Luton Town’s visit to the Keepmoat Stadium for Saturday’s vital promotion clash will bring back special memories for club chairman Nick Owen who started out as a rookie reporter in the town.
The TV presenter began his career straight from university as a trainee on the now defunct Doncaster Evening Post in 1969 and has been looking forward to the clash since the fixtures were announced last summer.
It will be the first game between the two clubs in Doncaster since Owen first took over as chairman of the Hatters almost ten years ago.
But when the teams kick off on Saturday the lifelong Luton fan will not be present at the match.
He said: “It’s a massive disappointment to me that I won’t be there but I’ve got a long standing family engagement that I must attend so I will be elsewhere although I’ll certainly be checking up on the game.”
Owen said he had wonderful memories of working in the town and added: “It was a really memorable time for me because I loved learning on the job back then and I worked with some fantastic people in the office on North Bridge.
“It gave me a great start to my career and from there I worked on the Birmingham Post and local radio in the Midlands before moving into television.”
Owen became a sports presenter with ITV and later covered the Olympics and World Cup before working with Anne Diamond for many years on breakfast television.
He said: “I’ve just been really lucky in my career and it all started with those two and a half years I had at the old Evening Post.”
Owen lived behind Belle Vue in St Agnes Road but only saw Luton play there once during his time in the town when Rovers emerged 2-0 winners in October, 1969.
He recalled: “It was a similar situation to this season with roles reversed because we were top of the table and Rovers were fourth.
“We hadn’t lost a game until then and quite a few mates came up to stay with me and sleep on the floor but we were all gutted when Doncaster won.”
Owen had not seen a match between the two teams since until Rovers visited Kenilworth Road last September.
He said: “We came from behind to win 3-1 but we weren’t in the game at the start. In fact we could hardly get a foot on the ball and it was only when there was a long break for a player to be stretchered off that Doncaster lost their momentum.
“It hasn’t surprised me at all how well they have done since because they are without doubt the best team we have played all season.
“But we can beat anyone our day and I think Saturday will be a classic with plenty of good football.
“I just hope both teams can go on and win promotion and then maybe I’ll finally get to a game at the Keepmoat next season.”