Hail our magnificent fans and that Steve Brooker special

Fitting: Injury-ravaged Steve Brooker celebrates his thunderbolt against Leicester.   Picture: Steve Taylor
Fitting: Injury-ravaged Steve Brooker celebrates his thunderbolt against Leicester. Picture: Steve Taylor
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WE’VE made it!

Although we crept over the line, we are still in the Championship, with all the prestige and financial resources it brings.

Well done to all the players and staff.

I must say the fans on Saturday were magnificent getting behind the team.

But we can’t take the summer off thinking it will be any easier next season.

For the Rovers’ management of Sean O’Driscoll and Richard O’Kelly and the board, the hard work starts now.

Unfortunately this is the worst time of the season for players whose contracts are up. They may end up without a job or be lucky to find another club.

Best wishes to all those concerned, and not just at Rovers.

Saturday’s game against an alleged star-studded Leicester team, proved that when the heat is on Rovers can cook up the goods.

A 25 yard thunderbolt of a goal in the 47th minute by substitute Steve Brooker, his first home goal in his two-and-a-half-years at the club, was a peach.

You just wondered how many goals he would have had, if injury after injury had not beset Steve.

But that goal will have repaid the support through those injuries which the club showed.

With results filtering in from around other games - the Blades were winning at that stage - Brooker’s goal certainly lifted everyone.

But Rovers don’t generally do things the easy way, and Yakubu equalised to make the last ten minutes squeaky bum time.

But our local rivals Barnsley managed to equalise so ensuring our safety and condemning the Blades to the third tier of English football next season.

Something Rovers’ chairman John Ryan seemed to predict at the start of the season when he said that the power of South Yorkshire football had shifted to ourselves and Barnsley.

Fancy picking my lottery numbers on Saturday, John?

The players took a deserved lap of honour, and relief, to an appreciative crowd after the final whistle.

And so the end is near and we are off for the final game of the season at Middlesbrough - who on Monday had a fantastic win at Cardiff - tomorrow.

Although it wont be easy, the pressure has been lifted so let’s make it a party for the fans.

We already have 10 coaches going that I know about, and there are still some seats available. If you can’t make it then why not drop in on the Doncaster Rovers Belles-Arsenal game at the Keepmoat Stadium tomorrow (2pm).

I saw them beat Liverpool 1-0 at home on Wednesday night.

Belles are at home to Everton on Thursday, in a game being shown live on ESPN Thursday night.

I enjoyed my experience refereeing on the Keepmoat Stadium pitch on Sunday in a Rovers v Stadium Management Company staff charity game, featuring Old England v Old Scotland.

The Scots took a 5-0 lead but England hit back to level at 5-5 with some help - my dodgy eyesight not seeing a clear offside.

In my defence, I didn’t have any linesman to help me.

The game finished 7-7, with the ‘old enemy’ winning 8-7 on penalties.

The game was enjoyed by a wedding party holding their reception in the East stand.

The hardness of the pitch was certainly apparent and you can possibly see why the first team have had so many injuries.

Credit to the players who made it an enjoyable match.

Thanks to all who donated to my bucket collection for the Rovers/NSPCC Inca Trek at the game Saturday. I raised £154.25, and with other donations put it up to nearly £600.

Thanks to a £216 donation from the Brian Armitage and his supporters from Thorne area - other thanks to follow.

So far I have raised more than £4,500. You can still donate at the Middlesbrough game tomorrow as I will have my forms on me. You can also donate online - the website is justgiving.com/roversincatrek.

A final plea to any fans wishing to attend the 29th Retford Supporters’ Club Dinner/Dance on Friday May 13. You have until Sunday night to book tickets priced at £21 which includes a free bus from the Doncaster area.

For this and coach bookings, or Inca sponsorship, please phone 07961 727769.

Coaches to Middlesbrough depart Retford 08.45, Harworth 8.50, Bawtry/ Rossington Styrupp 9.00, Hare and Tortoise 9.05, Sprotborough Ivanhoe 9.10, Infirmary 9.15, and Keepmoat 9.30.

Bus allocation should be up on the bike shelter near car park 1/ticket office.