Doncaster Rovers: Fans hope for a Ryan return

John Ryan pictured with the Doncaster Rovers fans during the game v Barnsley where he announced his resignation. Picture by Simon Hulme
John Ryan pictured with the Doncaster Rovers fans during the game v Barnsley where he announced his resignation. Picture by Simon Hulme

Scores of Doncaster Rovers fans do not think this is the end of John Ryan, says one of their official Supporters Club branch secretaries.

Ryan sensationally resigned as Rovers chairman and director on the day of the crucial South Yorkshire derby with Barnsley on Saturday.

He then took his seat in with the fans for the second half at Oakwell where he watched his beloved Rovers dig out a 0-0 draw with Barnsley.

Following the final whistle, Ryan held a post-match press conference declaring it a ‘sad day’ as he spoke about ending his 15-year spell with the club.

Disagreement between Ryan and fellow shareholders Terry Bramall and Dick Watson over the club’s future direction – the proposed Sequentia Capital takeover in particular which Ryan publicly backed – led to the chairman’s resignation.

However, long-time Rovers fan and supporters’ club branch secretary Paul Mayfield hopes Ryan - who has had four promotions, two cups and one relegation with Doncaster - could be persuaded into a return to the club he loves.

“It was a very sad occasion [when Ryan announced his resignation]. I’m sorry that it has come to this,” Mayfield told The Star.

“John Ryan is ‘Mr Doncaster Rovers’.

“When he came into the stands [at Oakwell v Barnsley on Saturday] fans started singing ‘There’s only one John Ryan’. He’s very loved at this club.

“We just want to support John and the football club in any way that we can.

“It’s sad for Rovers to see him go but hopefully he will bounce back and make a Rovers return.

“He loves the club and he would certainly be welcomed back. We will support John Ryan throughout.”

Len South, the official supporters’ club chairman, said back in September that there were fears Ryan could exit the club if the Sequentia deal fell through.

Mayfield told The Star that Ryan’s resignation did not come as a shock to him personally particularly as the on-going takeover saga continues to rumble on.

“You can’t fault the guy, he is a hero in my eyes,” added Mayfield.

“The international break gives time for the club to come to terms with what has happened.

“We need to show our support for our club. Paul Dickov needs help particularly with all of our player injuries, he needs to be able to bring more players in.”