History & Heritage

Sponsored by Piper’s Car Sales of Tickhill

This History section of the Dons website is sponsored by Piper’s Car Sales of Tickhill, owned by former player and club president Stewart Piper, whose father was a founder member of the club back in 1952.

This history section of the Dons website is sponsored by Piper’s Car Sales of Tickhill, owned by former player and club president Stewart Piper, whose father was a founder member of the club back in 1952.

This new and improved interactive area provides fans and former Dons players and staff with the opportunity to submit historic photos and information for the enjoyment of everyone who cares about Doncaster Rugby League.

If you have any images, stories or anecdotes that you would like to share with us and fellow Dons fans, please e-mail to media@clubdoncaster.co.uk.

Professional rugby league first began in Doncaster during the build up to the 1951/52 season. The club originally nicknamed 'The Dons' played at the Doncaster Greyhound Stadium, York Road before moving to the new Bentley Road Stadium in August 1953.

This ground became the spiritual home of Doncaster Rugby League and was later renamed Tatters Field or Tattersfield as a mark of respect for the former chairman Len Tattersfield.

Doncaster played their first game on Saturday 18 August 1951. Doncaster began on a winning note, defeating Wakefield Trinity 10-3 at the Greyhound Stadium in front of a respectable crowd of 7,600.

Doncaster finished their inaugural season in eleventh position - they won 21, drew one and lost 14 league matches.

From humble beginnings

On Sunday 1 September 1991, third division rugby was introduced into British rugby league. Doncaster entertained Nottingham City that day with the home side winning by a club record 88-6.

The club gained promotion to the premier division for the first time in 1993-94, and in 1994-95 Tattersfield was the venue for a game against Widnes that was aired live on Sky Sports. Doncaster won the game 21- 6 and, at that time, the Dons were top of division 1.

At the end of their one and only season in the top flight the club went into liquidation and the curtain closed on the Tattersfield era when the stadium was sold for housing developments. The Dons played their last game at Tattersfield on 23 April 1995.

When a Super League competition was proposed, part of the deal was that some of the traditional clubs would merge. Doncaster was to merge with Sheffield to form a South Yorkshire club that would compete in Super League. This was unpopular and it never happened.

The club have seen some dramatic changes over the past few years going through names such as the Dragons and the Lakers, but now are on a confident road to resurrection going back to their original name of the Dons.

Dons History in Photos

100 Club

Since 1951 many players have come and gone at Doncaster Rugby League. Below is a list of all players who have made over 100 appearances for the Dons. They are in the prestigious 100 club!

Heritage Number Second Name First Name From To Appearences
441 Pennant Audley 1980 1997 327
364 Noble David 1974 1991 326
522 Roache Mark 1984 1997 282
219 Arrand Graham 1964 1979 277
850 Lawton Craig 2001 2012 264
248 Brook Gary 1966 1980 262
203 Rushton Ken 1962 1976 243
843 Green Peter 2001 2009 240
198 Goodyear Alan 1962 1975 239
622 Miller Tony 1990 2002 220
835 Colton Dean 2001 2012 216
266 Denton Trevor 1967 1979 211
306 Piper Stewart 1970 1982 202
260 Yates M 1966 1979 194
328 Pflaster George 1971 1985 189
886 Leaf Shaun 2003 2015 185
177 Goodchild Peter 1961 1966 176
234 Hawksley Roy 1965 1975 172
138 Doyle K 1959 1965 169
162 Holt J 1960 1972 169
9 Doyle Paddy 1951 1957 168
178 Goodyear George 1961 1968 166
8 Davies E 1951 1956 164
167 Price C 1960 1968 162
2 Belshaw Les 1951 1960 158
1013 Kesik Kyle 2009 Present 157
498 Carr Alan 1984 1993 156
598 Hall Carl 1989 2001 156
462 Gibbon Mark 1982 1992 155
252 Jeff A 1966 1976 154
543 Jones Kevin 1985 1992 151
566 Evans John 1987 1994 151
865 Handford Gareth 2002 2006 149
547 Turner Neil 1985 1992 148
917 Castle Mark 2006 Present 147
422 Ellis Ken 1979 1986 144
1059 Emmett Mike 2011 2015 136
27 Bowers F 1952 1962 135
68 Northern G 1955 1959 135
258 Towle David 1966 1976 135
341 Moody Peter 1972 1980 135
467 Parkhouse Kevin 1982 1989 133
123 Hepworth Alan 1958 1964 128
1000 Carbutt Matt 2009 2015 127
367 Varey David 1974 1980 126
418 Buckton John 1979 1983 125
271 James R 1967 1972 124
396 Harrison Robert 1977 1984 124
438 Knott Kevin 1980 1983 124
246 Battye Malcolm 1966 1972 123
82 Hartley Dennis 1956 1960 120
14 Guest N 1951 1955 119
229 Tomlinson K 1964 1977 118
439 Masson J 1980 1984 118
443 Russell J 1980 1984 118
268 Fortis Ian 1967 1978 116
651 Green Alex 1992 1998 116
41 Wilkinson D 1952 1960 115
356 Banham Tony 1974 1982 114
186 Saville B 1961 1965 113
48 Gunn L 1953 1956 112
450 Hutchinson Alan 1981 1986 110
53 Baddeley P 1954 1958 109
143 Heath Ted 1959 1963 106
284 Bradley D 1969 1973 105
1066 Sanderson Stewart 2011 2015 104
23 Tynan J 1951 1954 103
87 Matthews K 1956 1960 101
822 Edwards Peter 2000 2003 100

100 Club

Partners

Partner
Partner
Partner
Partner
Partner
Partner
Partner
Partner
Partner
Partner