Tributes as ex-Doncaster Rovers fans' director and former Donny Dog mascot dies

Former Doncaster Rovers director Andy Liney.
Former Doncaster Rovers director Andy Liney.

Tributes have been paid following the death of a former director of Doncaster Rovers who also portrayed the club's Donny Dog mascot.

Andy Liney, 69, was instrumental in helping to secure the club's move to the Keepmoat Stadium more than a decade ago and was also loved among supporters for his antics as the club's dog mascot.

Mr Liney was a fans' champion.

Mr Liney was a fans' champion.

The death of Mr Liney, who had been ill for some time, was announced last night.

Former club chairman John Ryan led the tributes, writing on Facebook: "So sorry to hear of the death of Andy Liney.

"He helped Rovers in so many ways when we were at our lowest ebb. He was a great guy who helped us achieve so much including the Keepmoat Stadium. So sad to see both Andy and Dick (Watson) pass away in such a short time R.I.P."

Mr Liney, who was from Retford, was a supporter-director for six years and a former chairman of fans' group, the Viking Supporters Co-operative.

He also portrayed the club's mascot Donny Dog for several years.

He also portrayed the club's mascot Donny Dog for several years.

A tribute posted on the VSC website read: "It is with great sadness that we have to report the passing of former VSC Chairman and Rovers Supporter Director Andy Liney.

"Andy was chair of the VSC for over 6 years, taking the reins of the newly formed Trust and using his enormous drive, tenaciousness and love for the club, delivered an enormous amount of positive change that all fans today should be proud of.

"Andy lead negotiations with the council over the creation of the Doncaster Community Stadium, now known to football supporters throughout the world as The Keepmoat Stadium, and tirelessly raised funds through the years leading up to the stadium opening.

"Many fans will no doubt remember him rattling a bucket under their noses at Belle Vue and asking for their spare change for The Coin Trail, an idea he had to visualise the journey from Belle Vue to the site of the new stadium by following a trail of coins donated by supporters. Andy raised £56,710.34 for the club from that one idea alone.

"Andy, though small in stature, was always a larger than life character.

"He made the character of Donny Dog, the club mascot, his own, often getting into a few scrapes which made supporters laugh.

"From riding a moped around the pitch at Belle Vue, to challenging wrestler Al Snow to a bout, to giving Arsene Wenger a Christmas card from Jose Mourhino (after the pair had a well publicised spat) ahead of the Rovers playing Arsenal in the League Cup in 2006, Andy always brought a real sense of fun to whatever he did.

"On behalf of all VSC members, the board would like to offer our deepest condolences to Andy's family and friends. For supporters of the club, his legacy will live on in Doncaster Rovers and the stadium he fought so hard to deliver for the club. Rest in peace Andy."

During his time as Donny Dog, he was controversially barred from entering Huddersfield Town's stadium in his costume because of "police intelligence."

But two months after the original incident, Andy received a written apology from West Yorkshire Police to clear his name and apologise for causing him any embarrassment.