Doncaster Rovers' top ten goalkeepers - #5 Andy Warrington
Andy Warrington stands third on the list of Rovers’ goalkeepers in terms of first team appearances - only Ken Hardwick and Dennis Peacock have appeared in more games.
The Sheffield-born ‘keeper had numerous challengers for the position of number one at Rovers but almost always managed to see them off.
Warrington joined Rovers from York City in the summer of 1999. There he had been understudy to Dean Kiely, who went on to play for Charlton Athletic, and had competed for the jersey with former Rover Mark Samways. Rovers were embarking on their second season in the Nationwide Conference and despite a lot of initial promise it was not a successful one. Nevertheless, Andy was an ever-present, impressing with his shot-stopping ability. For 2000-01, new manager Steve Wignall signed Barry Richardson to provide competition and his services were required when Warrington sustained a broken jaw in a cup game at Southport. He returned before the end of the season but there were suggestions he would not be the same player again. Richardson began the 2001-02 season as first choice, but after he opted to move to Halifax Town in December, Warrington was back. He put in a brilliant display in his recall game at Yeovil and thereafter kept custody of the gloves, despite competition from Lee Butler and Stuart Nelson.
For many, Warrington’s finest hour came in the second leg of the Conference play-off semi-final at Chester. After two 1-1 draws, the teams faced a penalty shoot-out and Warrington’s brilliant save from Darryl Clare helped ensure success. With Rovers back in the Football League, Richardson returned but this time as coach and deputy. Warrington played in every game of the 2003-04 Division Three Championship campaign, and his sustained excellence between the posts helped ensure that Rovers had the meanest defence in the entire Football League, conceding only 37 goals. He remained first choice for 2004-05, but concussion, followed by a hernia, meant he had to give way to Stuart Jones and then to the on-loan Iain Turner for part of the season.
Maybe these injuries persuaded manager Dave Penney to seek additional cover, with the Danes Jan Budtz and Tonny Nielsen signed for season 2005-06. Still, Andy began the season as the man in possession and stayed there until the dramatic Carling Cup-tie with Manchester City. During extra time he went in to a challenge with his customary bravery and sustained a broken leg. This injury, which allowed Budtz to cap a memorable debut with two fine saves in the shoot-out, forced Warrington onto the side-lines for the rest of the campaign. He returned to pre-season training for this season and played in a number of friendlies. During the last of these, at Gainsborough, he suffered a fractured ankle in the most bizarre circumstances, appearing to damage the joint while taking a goal-kick. After a loan spell he signed for Bury in January 2007. His career was far from over and he went on to play over 200 league games for Rotherham United, where he now works as a coach. Warrington played a key role in Rovers return to the Football League and their subsequent success.
Name: Andrew Clifford WARRINGTON
Born: Sheffield, 10th June 1976
Signed for Rovers: July 1999, from York City
Left Rovers: January 2007, joined Bury
Appearances: League 199, Cup 15