Doncaster Council confirm ceremony for bestowing Freedom of the Borough on Rovers legend James Coppinger
A ceremony to award Doncaster Rovers legend James Coppinger ‘Freedom of the Borough’ has been set by the council.
The Rovers star is set to be awarded the accolade at a special ceremony on Friday, May 21 at the council’s annual AGM at Doncaster Racecourse.
Handing the Freedom of the Borough to James Coppinger would allow the citizens of Doncaster to offer recognition to the longest serving player in Doncaster Rovers history.
Coppingger retired at the end of the current season having played for the club a record 695 times, scoring 78 goals during his 17 year spell.
In addition, in his role as a club legend on the pitch, Coppinger has been a great ambassador for the suicide prevention charity CALM (The Campaign Against Living Miserably)
David Chorlton, civic office manager at Doncaster Council said: “The council is able to bestow the Freedom of the Borough on individuals who have provided exceptional service to their town or enhanced its reputation through their actions.
“James signed for Doncaster Rovers in 2004 and is the longest-serving player in the club’s history and has played beyond his 40th birthday. He has been a virtual ever-present in the side during that time.
“He was an integral part of Doncaster Rovers squads that won promotion from League One twice, League Two once and the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
“Off the pitch James has been a regular at community events and joined other club staff and fans in hiking the Inca Trail in Peru in 2011 which raised more than £50,000 for Save The Children and the NSPCC.
“James has been a powerful advocate in recent years about mental health and sharing his story and setting up a business called Pro Mindset, helping young footballers improve their mental approach to the game.
“He has been heavily involved in the club’s activities around mental health and designed the recent charity shirt which was sponsored by Campaign Against Living Miserably charity – which was also used as a celebration of his time at the club.”
The application was put forward by Ros Jones and letters of support were received from David Blunt, Doncaster Rovers chairman, Maria Kuzak, senior philanthropy manager at CALM and Len South from Doncaster Rovers supporters club.