Doncaster Rovers v Bradford City: Harrison Biggins has unfinished play-off business as Rovers eye a 'statement' win
Covid hit almost exactly three years ago in the United Kingdom and it had significant ramifications for football in particular in League One and League Two, which were both suspended in March 2020 with the suspension extended indefinitely the following month.
May saw lower-division clubs vote to end the season with immediate effect with the final table being determined on a points-per-game basis.
The upshot was that Fleetwood, fifth in League One when the season was curtailed, 'finished' the campaign in the final play-off spot.
They would lose comprehensively to Wycombe Wanderers in a surreal semi-final played out with no supporters in high summer.
It was a tough time for Biggins. A serious facial injury sustained in January 2020 had looked like ending his season prematurely. Then Covid hit and it had a profound effect on his family.
He had a bout of Covid along with his parents, while his nan Dolly sadly passed away after contracting the virus which left his uncle Paul in intensive care for a long spell.
Football was very much secondary. Biggins did regain fitness for the play-offs in early July, when the country was opening up again, and was an unused substitute in both legs with Wycombe. But he would have been forgiven for having his mind elsewhere.
Biggins told The Yorkshire Post: "It was a strange season for me. I must have made about 20 appearances in that season and I maybe started the first ten.
"Then Covid hit and I broke my cheekbone and I was out for a few weeks. When we came back, we literally had the two play-off games to play.
"It was strange. We were going for the play-offs for so long and then got hit with Covid and we played the play-off games with no fans, so the atmosphere wasn't there and we just missed out."
Biggins would be justified in having unfinished business in terms of the play-off stakes and both Rovers and Yorkshire rivals Bradford City, who have both been consistent only in their inconsistency during 2022-23 so far, should be thankful that they are still firmly in the picture, in truth, ahead of this derby.
A bumper crowd of 19,368 – a fourth-tier record at City - came to the reverse fixture in West Yorkshire on the opening day of the campaign.
There should also be a five-figure attendance at the Eco-Power Stadium today - buoyed by the presence of 4,000 Bantams fans, their biggest league away following since September 2016. Atmosphere certainly shouldn't be lacking. For the victor, if there is one, three welcome points in their top-seven pursuit will arrive, but potentially a statement as well.
Biggins said: "These are the games you want to play in. We are at home and there is going to be a big crowd there and it is up to us to take it on and go and turn them over and make a real statement that we are good enough and have a chance of getting in there.
"There are a few teams who are in with a shout who aren't actually in the play-offs as it stands. The points are really close and it's up to us to take it on and make sure we are the ones that are in there, come the end of the season.”
Expectations were high ahead of Rovers' season opener with City, but it was a game sadly marred by a horrific injury to Bantams winger Emmanuel Osadebe, who suffered a double leg break in a sickening incident in the sixth minute.
The Irishman took a significant step in his path back to the first team by playing an hour of a midweek behind-closed doors match earlier this week.
Biggins, also making his debut for his club that day, recalled: "I remember it. It was early on and not nice to see. You don't want to see anybody get injured. We sent our best wishes to him and hopefully his recovery has gone really well.
"It was the opening day of the season and emotions were high and to come out with a 0-0, we saw it as a really good result, after that."
Today sees Biggins come up a couple of familiar faces in City ranks in defenders Matty Platt, a former colleague at Barrow, and ex-Fleetwood team-mate and Rovers defender Brad Halliday. But this meeting is purely about business.
Biggins added: "I played there at Barrow for six months with him (Platt) and I know Brad and used to live with him last year.
"To be honest, you move on and do your own thing. I have not spoken to him for a couple of months now, but I am sure that after the game, we will shake hands and send our best wishes."