Tributes pour in as ex-Doncaster Rovers star dies after Alzheimer's battle

Tributes have poured in following the death of an ex-Doncaster Rovers favourite after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

By Darren Burke
Tuesday, 19th April 2022, 2:11 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th April 2022, 6:34 pm

Harold Wilcockson, who played for the club in the late 1960s and early 1970s, died last week at the age of 78, his family have announced.

The defender, who was part of the squad that lifted the Division Four title during the 1968-69 season under Lawrie McMenemy, had been battling the brain condition for a number of years, his daughter Jill said.

Fans have paid tribute to the former footballer who enjoyed two separate spells with the club.

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Former Doncaster Rovers star Harold Wilcockson has died after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer's.

Tom Beardsley said: “Sad to hear about the death of our star full back Harold Wilcockson. RIP Harold, and thanks for the great memories.”

Jayne Atick said: “Great full back Harold was,” while John Norman added: “Excellent player. RIP.”

Ann Beckwith posted: “He was a great full back. RIP sending condolences to family.”

Former Doncaster Rovers chairman John Ryan posted: “Good full, back very classy player RIP.”

Neil Brammer added: “One of the best defensive players I have seen at Donny.”

His daughter Jill, who earlier this year took on a 28 mile fundraising charity trek for Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “On behalf of the family, thank you so much for your kind words, we take great comfort in how highly you speak of him, bringing alive his footballing days, thank you.”

Earlier this year, she said: “My dad is quite a number of years into his Alzheimers journey, a bumpy journey at that.

"I hope at some point in the future treatment will be much more advanced allowing individuals and their families to live much better lives.

"It’s horrendous - anyone who hasn’t experienced Alzheimer’s contact me and I’ll tell you the truth.”

Sheffield born Wilcockson first arrived at Belle Vue in 1967 from Rotherham United.

The defender was part of the squad that lifted the Division Four title during the 1968-69 season under Lawrie McMenemy.

In his first spell at the club between 1967-69, he scored four goals in 84 appearances, before moving to Sheffield Wednesday.

However, by 1971 he was back at Belle Vue and made 38 more appearances and scoring one more goal before being released in 1973.

In total, he made 122 appearances for Rovers during his career.