Doncaster Rovers fan fools internet with mocked-up photo of Keepmoat Stadium covered in poppies

A mocked-up photo of Doncaster Rovers' Keepmoat Stadium decked out in poppies has fooled football fans after going viral.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 3rd November 2016, 8:26 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 3:20 pm
The mocked up picture of the Keepmoat. (Photo: Tony Critchley).
The mocked up picture of the Keepmoat. (Photo: Tony Critchley).

Hundreds of supporters across the country have been sharing the picture of the outside of the Rovers' ground supposedly carrying the message "Lest We Forget" and covered in poppies and silhouettes of soldiers for Remembrance Day and praising the club for its efforts.

Leading social media page The Sport Bible - which has 9 million followers - posted the photo on Facebook and Twitter with the message: "Brilliant work by Doncaster Rovers at the Keepmoat."

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Other Facebook pages and Twitter users have also shared the picture and heaped praise on the club.

But the photo is actually a mock-up created by Doncaster Rovers fan Tony Critchley as his own tribute - and he admits he is amazed by the reaction the picture has created.

He said: "I only did it as my own tribute and it went crazy. I've always enjoyed mucking about with photos and just put it on Facebook, showing my passion for Rovers and respect for our war dead and never expected it to take off like it did.

"I just want people to see it as what it is, something that took on a life of its own and I hope people interpret in the way it was intended - just something I created for my own entertainment.

"I've combined a picture of a poppy with a Rovers badge for a few years and just put it on Facebook as my own way of paying tribute. There was never any intent to deceive people."

The picture came in the wake of the row over England and Scotland players being barred from wearing poppies on their shirts by FIFA ahead of next week's Armistice Day clash between the two countries.

Tony, a lifelong Rovers fan, created the image at home as his own tribute to soldiers lost in battle, superimposing the poppies and soldiers onto a photo of the stadium's reception entrance and then shared it to a Doncaster Rovers fans' Facebook page.

But the image was then picked up by other Facebook and Twitter users with a page called Football Away Days posting: "Brilliant work by Doncaster Rovers."

David Quayle commented on the photo and wrote: "Suggest that the FA look at this and take notice. Well done to Doncaster Rovers."

Darren Thomson added: "Fantastic Well done Doncaster from a veteran and a Rangers supporter."

And Shaun P Hamilton added: "Well done Donny for sticking two fingers up at the a******* who run world football (fifa) who are all from Germany, Austria n Switzerland need I say more."

Fellow Doncaster Rovers fans have now called on the club to actually put Tony's mural into place.

Jamie Wainman wrote on Facebook: "Think the club need to do it now following the adulation they're receiving!"

David Edwin Burton added: "Tony has put us on the map. Now the club should really do it."

More than 140,000 people have backed a campaign to get football's governing body FIFA to reverse its ban on players wearing the poppy, claiming the flower was a "political" symbol.

Both England and Scotland have said they will flout FIFA's ban and accept any punishments dished out as a result.

The organisation's rules restrict players from wearing politicial, religious or commercial symbols on shirts.