By Neil Fissler
ANDY KOWALSKI was one of a number of players Billy Bremner signed on free transfers to bolster his squad of youngsters at Doncaster.
Kowalski, who had just been relegated at Chesterfield, joined up with Ernie Moss and Bill Green to add some experience.
Bremner’s gamble on not spending any money on transfers worked with immediate effect as they led the pack twice in the opening few weeks of the season.
After a rocky spell they then settled in behind leaders York City who went on to be crowned champions by a massive 16 points.
Doncaster were helped in no small part by their home form which was superb. It wasn’t until May that promotion rivals Reading became the first team to win at Belle Vue.
A second promotion in four seasons was secured at Stockport County with the Royals and Bristol City finishing in third and fourth places respectively.
Kowalski remembers: “I came to Doncaster on a free transfer with Ernie Moss and Bill Green. Billy also brought in John Breckin from Rotherham.
“He had a young squad at that time with the likes of Ian and Glyn Snodin and Colin Douglas and he wanted to bring in some experience.
“It absolutely worked. Bill and John added stability to the defence. I was then a defensive midfield player just pulling the strings.
“Ernie had a vast amount of experience and scored a lot of goals. Billy had the perfect blend of youth and experience.
“Billy was very inspirational. He was very confident about his players. There weren’t an awful lot of tactics, it was more about ‘we will beat this team’ and he would motivate players.
“He would come into the dressing room before a game, gee everyone up laughing and joking.
“Then about 15 minutes before kick off he would get really serious and get down to the nitty gritty.”
Kowalski, Moss and Green all had points to prove after being relegated with Chesterfield from Division Three.
Kowalski adds: “Chesterfield had been drained of funds and it got to the point where they had to get rid of players.
“We sold off Danny Wilson and Phil Bonnyman…anybody they could get money for. So it was great to win a promotion with Doncaster.”
1. Glynn Snodin: He went into coaching and scouting. Latterly working for Charlton Athletic, Leeds United, Huddersfield Town and now Preston North End.
2. Andy Kowalski: After developing a career in insurance, he became a sales manager for a financial services company and is now working for an equity release company.
3. Willie Boyd: Settled in the Doncaster area and became an HGV driver. Currently working for supermarket giant Tesco.
4. Dennis Peacock: Settled in Doncaster. After enjoying two spells with the club he became a prison officer.
5. John Breckin: He has twice been assistant manager of Rotherham and has also coached at Tranmere Rovers and Barnsley. He now works in the Mothers Pride bakery.
6. Gary Allanson: Is the manager of Bridlington Town AFC and has coached at Hull City’s academy for 13 years.
7. Steve Lister: He has worked as community officer for Barnsley, and is now a coach educator for the Football Association and chairman of the Sheffield-based charity Sincere Support.
8. Neil Woods: After becoming Grimsby Town’s youth team boss he had a spell as first team manager and is now head of youth at Walsall.
9. Ernie Moss: Opened two sports shops with cricketer Geoff Miller, then did some coaching for Chesterfield before delivering cars for a local company GKN.
10. Bill Green: Bill managed Scunthorpe and Buxton as well as holding a number of scouting posts. He is currently Southampton’s chief scout.
11. Colin Douglas: Doncaster’s record appearance holder has managed Armthorpe Welfare and Hatfield Main and has worked on the railways.
12. Billy Russell: He has had three spells as Hull City’s caretaker boss and is now the Tigers academy manager.
13. Alan McIvor: He became physio at Leeds United under his long time friend Billy Bremner, then went into private practice.
14. John Bukovina: John continues to live and work in his native Barnsley.
15. Ian Snodin: After managing Doncaster he went into the media, working on radio, television and as a newspaper columnist as well as after dinner speaker
16. Glenn Humphries: Returned to his native Hull where he sold caravans before taking his HGV test and is now a lorry driver
17. Mark Miller: Mark moved to Malta and has managed Floriana FC, Sliema Wanderers, Hibernians FC and now Valletta with much success.
18. Dave Bentley: He went onto Gainsborough Trinity and Leeds before spending 19 years as community officer at Mansfield and is now youth team boss at Chesterfield.
John Philliben: Back living in his native Stirling and works as a driving instructor.
Alan Brown: His son Chris currently plays for Doncaster. He went into the licensed trade and now works at Durham Prison.
Steve Yates: Working in the ceramics industry
Jim Dobbin: After working on a building site he is now a gas engineer for nPower.
David Harle: Living in Doncaster working for the local council after being a factory supervisor for Limpack in Scunthorpe.