FAN PANEL: 'Things just won't be the same without James Coppinger' - Kieran O'Malley

James Coppinger has been a massive part of my life.

Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 6:00 am
The 'Coppinger Legend' banner at the Keepmoat Stadium. Photo: George Wood/Getty Images

He joined the club when I was nine so it’s like he’s always been around.

I’ve finished primary school, secondary school, college, graduated from university, became a father and much much more during the time in which he’s been here!

To not see him on a teamsheet again is hard to imagine and it hurts even more that we aren’t there to witness him pull on that 26 shirt one last time.

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The little flicks, deft touches and of course the Coppinger chop will be sorely missed week in week out.

It’s hard to imagine that we will ever see another player grace the Keepmoat, never mind the club, like Copps.

Many memories stand out for me after all these years, the obvious ones spring to mind straight away. The Southend hat trick, Brentford last minute winner, Morecambe goal on his 500th appearance for the club.

But two stick out the most for me personally.

Oldham away in 2015 was on my 20th birthday and a last minute Copps equaliser from a trademark cut inside sent me back to Doncaster absolutely buzzing.

And the volley he scored from the halfway line at Deeping Rangers. A last minute decision to travel there meant I got to see one of the best goals I’ve seen by a player in a red and white shirt. Granted the quality of opposition wasn’t great but to have the audacity to pull that off was unbelievable.

It’s hard to explain how much Copps will be missed. Things just won’t be the same seeing the number 26 not on the teamsheet on a match day.