Watch Doncaster Rovers legend James Coppinger receive Freedom of the Borough

‘Role model’ and ‘true Doncaster legend’ James Coppinger has received his Freedom of the Borough Award.

By Paul Goodwin
Tuesday, 22nd March 2022, 9:16 pm
Updated Thursday, 24th March 2022, 11:48 am
James Coppinger received his Freedom of the Borough award on Tuesday. Picture courtesy of Doncaster Council
James Coppinger received his Freedom of the Borough award on Tuesday. Picture courtesy of Doncaster Council

The Doncaster Rovers icon was presented with the accolade at a ceremony at the Eco-Power Stadium on Tuesday.

The honorary title is the highest honour that a local resident can receive and recognises Coppinger’s achievements in the Doncaster community – on and off the pitch – since he signed for Rovers in 2004.

Guisborough-born Coppinger, 41, retired from playing last summer after making a club record 695 appearances for Rovers, winning three promotions and the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

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A passionate advocate of mental health, he is now the club’s head of player development and runs a business which helps young footballers improve their mental approach to the game.

Coppinger has also been an ambassador for the suicide prevention charity CALM and took part in Rovers’ Inca Trail in Peru in 2011 which raised over £50,000 for Save The Children and the NSPCC.

Coppinger said: “I feel immensely proud to receive such an honour. To be part of such a special time in the club’s history was amazing for me and my family, with my wife spending time working at DRI and both my sons born here, Doncaster will always hold a special place in my heart.

"We were always made to feel so welcome, which played a huge part in me staying for so long.”

Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster, said: “James is a true Doncaster legend and hero, with over 800 career appearances – 695 of these with Doncaster Rovers!

"He has been a role model for the young people of Doncaster for over 17 years and it is an honour to be here to see him receive the Honorary Freedom of Doncaster as a token of our thanks and appreciation.”

Councillor Richard Allen Jones, the Civic Mayor of Doncaster, said: “It is a privilege to be part of the ceremony to honour James with the Freedom of the Borough.

“This is well deserved recognition for James and his achievements throughout his football career as well as his dedication over the years through his charity work to helping to improve the lives of others.”