Doncaster Rovers’ James Coppinger left choking back the tears
In the transient world of modern football, his tour de force at Doncaster Rovers has been simply extraordinary.
In his 17th and final season playing for the club he loves, there was another special moment among a lengthy list.
Coppinger, making his first appearance since December 22 after injury and his first since turning 40 – and now one game away from his 800th appearance in competitive football – said after a fantastic free-kick goal to rescue a point: “I was laid in bed [on Friday] visualising today. I’ve had a lot of moments like this at this club. As soon as I hit the ball, I knew it was in.
“I designed my own kit and was given some boots. I was warming up and one of their lads was giving me some stick. He was saying: ‘Are you the one who has designed the crap kit and crap boots? You are too old for them, aren’t you?
“To score that sort of goal and on this occasion ranks up there... It is right up there.”
Social media was awash afterwards with messages of congratulations from team-mates, including ‘King Copps’, ‘Words cannot describe this man’, ‘The magic man Copps’ to ‘Build a statue.’ A tweet from Andy Butler best summed it up. ‘It was written..’
Choking back the tears on what his latest magical episode meant to his colleagues, he added: “I did get a bit emotional in the dressing room. As this is not going to last forever.
“It means a lot. It is why I like playing football and do what I do and try and lead by example. When the lads give me feedback in terms of how much it means to them, it really does mean the world.”