Doncaster Rovers' James Coppinger honoured with Sir Tom Finney Award for exceptional contribution to football

Doncaster Rovers legend James Coppinger will be honoured with the Sir Tom Finney Award at the EFL Awards on Thursday evening.

By Liam Hoden
Thursday, 29th April 2021, 1:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th April 2021, 1:54 pm

The award is given to a player who has enjoyed an outstanding career and made an exceptional contribution to the game, with Coppinger receiving the honour as he prepares to retire at the end of the campaign.

A statement from the EFL said: “The award, renamed in honour of Preston and England legend Sir Tom following his death in 2014, recognises Coppinger’s talent, commitment, and model professionalism throughout his career.”

The 40-year-old has been with Rovers for 17 seasons and made more than 800 career appearances. He is set to fall just shy of 700 appearances for Rovers alone.

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James Coppinger with the Sir Tom Finney Award

Coppinger said: “It's been a huge part of my life, 17 years at one football club is a lifetime.

“Twenty-three years as a player, and to spend 17 years of that in one place, it means everything.

"To be at a club like this and to have all the special moments and to share it with so many special players, managers, and fans, it's meant everything to me.

"I've been preparing for this for a long time. When you get to 40 it is not a surprise that you have to retire.

“I have almost felt like you do people an injustice when you're feeling fit and you're performing to retire.”

Previous winners of the award include Kevin Phillips, Kevin Davies and Rickie Lambert.

The 2021 EFL Awards will be broadcast live on Sky Sports on Thursday evening from 7.30pm.


In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.