Saturday, 16 April 2011
340 Kevin Donovan
Position : Winger
Played : 2003-04
Appearances : 7
Goals : 0
Kevin arrived at the club in December to train under his old boss Alan Buckley after being released by Barnsley in the summer. He was signed up on non-contract terms to provide cover while Leo Bertos went away on international duty in January. Kevin's career began at Huddersfield in the late 80s but he never became a regular and went on loan to Halifax in 1992. Later that year he moved to West Brom for £70,000 and scored in the Division Two play-off final that took the Baggies back up. After 168 appearances and 19 goals he followed Alan Buckley to Grimsby for £300,000 in 1997. He had a fantastic first season scoring 21 goals , winning the Auto-Windscreens Shield and scoring the only goal of the game in the play-off final. Thereafter the goals seemed to dry up for him but he was still a regular choice. In 2001 he joined Barnsley but a combination of age, injuries, relegation and playing under Steve Parkin made it an unhappy move, Kevin scoring just once in 54 appearances.
Kevin was Alan Buckley's last signing and the irony was he had the chance to save his old boss.
He made his debut coming on as a sub on Boxing Day away at Mansfield. Five minutes later he stole into the box unseen and had a glorious chance to put us ahead but fired straight at the keeper when he had all the goal to aim at. If he'd put it away and Griff not messed up to give the Stags a completely undeserved three points that would have been three wins on the bounce for Alan Buckley and our subsequent history would have been different. Instead one defeat later and the Parkin faction got what they wanted.
Kevin showed glimpses of the good player he'd been with the odd trick on the touchline and some good crosses. At home to Bristol Rovers he had another great chance when he beat the offside trap but fluffed the one-on-one. From that moment he was hopeless, very easy to dispossess and in his last couple of games , away at Cambridge and Darlington probably our worst player. As soon as Bertos returned he was out of the door.
Kevin signed for doomed York but didn't actually appear for them until the following season in the Conference. It emerged that he was dealing with a family trauma which may have accounted for his recent poor form. He made 31 appearances for York scoring twice then moved on to Alfreton Town. He retired in 2007 and now runs a soccer school in Brighouse.