Doncaster Rovers v Crewe: Ryan says ‘farewell’ to Rovers and bows out of football

Former Doncaster Rovers' owner John Ryan.
Former Doncaster Rovers' owner John Ryan.
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Former Doncaster Rovers chairman John Ryan is on the verge of severing ties with the club he helped rise from the ashes.

The charismatic front man, who led the club for 15 years as they emerged from the Conference all the way up the Championship, quit in November 2013.

He then failed in a takeover bid alongside One Direction singer Louis Tomlinson last summer.

On Sunday he posted a ‘farewell’ to Rovers fans on social media, fuelling speculation he is about to sell his 24 per cent stake in the club.

Ryan wrote on Facebook: “To the fans of Doncaster Rovers, I want to thank you for an amazing journey and an unforgettable experience.

“I have so many happy memories at Rovers and want to thank the past and present players, managers, all the staff and you the fans.

“It would make my day if we win promotion to the Championship, as we were cruelly relegated.

“I will always support my home team DRFC and wish them all the best! Thanks again, JR.”

His post attracted hundreds of ‘likes’ and comments, to which Ryan responded yesterday morning: “Thank you for your kind messages, I’m overwhelmed. I bid you all a fond farewell.”

Asked to clarify his post, he added: “I did an interview with Insider (magazine) saying I wouldn’t be back in football, and that is the case.

“I won’t be back (at Doncaster Rovers). The response I’ve had from people on Facebook has been quite overwhelming.”

On the pitch, Rovers look to continue their own rise up the table after scoring eight goals and keeping two clean sheets in their last two games.

Crawley and Yeovil have been swatted aside in ruthless fashion as Paul Dickov’s side have closed to within a point of the play-offs with a game in hand.

They face a resurgent Crewe who have climbed off the foot of the table and out of the relegation places on the back of a run of seven wins in the last 10 games, three of those on the road.

Dickov said: “Crewe are on a good run at the moment and we know how tough they are from the game at their place.”

Last six games: Doncaster WDDLWW; Crewe LWLWWW.

Referee: D Sheldrake (Surrey).

Last time: Doncaster 0 Crewe 2; November 6, 2012; League One.