Doncaster Rovers tells fans to 'look beyond football rivalry' for Leeds United charity event at Keepmoat
Doncaster Rovers supporters have been told to 'look beyond football rivalry' for a charity event celebrating Yorkshire rivals Leeds United at the club's Keepmoat Stadium.
Fans reacted angrily have it was announced that the club's stadium would be playing host to an event later this year celebrating Leeds' 1992 Division One title win and featuring a string of former Elland Road stars.
But Rovers have defended the private booking but urged supporters to back the event, which is in association with local cancer charity Firefly.
A Club Doncaster spokesman said: “The event in question is a private booking, which it looks like will be along the lines of an ‘audience with’ type of event.
“The private booking has been directly through Centerplate, our catering partners, who the club have given rights to sell conference facilities at the stadium, in return for this right, Centerplate provide the club with a revenue stream, all of which is contribution to club running costs, including the first team.
“While the event is being held at the stadium, the club itself have no direct involvement , neither with the event booking, the event logistics or the event promotion, it is simply a private booking for an event taken by Centerplate, which could have easily been held at the Dome or a local hotel, in the same way that a wedding or wake could be.
“While it is unfortunate from a fan rivalry perspective, that is it a Leeds United event in Doncaster, the event in question is in association with Firefly, a Doncaster charity, that supports Doncaster people who are suffering from cancer, ensuring they have means of transport to in order to get to hospitals that can provide the treatment needed.
“We would therefore urge people to look beyond the football rivalry on this and consider the people who will be benefitting from the funds raised from such an event, if you’re looking for high profile examples of rival fans coming together for greater good, then look no further than Liverpool and Everton and their supporter foodbanks, who have provided inspiration for our own supporters initiative.”
The Real Class of ’92 evening, presented by RM Sports, will take place on March 16 and will feature former Leeds stars Mel Sterland, Rod Wallace, Tony Dorigo, Steve Hodge, Jon Newsome and Chris Whyte.
The event's website said the evening would be a "spectacular" celebration of Leeds' 1992 title win and added: "Take a step back in time and relive the events that are now part of Leeds United’s history.
Rovers' famously beat Leeds in the 2008 League One play-off final at Wembley, James Hayter's goal scoring the only goal of the game, which saw Doncaster promoted to the Championship.
Tickets are available on 07717 502480.