‘Voice of Doncaster Rovers’ tips them for survival

Brian Bradley (centre) with Rovers media men Tony Bluff (left) and Steve Uttley.
Brian Bradley (centre) with Rovers media men Tony Bluff (left) and Steve Uttley.

Retired broadcaster Brian Bradley is tipping Doncaster Rovers to hang on to their Championship status.

“I think the recent win over Sheffield Wednesday gave them a lot of confidence,” said Brian, still a fairly frequent visitor to the Keepmoat.

“As things stand at the moment I think they’ll just about stop up.

“When you compare their finances to a lot of the other clubs in the division, it would certainly be an achievement.

“Paul Dickov has had to bring in a lot of loan players to cover for injuries. He’s done a good job on limited resources.

“But if they do stay up I think they’ll need to strengthen their squad in the summer.”

Brian certainly knows his football and his prediction that Rovers will survive should come as welcome reassurance for those fans biting their finger nails.

A well-known figure in the Sheffield and Hallamshire FA for many years, Brian was Radio Sheffield’s voice at Belle Vue during the majority of Rovers’ Conference era.

He took over from Alan Smith when Rovers were relegated, his extensive knowledge of non-League football helping him land the job.

He missed the club’s opening game at Dover but was on the mic for the first home game against Southport, where he interviewed John Ryan before kick off.

“No one will ever convince me otherwise that, but for John Ryan, Doncaster Rovers would have been dead and buried,” he said.

Brian enjoyed covering the club in the Conference – especially after being allowed to travel on the team coach.

When he finally decided to step down from the BBC, he became the first voice of what is now Rovers Player.

Among the memorable games he recalls reporting on was Rovers’ Conference Promotion Play-Off semi-final at Chester and the final against Dagenham and Redbridge at the Britannia Stadium.

“I was in tears when Francis Tierney scored the winning goal,” he admitted.

‘Bradders’, as he is affectionately known, also reported on the last match at Belle Vue and the first game at the Keepmoat.

“Don’t get me wrong, the Keepmoat is a great stadium but I think it lacks the atmosphere that the fans used to create at Belle Vue,” he said.

Brian also has fond memories of covering the victory over Bristol Rovers in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final at the Millennium Stadium.

“That was another great day for the club,” he enthused. “As was the League One Play-Off final at Wembley.

“I’ve many happy memories of covering Rovers and I met a lot of nice people.”