James Coppinger: Doncaster Rovers legend retires after club record 695 games

Coppinger sad to go without fans goodbye

Doncaster Rovers legend James Coppinger has said he is "100% ready to retire" after making his 695th and final appearance for the club.

The 40-year-old midfielder came off late on in Sunday's 4-1 home defeat by Peterborough in League One.

He won the Sir Tom Finney Award at the 2021 EFL Awards last month.

"I'm 100% ready and the result probably helps because if we'd won and I'd done well it would have been harder," he told BBC Radio Sheffield.

"The game was frustrating but that's football. It's part and parcel of being a professional footballer, it's not just about the highs but the lows as well."

Coppinger started his senior career with Newcastle United and made one appearance for the Magpies in the Premier League in 2000 before joining Exeter City in 2002.

He moved on to Doncaster in 2004 and won three promotions, including two to the Championship, during his 17 years with the South Yorkshire side.

He is set to stay on at the club in a mentor role working with the players and said he felt "proud" about the impact he had had on the club.

"I'm disappointed I couldn't share the moment with the fans because I know how much it means to them and I'm grateful for all the moments I've had here," he said.

"I've put so much into being a footballer since I left school at 16. I just set out to play football and all the messages I've had from people just makes me feel proud. It means everything."

He added: "I have a genuine affection for the club and I want to make a difference. I have a real passion for progress.

"I said the other day I don't play for Manchester United or Manchester City but I play for a club that cares for me and I care for it. The memories will never go away."

James Coppinger
Coppinger was given a guard of honour onto the pitch by both sets of players for his final appearances as a professional footballer

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