THERE’S no stopping football mad Nathan Batchelor when it comes to Doncaster Rovers.
Not only has the 33-year-old not missed a match since he became an adult - he even once travelled across the country for a game the day after he had been in a serious car accident.
Nathan has been at every first team competitive fixture since 1997, both home and away – a total of about 780 matches.
That includes every match in the League, League Cup, FA Cup, Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, Conference Trophy and Sheffield and Hallamshire County Cup.
He even managed to make it to a Conference match in Farnborough the day after being involved in a head-on car crash which left him unconscious, with a broken nose and chest injuries. He also once went to a match while suffering from food poisoning.
Nathan, of Edenthorpe, credits his good health to the fact he has been able to keep going to games over the years.
He said: “It’s been mainly down to luck and staying healthy that I’ve been able to go to the matches. I’m not aiming for any particular milestone.
“I go because I enjoy it, and the fact that I’ve been to so many consecutive matches is a result of that.’’
Nathan goes to games with his wife, Lucy, also a Rovers fan. She has missed just 11 matches herself in the last 15 years. During home games at Rovers’ Keepmoat Stadium, the couple sit in the West Stand with Lucy’s father. Lucy and Nathan met at the Rovers.
In recognition of his commitment to the club, the Rovers invited Nathan and Lucy to watch a match from the comfort of the newly-refurbished Belle Vue Box, which was unveiled in January
The box gives fans a dose of nostalgia, with memorabilia on display from Rovers’ old ground. Rovers’ ex-manager, Davey Penney, hosted the experience.
Nathan said: “Lucy and I had a wonderful time at the Belle Vue experience. Dave Penney was an excellent host, as he talked about his time with Rovers but also about football in general.”
One Rovers memory in particular stands out for Nathan.
He said: “You can’t really top winning promotion back to the Football League at Stoke. We’ve achieved so much as a result of that match. It meant so much after five years in the Conference and it was a true signal that we’d made it through the dark times and back again. You never know what’s going to happen in football.”
In his spare time, Nathan is the League Secretary of the Sheffield and District Junior Football Leagues.
He is also club secretary of Bessacarr FC and is a Sheffield and Hallamshire County FA Council member.