STRUGGLING Doncaster Rovers have climbed to the top of the league.
On the field the football club may still be struggling at the wrong end of the Championship, but it has been revealed they are the best team in the land for their work in Doncaster neighbourhoods.
For community-conscious Rovers players have racked up more appearances at events across the borough than any of England’s other 91 professional football clubs.
And the friendly footballers have been particularly praised for showing the red card to racism - at a time when the issue has controversially resurfaced in the game.
Rovers stars scored an impressive total of 1,228 visits to community events, including education and health projects, in the 2010/11 season.
Premier League giants Chelsea trailed in second place with 1,066 visits, while Welsh club Cardiff City were Rovers’ nearest Championship challengers.
Eric Randerson, the club’s community chief executive, said the Keepmoat Stadium club’s success was the result of a real team effort.
He added: “Everyone at the football club has contributed to the player involvement. The community foundation staff and the playing staff understand the importance of the players having a positive presence in their community.”
Six players, including defenders James Chambers, George Friend and Mustapha Dumbuya, were highlighted by the Professional Footballers’ Association for their contribution to the Show Racism the Red Card initiative.
The efforts of midfielders Mark Wilson, James Coppinger and defender James O’Connor, who completed the Inca Trail to raise money for the NSPCC children’s charity earlier this year, were also hailed.
John Hudson, the PFA’s director of community, said: “Doncaster Rovers have consistently provided an exceptional high number of players in many of our thematic areas over the past three seasons.”
The football club’s bosses said they have continued their same commitment to interact with a wide cross-section of the Doncaster community this season.
Dave Morris, Rovers’ chief executive, added: “Our community section spearheads Doncaster Rovers commitment to the community.
“We are extremely proud to work with Eric and his team in the various projects they undertake.
“We know that from feedback from various organisations worked with that they find the visits extremely beneficial.
“We will continue to improve and increase the level of commitment to the community.”
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