In Off the Postbag: The Miseducation of Paul James

In Off the Postbag: The Miseducation of Paul James

In early 2012 one-time Doncaster Rovers midfielder Paul James released his autobiography. In Cracked Open the Canadian international talks frankly about the cocaine addiction he suffered during his later career as a coach. He also looks back at his playing career, including his brief time as a Rover. Ahead of issue 59 of popular STAND, subscriber Ralph Davies sent us the excerpt from James’ book which focussed on what proved to be an eye-opening spell at Belle Vue for the then 24-year old.

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Marshall Matters: Starting to take a back seat

Marshall Matters: Starting to take a back seat

In the last edition of this fanzine I wrote about enjoying the opening games and weeks of a new season. About optimism and about how enjoying watching football should be the thing which sets the tone, not the results or what they might mean.

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For Peat’s Sake: To Barrow… via Dublin

For Peat’s Sake: To Barrow… via Dublin

The streets of South London were eerily quiet as I emerged from my house and walked the short distance down the road to the tram stop. An early autumn breeze blew through the trees and the skies were still dark, occasionally illuminated by streetlights and the big forecourt sign at the Shell garage. 

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Editorial: Managerial hope not hate

Editorial: Managerial hope not hate

When he was still a player, Gary McSheffrey dated a girl at our university. He even turned up for a Christmas Ball once, wearing a pair of remarkable brogues, and thus without prompting everyone who saw him in Lincoln’s Engine Shed that night remarked, ‘he’s smaller than you’d think… nice shoes though’. To the point that it became a catchphrase among our friendship group, used whenever he popped up in any of our football-watching lives. ‘I see your lot have signed McSheffrey, what’s he like?’ ‘Oh OK… smaller than you’d think… nice shoes though’.

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popular STAND fanzine issue 110

popular STAND fanzine issue 110

And to think we’d been so full of optimism in issue 109 back in August. Ordinarily we’d do an ‘if a week is a long time in politics it’s an age in football’ gag here, but given there’s no guarantee we’ll still have the same Home Secretary when I finish this sentence as we did when I began typing it, that comparison is a little redundant. Still, it’s most definitely been a rollercoaster start to Rovers 2022-23 season.

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The Bottom Six

The Bottom Six

Jack Peat set out to tackle this season’s most pressing question; why weren’t Rovers relegated sooner?

In all my years of watching Rovers, I can recall only a handful that have felt as abysmal as this one. Indeed, off-field matters excluded, this has probably been the worst. Performances both home and away have been uninspiring. Players have struggled to gel. Any positive moments have been fleeting and all too often dissipated in the same puff of smoke in which they appeared. It has been tough, and few people reading these pages will need reminding of that, but what has been most perplexing of all in my view is that we weren’t put out of our misery sooner.

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Editorial: Where did it all go wrong for Doncaster Rovers in 2021-22?

Editorial: Where did it all go wrong for Doncaster Rovers in 2021-22?

At the end of the summer I sat in the same spot I’m writing this editorial, whilst Richie Wellens looked back at me and my decor via Zoom, and told me that he didn’t foresee Rovers being in a relegation battle come the second half of the season. A couple of weeks later Gavin Baldwin told the BBC that ‘we are nowhere near [a relegation battle] at this stage’. 

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