Many English football clubs have been established for at least one hundred years. Often, they experience crises during their existence and rely on someone or a group of people to provide support.
Doncaster Rovers Football Club was first established in 1879. Trouble flared in 1998 when the main stand was set on fire and the club dropped out of the Football League with some pitiful results. John Ryan, a successful businessman and life-long fan, first became a Doncaster Rovers Director in 1989 at the age of 39. He resigned a little before the 1998 debacle. Then, when the new owners took control, he was appointed chairman, eventually acquiring the football side of the operation.
Amazing success followed, Rovers climbed back into the Football League, promotions took place, a cup won, and the club eventually found itself in the Championship. A new ground was built along the way. After the halcyon years as chairman, John eventually resigned in 2013.
With forensic research, Peter Tuffrey, who has known John Ryan since late 1979, has looked at every aspect of John’s tenure as chairman of Doncaster Rovers. It is fascinating reading to say the least. Two 16-page picture sections depict John with players, mingling with supporters and, most importantly, enjoying the club’s outstanding achievements in such a short space of time.
John Ryan epitomises the Doncaster Rovers’ phrase: ‘Rovers ‘til I Die.’