VIDEO: 1D Louis Tomlinson stars in DRFC James Coppinger legends game
Players and managers past and present returned to Rovers for the long-serving midfielder’s Legends game, to celebrate his eleven incredible years at the club.
Coppinger himself got on the scoresheet as his side ran out 7-4 winners against a team captained by 1D star Louis Tomlinson, who drew wild screams from young fans every time he touched the ball during the light-hearted contest.
Among the highlights of an entertaining afternoon were former chairman John Ryan officiating the first two minutes before being sent off by referee and Rovers ace Andy Butler, goalkeeper Andy Warrington rolling back the years with some excellent saves and goal hero Billy Sharp bagging a brace.
The 4,000 in attendance also enjoyed a lovely goal from crowd favourite John Doolan, who played the full ninety minutes despite seeming to have added a few pounds since the end of his playing career, while Jason “Afro Goal Machine” Price scored twice with Leo Fortune-West, Greg Blundell, Mark McCammon and Martin Woods also getting their names on the scoresheet.
Richie Wellens’ young son Charlie came off the bench to score for Coppinger’s team - but not before Tomlinson drew good-natured boos from the crowd by sending the youngster sprawling to the turf under a tackle.
However, the pop star himself also ended up on the deck after being clatted by former striker McCammon in a bruising clash.
A portion of the proceeds from the event were donated to Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.
The 34-year-old was given the fitting party to celebrate closing in on the club’s all time appearance record, currently held by 80s favourite Colin Douglas.
Coppinger, who joined Doncaster in 2004, stands second in the list of Rovers’ all-time appearance makers, having played more than 440 games since joining on from Exeter City. Only Douglas (468) has made more appearances.
Scores of old team-mates returned, along with former bosses Dave Penney and Sean O’Driscoll and their assistants Mickey Walker and Richard O’Kelly.
Coppinger later took to Twitter to pay tribute to supporters, tweeting: “A massive thankyou to the fans that came to support everyone. Hope you had a great day. #onebigfamily” while Tomlinson wrote: “Wow what a game !! Loved that experience , I’ve grown up watching most of those lads !!”