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Doncaster Rovers are not big spenders by any means; however, they have purchased 16 players for a transfer fee in their history, and even splashed out over £1m on a player. The majority of these big-money club signings came during Doncaster’s first ever spell in the Championship which came in 2008. Up until their inaugural Championship season, Rovers record signing was centre-back Darren Moore who arrived from Torquay United in 1995-96 for a mere £77k.
This record signing was almost tripled by Sean Thornton who joined Doncaster in 2005 from Sunderland for £225k, making him the clubs new record signing. Though this did not last long, and as soon as Rovers reached the Championship in 2008, big spendings followed. English centre-forward Steve Brooker arrived from new Championship rivals Bristol City for almost £300k, and this was followed by centre-back Matt Mills who was recruited from Premier League side Manchester City for over £400k, making him the clubs new record signing at the time.
Mills played just one season for Doncaster before catching the eyes of rivals Reading, joining for a much-increased fee of just over £2m to make him the clubs record sale – one that still stands today.
During the same transfer window as Mills departed Rovers, they used his sale money to purchase centre-back Shelton Martis from West Brom. The replacement defender was brought in for almost £1m which was over double Mills’ previous record arrival fee. Martis became the first Curacaoan to play in the Premier League, and after three-and-a-half years at Doncaster, he made his move to Osotspa Saraburi in the Thai Premier League.
The following season after Martis’ arrival, Billy Shard joined Rovers for a massive £1.24m fee making him the clubs new all-time record signing. Sharp arrived from Sheffield United after a successful loan spell in 2009-10, and the English Striker scored over one goal in two games for Rovers before moving on to former Championship rivals Southampton in 2012. Sharp was sold for an increased £1.94m fee, and will always be remembered by fans as one of their greatest ever signings.
Rovers signed Michael McIndoe for just £50k from Yeovil Town in the summer of 2003, and the Scottish midfielder went on to become a club legend and fan favourite.
McIndoe played 122 times for Rovers, scoring 28 times, and in just his second season at the club he was the clubs top scorer with 12 goals and he was also voted in the top five footballers of the year in The Times Football Yearbook 2004/05 alongside Thierry Henry, Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard.