Doncaster Rovers entire first team squad attended the funeral of a lifelong supporter known as Pie Man – and then paid a unique pie related tribute in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Walsall.
Jake Power, known to legions of fans as Pie Man, died last month at the age of 27 and made one last visit to the club’s Keepmoat Stadium en route to his funeral on Friday.
And players and manager Grant McCann were in attendance at the larger than life dad of one's funeral at Rose Hill Crematorium – with club legend James Coppinger also paying tribute in his goal celebration the following day against Walsall.
Rovers boss McCann said: “Since I’ve been at the club it has been clear there is a real connection with fans, and over the past few weeks we have had to say farewell to some really popular and well-known people.
“This was a gesture to show the team’s respect to Jake, as well as Nidge Roe and Scott Richardson who have recently passed away.
“While we cannot get to the funeral of every fan who passes on, we want everyone in the Rovers family to know we are thinking of them in their rough moments. Whether a player, on the sidelines or at the back of the Black Bank - everyone is a key member of the team.”
The funeral proved inspirational for the Rovers players, who dedicated the 4-1 win over Walsall the following day to Jake.
And the players paid their own tribute when celebrating James Coppinger’s goal which put Rovers 3-1 up - running towards a Pukka Pies advertising hoarding to acknowledge Jake who often wore replica shirts referencing his weight and love of pies.
James said: “We all went to Jake’s funeral the day before the game, and after it I felt like I was always going to score. It was a massive inspiration for me, just like it was for the rest of the lads, it really puts things into perspective.
“I’d already lined up the pie celebration before I’d scored, we’d had a chat about it before the game between the lads, but we wanted to show we understand how much Doncaster Rovers meant to him and how much it means to his family and friends too.
“It was an emotional day, but it was also inspiring for me. We’d all like to thank his family for inviting us down, it was an experience that we shared together, and it made us stronger as a team, and so that result was for him.”
The service at Rose Hill Crematorium was conducted by Rovers club chaplain Barry Miller, a former Rovers player.