw 31 football matches and though all of them offered me something, none really stand out. All of them – even the six-goal thriller I saw at Penrhiwceiber, even Wales qualifying for a major tournament – felt less like games I’ll one day tell people I was there for, and more like matches I will be reminded I was at. Continue reading “How I watched football: 2019-20”

Editorial: on popular STAND and Black Lives Matter

Editorial: on popular STAND and Black Lives Matter

popular STAND has always been here as an independent platform for supporters to speak out. That’s why it was founded 22 years ago.

When I took over as editor in 2011, after a decade writing for the ‘zine, I was determined, and proud, to uphold that ethos. And I was also determined to use the fanzine to showcase the very best of our town. Not only through platforming great writers, but also supporting and backing great causes, from and in Doncaster. Continue reading “Editorial: on popular STAND and Black Lives Matter”

Twenty isn’t plenty in football’s unending banterfication

Twenty isn’t plenty in football’s unending banterfication

Twenty-one years ago popular STAND fanzine was established because Doncaster Rovers were teetering on the edge of existence, and our founding editor believed ‘the other fanzines that were around were being too easy on the club’s owners and its plight.’ In short, we were set up to speak up and to speak out against those who didn’t uphold what the game and what our clubs were about. Continue reading “Twenty isn’t plenty in football’s unending banterfication”

The Big Interview: Sean O’Driscoll

The Big Interview: Sean O’Driscoll

In March 2019, popular STAND fanzine was lucky enough to secure something of an exclusive as former Doncaster Rovers manager Sean O’Driscoll agreed to sit down with editor Glen Wilson and discuss his tenure at Rovers for the first time since it’s unfortunate end. That interview was first published in issue 99 of the print fanzine, and we’re happy to now bring it to you here, online. Continue reading “The Big Interview: Sean O’Driscoll”

How I watched football: 2018-19

How I watched football: 2018-19

A Friday night in May. The Valley is packed. It’s the 87th minute of the second-leg of the League One play-off semi-final and Charlton Athletic lead 3-2 on aggregate.

“Well, whatever happens it’s been a great season,” says James above the din.
“Aye,” I reply, “but it’d be nice to have half an hour more of it”.

About 90 seconds later Andy Butler got his head on a corner, the ball found the net, and the two of us, along with a thousand or so others, were lost in a wave of seat-tumbling stranger-grabbing sky-punching scarf-twirling collective bedlam. Continue reading “How I watched football: 2018-19”

Doncaster Rovers 1-2 Charlton Athletic: 250 word match report

Doncaster Rovers 1-2 Charlton Athletic: 250 word match report

The match ball was waiting on a plinth. Shit had gotten serious at the Keepmoat. “It’s all a bonus,” said Mike as I passed him pre-match. And he wasn’t wrong. Blue sky, relatively full house, big noise, genuinely affable Rovers side. Nowt to lose and all to love. Continue reading “Doncaster Rovers 1-2 Charlton Athletic: 250 word match report”

Marquis the sad? On a mystifying precedent

Marquis the sad? On a mystifying precedent

Before I crack on with what passes for a column in these parts, here are some words cribbed from Rovers fans on the internet. “This running round like a headless chicken just doesn’t cut it. I’ll drive him to his next club”“He must’ve become a professional footballer through the Make-A-Wish foundation”“Take any money offered and run, get someone who wants to play for the Rovers”. Continue reading “Marquis the sad? On a mystifying precedent”