Can You Remember The First Time?

Those of you familiar with the print edition of popular STAND, or indeed with long enough memories to recall Viva Rovers’ first online incarnation, will be familiar with our statistician. The man who goes by the name of Dutch Uncle, the self-proclaimed only Plaid Cymru voting Rovers fan in the Netherlands. From his underground bunker in Den Haag, Dutch churns out fascinating Doncaster statistics, hewn from the finest annuals money can haggle for on eBay, and if we’re lucky enough, he allows the fanzine to serve as a medium for them. And if we’re not as lucky, he posts them on the forums.

Recently a discussion on the forum brought up the subject of Chris Brown, currently in his second spell at Rovers 9 years after initially playing on loan from Sunderland, and wondered if any Rovers player could boast a longer gap than he between their first goal for the club and their most recent. This isn’t a time for wondering though, this is a time for facts, and so Dutch went to work to discover the real answer, which is yes, seven of them could, and those seven, plus Chris are listed below.

Player 1st Goal Last Goal Time Period*
Alan Warboys 5th May 1966 21st Jan 1982 5,719 days
Alick Jeffrey 1st Jan 1955 16th Nov 1968 5,068 days
Colin Douglas 15th Sep 1981 16th Jan 1993 4,141 days
David Harle 15th Nov 1980 2nd Nov 1991 4,005 days
Bert Tindill 4th Sep 1946 1st Feb 1957 3,802 days
Syd Bycroft 12th Mar 1937 7th Dec 1946 3,556 days
Fred Emery 23rd Jan 1926 26th 12 1934 3,260 days
Chris Brown 4th Oct 2003 21st Aug 2012 3,244 days

*Dutch points out that he has been a little lazy and counted days based on 365.25 a year so time periods may be a day or so out

Syd Bycroft’s appearances for Rovers stretched over approximately 6,174 days but he was not much of a goalscorer, hence his position in sixth. He was also one of only three players to score for Rovers both pre and post World War II, the others being Jack Kirkaldie (3,156 days between first and last goal) and Les Owens (2,827 days).

The table above includes only League, FA Cup, League Cup, Associate Members Cup and Play-Off games, but if it were to include the Sheffield County Cup then there is a different and very clear winner. Glynn Snodin scored his first goal for Rovers against Scunthorpe on Boxing Day 1977, and his last goal, before he left for Sheffield Wednesday, against Leyton Orient on the 6th May 1985. However, when back as assistant manager to brother Ian, in the early Conference years Glynn played and scored in the Sheffield County Cup aganst Brodsworth Welfare on 11th Nov 1999 giving approx 7,990 days between his first and last goal for the club.