Former Doncaster Rovers skipper Brian Makepeace turns 90

Doncaster Rovers' oldest surviving captain Brian Makepeace has reached a new milestone after celebrating his 90th birthday this week.

Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 11:34 am
Brian Makepeace, former Doncaster Rovers captain, on his 90th birthday. Picture: Marie Caley

Rossington-born Makepeace made 378 appearances for Rovers during an 11 year spell. He stands fifth on the club's all-time appearance record list.

He never did manage to find the net during his time at the club and his son-in-law - and another former Rovers defender - Paul Raven said: "That record shows it was very much a time when defenders defended. I don't think he will have ever crossed the half way line.

"Rovers were a very good second division time at the side and Brian came up against most of the top players at the time."

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

It was only half way through his playing career that Makepeace became a full-time footballer, having previously played for Rovers alongside his job at Rossington Main pit.

As a player, he had a reputation befitting someone who combined mine work with the game.

In the book 'My Father and Other Working Class Football Heroes' author Gary Imlach writes 'Brian Makepeace - the name couldn't have been contrived - was a notorious hard man who graduated from the colliery team in Rossington, where he was born, to Doncaster, where he was captain and right back for 11 years."

Imlach recalls tales from his father Stewart's time as a footballer - including being kicked around by Makepeace when they regularly crossed paths.

Makepeace moved into the senior side as Rovers won promotion to the second tier in 1950 and was a compatriot of the likes of Alick Jeffrey and Charlie Williams during his time at the club.

He left the club in 1961 after being informed via a one-line letter that he would not be offered new terms, and he went on to play for Boston United in the Midland League.

Makepeace - who has suffered from ill health in recent years - continues to live within walking distance of Rovers' former Belle Vue home as he has done for many years.

In honour of his contribution to the club, he was granted the final game to be played on Belle Vue for a testimonial in 2006.

*

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.