Rob Johnson pens down for us his top 10* Rovers Villains to have been known (and hated) by the Rovers faithful:
*Rob got so angry writing it after 8, fellow Committee Members Wesley Grimes and Lee Croft put forward the case for Cotterill and Dickinson respectively.
I had so much fun writing about Rovers top ten unsung heroes that I thought I would turn my attention to the darker side of our history. Here we have the top ten biggest Rovers villains. The only criteria is that only indiscretions committed whilst not at Rovers will be considered so no “Wanker” Weaver, Ken Richardson or Julie Richardson or Barry Richardson…
In no particular order (except no. 1):
10. Paul Caddis
Unique on this list as he has never actually done anything of note against Rovers directly but indirectly not many people have had more of an effect on our recent history. Rovers went into to the last game away at champions Leicester needing to match or beat Birmingham’s result against Bolton.
Rovers were lacklustre against a Leicester side who seemed to have no desire to score at all until James Husband needlessly scythed down Riyad Mahre in the box with Dave Nugent slotting home the resulting penalty.
With Birmingham 2-0 down at Bolton though it didn’t seem like it was going to matter until news filtered through that Zigic had pulled one back for Birmingham and then the inevitable happened. Another Zigic header was cleared off the line and Paul Caddis, or Paul ‘fucking’ Caddis as he will more likely become known, was on hand to head home a dramatic and sickly equalizer in the third minute of stoppage time.
9. Chris Moyles
Another last day disaster against Cheltenham Town led to Rovers having to go in to the play offs at the end of the 07/08 season and after crushing Southend 5-1 at the Keepmoat Rovers were poised to play Leeds United in the play off final.
In the run up to the game Moyles had Kaiser Chiefs Ricky Wilson as a guest on his Radio 1 breakfast show. Moyles and Wilson are both Leeds fans and Moyles continually mocked Rovers on the show for our fan base and small ground and other such nonsense.
Moyles ‘big club mentality’ was indicative of the attitude of a lot of Leeds fans at the time which made it that little bit sweeter when Hayter scored his historic winning goal. This incident also led to me starting a Facebook group entitled ‘Chris Moyles is a fat dickhead’. It currently has 353 likes.
8. Chris Tate
Despite having played against us for Scarborough in our record breaking relegation season out of the football league it wasn’t until the following season that Chris Tate would first become known to Rovers fans.
In October 1999, Tate helped to knock us out of the FA cup by scoring in a 2-0 victory for Halifax. He celebrated in front of the Rovers fans which just confirmed our natural, initial suspicions of Tate as he is the namesake of villainous Chris Tate from Emmerdale .
Less than a month later Rovers fans were surprised to see him bounding around Belle Vue once again with his stupid floppy hair flowing in the wind celebrating the winning goal in a 1-0 win. This time for Scarborough. Then just six days later he played his part in a huge brawl that saw two men sent off, including Rovers Mike Newell, and five players (including Tate) booked. To go from being someone Rovers fans had never heard of to being roundly loathed in the space of less than a month is impressive.
7. Ronnie Moore
Ronnie Moore is illegitimate, he has got no birth certificate, he’s got AID’s and he can’t get rid of it. He’s a Rotherham bastard. Bastard. Bastard. That is what I was told on the Popular Stand from a young age and I don’t think anyone can argue with some of the great minds who used to assemble there. He is also apparently the owner of a wanker’s hat.
Having played for bitter rivals Rotherham as well as managing them twice Moore is the modern day face of Rotherham United. What an awful face it is.
6. Daryl Clare
Rovers started the 01/02 season full of confidence and this reached fever pitch when we found out we had signed prolific striker Justin Jackson whilst sat on the coach to Boston. Jackson made his debut that night but Clare stole the show scoring twice in stoppage time to break Rovers hearts after going 2-0 up. Clare angered the Rovers fans that night by celebrating wildly in front of the Rovers support.
The lack of an actual local derby during the conference years led to some curious rivalries developing with the likes of Scarborough, Boston, Rushden & Diamonds and particularly Chester filling the hole left by the lack of trips to Scunthorpe or Rotherham. After the Boston incident Clare again scored against us in the return game at Belle Vue in a 1-0 for Boston before leaving for Chester the following season after struggling for goals in league 2. After playing in a bad tempered game at the Deva Stadium which saw Rovers have two men sent off and losing 1-0 we met Chester City in the playoff semi final.
After two epic games (covered in more detail later) nothing could separate the two sides and the tie went to penalties. Clare hilariously missed his penalty and then preceded to openly burst into tears as Rovers went through despite being second best in both legs. Thus Daryl ‘tears’ Clare was born.
5. Steve Evans
Evans has managed to escape national notoriety for his continuous appalling behaviour by managing clubs that literally nobody could care less about like Boston, Crawley and Rotherham but his Wikipedia entry reads like a list of ‘how to be a fat tosser‘.
It is difficult to pin point why Evans is so hated by the Rovers faithful but just his mere continued presence on the sideline as manager of Boston appears to be the starting point. He just looks disgusting with his grotesque face which somehow always looks like he is wearing makeup like some nightmarish surreal video of a serial killer clown from the dark web.
The peak of Evans buffoonish behaviour came at the end of this season however as he paraded around in a silly hat following Rotherham avoiding relegation – possibly a wanker’s hat that he borrowed from Ronnie Moore.
4. Carl Dickinson
Having spent most of his career at Stoke, Dickinson never played against the Rovers much apart from a few shadow appearances whilst at Blackpool and Barnsley. However Dickinson’s reputation with Rovers fans came to prominence in 2011 at Fratton Park. The Rovers of SOD were leading a well deserved Portsmouth side by 3 goals to 2, the Rovers started their usual slick passing with Rovers fans cheering “ole” every-time they touched the ball. James Hayter grabbed the ball on the wing and attempted to cut inside only for Dickinson to come flying in with his studs showing and Hayter, who tried to jump out of the way, still felt the full force of the tackle and collapsed to a heap on the floor.
The Referee rightly showed Dickinson a red card, to which Dickinson reacted disgustingly and came face to face with David Healy who had just scored the winner. He did later apologise for what can only be described as a common assault, but he tried to justify his disgusting reaction by saying Healy reacting only winded him up.
If that wasn’t enough to make Rovers fans dislike Dickinson, he showed up at the Keepmoat with Port Vale in 2014 and scored to make it 3-0 to the valiants, celebrating in front of the South Stand. In the reverse fixture at Vale Park he found his new target in Nathan Tyson. Surprisingly he managed to knock Tyson to the ground on many occasions and give away 3 or 4 fouls against Tyson without the Ref going to his pocket. To make it even worse he then used his elbow as a tactic of preventing Tyson reaching a loose ball in the Vale Box with the ref allowing play to continue with such criminal behaviour, once again he showed his vile side in front of the Rovers faithful.
3. Steve Cotterill
Steve Cotterill – He’s always been a cretin right back to the Conference days when he managed Cheltenham and the old tale goes that he riled Ian Snodin up to the point where he put his boot through the dressing room door. His teams are taught to play football in the worst way. He’s an anti-O’Driscoll so to speak. Ugly (both on the pitch and facially, see Dave Kitson), overly physical and direct to the point that a Dean Saunders team would look like Brazil. Naturally as with most villains its always been effective as he’s bullied his way out of numerous divisions, trampling on our side every time on their way. He epitomised what a real piece of work he was while at Portsmouth in 2010/11. The referee was a complete disgrace that day as the usual Cotterill line up kicked lumps out of our tippy tappy, slender built side and it was allowed to continue. It came to a head with one of the most blatant red cards (The ref got that one right) you’ve ever seen that Steve Cotterill had the temerity to decide post game that ‘there wasn’t much in it actually’. It wasn’t far off a leg breaker, studs up and foot off the ground.
The other game that season he was enraged and started gobbing off to Olde English gentleman Sean O’Driscoll for a good couple of minutes as the whistle blew. I’ll always remember it in my head as SOD cowering in the dugouts, shaking like a lost puppy, defenceless while Cotterill wildly gestated and shouted till he was literally purple but this may have been exaggerated as years have gone by.
2. Dave Kitson
Dave Kitson appears to have based his entire career on trolling Rovers fans.There is no player in the modern era who has brought bile to the throats of Rovers fans more often than Dave Kitson. Starting in 2003 when he scored twice at Abbey Stadium for Cambridge in a famous 3-3 draw and ending with his sickening equalizer for Sheff Utd at the Keepmoat in 2013.
I have nothing against ginger hair but there is no need for someone to flaunt it so outrageously as Kitson. This, coupled with his permanent scowl and small beady eyes give him the look of an insidious fox, constantly prowling around in the hope of slaughtering defenceless animals. For fun.
We didn’t meet again until Kitson scored the only goal in a 1-0 defeat at home to Reading and celebrated with his now customary gusto by running round the entire ground. Reports that he continued his celebrations by murdering a small child and drinking their blood remain unconfirmed.
That summer Kitson became Stoke City’s record signing as they inexplicably splashed out 5.5 million to bring him to the Brittania Stadium and in doing so sullied memories of our famous play off final victory there.
Kitson popped up again with a goal at the Keepmoat, this time for Portsmouth in a 2-0 defeat in February 2011, at this point I thought surely that would be the last time… I was very wrong.
The following season Kitson played 35 games and scored a meagre 4 goals. 50% of his return came in two Portsmouth victories against Rovers. The first in a 3-1 loss at Portsmouth and the second in a 4-3 home defeat in which Kitson scored the winning goal after fouling somebody in the run up and handling the ball for another Pompey goal.
In 2013 Kitson scored against us for his fourth different club in the last minute of a 2-2 draw on New Years Day and cupped his pale hands to his disgusting ear as he completed his usual lap of the Keepmoat pitch.
Kitson has scored against us 7 times, for 4 different clubs over 10 years. He has recently signed for non league Arseley Town so his reign of terror might not be over just yet. Expect us to draw them in the FA cup next season…
Kitson might be the Secret Footballer but it is definitely no secret that he is a bell end.
1. Kevin McIntyre
Macca was brought to Rovers by Ian Snodin in 1999 and quickly became a fans favourite for his tough tackling and sweet left foot. After becoming injured at the start of the 01/02 season Rovers continued to pay his wages and offered him a new contract despite him having not played for a year. McIntyre instead opted to abandon Rovers despite the support and good will he had received from both the club and the fans and join bitter rivals Chester City on a free.
Emotions ran high as McIntyre emerged from the player tunnel as a Chester City player for the first time in September of 2002 and was subjected to a torrent of abuse from angry and betrayed Rovers fans throughout the match.
McIntyre also played in the return game which saw two players sent off for Rovers and McIntyre himself booked in a bad tempered game but it wasn’t until the playoff games when things really kicked off.
McIntyre received wave after wave of abuse at Belle Vue in the first leg but he silenced the Rovers fans when putting Chester 1-0 up, only for Tristram Whitman to equalize in the final minute. In the second leg Chester again went 1-0 up only for Paul Barnes to equalize with his tits and although Macca scored in the shoot out he had to face watching Rovers move into the football league while he had to stay in the conference.
There was to be one more twist in the tail as Rovers drew Chester in the League cup the following season and Franny Tierney left Macca on his arse on his way to scoring the only goal in a 1-0 victory, thus further giving the Rovers fans a chance to remind McIntyre what he was missing.
To paraphrase Alan Partridge ‘needless to say, we had the last laugh… now fuck off!’