The Monday Profile: Andy Warrington
Doncaster Rovers fans who care to cast their mind back to the Conference Play Off semi final of 2003 (and I am sure there are few who can resist the invitation) will remember the heroics of long serving goalkeeper Andy Warrington as he saved two penalties in a crucial shoot out at Chester City’s Deva Stadium.
The clinching moment saw a certain Dave Cameron’s spot kick parried away and such is the exalted position of Warrington in Donny Rovers folklore, some fans might be hoping that his skills could stretch to saving us from another man of the same name.
Indeed, despite now sporting the colours of South Yorkshire rivals Rotherham United, the 34 year old is still held in the highest esteem at the Keepmoat – 200 matches throughout the club’s most successful period and a score of clean sheets in Rovers’ subsequent promotion season attest to his status as a legend – you’ll remember Glen from Viva Rovers’ documenting that campaign for us in January.
Nasty injuries blighted his time with the red and white. He recovered from a broken jaw in a Conference Trophy game at Southport in 2000 after coming south from an initial spell at York City that had seen him warm the bench for the Minstermen as Graeme Murty and company won a League Cup tie at Old Trafford. His Doncaster career was to end equally frustratingly – a collision with Manchester City’s Nedum Onuoha in another famous giantkilling put paid to his time there.
Twenty matches at Bury constituted a brief sojourn but he was fraternising with the Gigg Lane set again on Saturday in Millers’ colours and, despite that undistinguished spell west of Pennines, he’s now constructing another epic narrative by the Rother.
Mark Robins’ side made light of a seventeen point deduction at the commencement of the 2008-9 season; the second time in three years that the Merry Men had entered administration, before launching a serious promotion challenge last time out. That ended in a rollercoaster of an encounter with Dagenham and Redbridge at Wembley – in the run in, Warrington had described his previous flirtation with the play offs as among his best ever experiences in football – now he was viewing the underbelly.
But Adam Le Fondre’s goals and more consistency from the greying netminder have put Rotherham back in the hunt this year too, and returning hero Ronnie Moore has fostered another strong promotion bid. Add to that the January announcement that the club will be moving from the frankly unsuitable Don Valley Stadium to the site of the Hard Times-evoking Guest and Chrimes Foundry in 2012 and optimism is high. With only four points separating them from Wycombe, and with a vastly experienced goalkeeper behind them, I have a feeling 2011 will be enjoyable for the Merry Millers.