Glowing tributes paid as Doncaster Rovers legend James Coppinger bestowed title of ‘Freedom of the Borough’
Glowing tributes to Doncaster Rovers legend James Coppinger have been paid from politicians as the footballer was bestowed the title of ‘Freedom of the Borough’.
Coppinger, who retired at the end of this season aged 40, played 695 games for Rovers, the most in the club’s history.
But his charity and community work was also a big factor in gaining the title, awarded by Doncaster Council to people who have achieved outstanding things in the borough.
Coppinger has been a great ambassador for the suicide prevention charity CALM (The Campaign Against Living Miserably).
He also walked the Inca Trail in Peru and raised more than £50,000 for Save The Children and the NSPCC.
Born on Teesside, Coppinger joined Rovers in 2004 from Exeter City and played 17 years scoring 78 goals.
The midfield man instrumental in Rovers’s promotion to the Championship in 2008 beating Leeds at Wembley and in winning the EFL Trophy the season before.
In total, the 40-year-old has three promotions on his CV.
Doncaster Council Mayor Ros Jones paid tribute to the football star alongside Edenthorpe & Kirk Sandall councillor David Nevett, a Rovers fan who saw Coppinger play many times at Belle Vue, the Keepmoat and grounds up and down the country.
Coun Nevett said: “To play at such a high level for so many years is a rarity – players are retiring around 30 to 35, years of age these days.
“He’s had a wonderful career and many of his wonder goals has helped Doncaster Rovers climb the table and succeed at Belle Vue and at The Keepmoat.
“Copps was a fans favourite, but when he came on the pitch, and stood over a free-kick by the 18-yard box, it felt like James would produce magic – and so he did many times.
“James Coppinger served us well in Doncaster.
“Keep up your community, your positive mind set work, and football for youngsters.
“You deserve our gratitude. It has been a pleasure. The honour is yours.”