Here’s Doncaster Top Gear star Jeremy Clarkson long before he became embroiled in controversy - by cheering on home town club Doncaster Rovers.
The controversial star, sacked by the BBC yesterday for assaulting TV producer Oisin Tymon in a row over a steak. filmed an affectionate look at the club in 1998.
Clarkson, who was born in Doncaster and brought up in Burghwallis, visited the club’s former Belle Vue ground during Rovers’ days in the Conference to film the piece which was later shown on BBC2.
In the seven minute segment, Clarkson is seen sporting a Rovers cap and scarf and mingling with supporters on the Popular Side side terrace during a 2-0 home defeat to Frickley Athletic in the FA Trophy in November 1998.
He says: “I grew up in Doncaster and really didn’t want to be seen as a soft southerner bringing his arrogant get out ouf of my way attitude to a hard Northern town.”
The clip shows Clarkson driving through terraced streets on his way to Rovers’ crumbling former Belle Vue ground, which the club left behind in 2006. for what he describes as his first ever football match. He is also shown drinking with fans in the now closed Park Hotel on Carr House Road and discussing the club’s plight - at the time they were bottom of the Conference - with long-time supporter Mick Workmnan, better known to supporters as Saturday Santa for wearing a red and white Father Christmas hat.
However, the controversial remarks which eventually led to Clarkson’s departure from the BBC were already visible in the star’s presenting style, describing Frickley as “a town so small it could be carpeted for £35.”
Supporters are shown teaching him how to chant “We hate Rotherham” before the presenter is seen asking for a lobster bisque at a terrace snack bar.
He is also shown hurling abuse at Rotherham-based referee Howard Webb, who later went on to take charge of the 2010 World Cup Final between Spain and Holland.
Later, the segment shows Clarkson chatting to former club chairman John Ryan, telling him how he could get the likes of David Beckham and Paul Gascoigne to play for Rovers.
I grew up in Doncaster and really didn’t want to be seen as a soft southerner bringing his arrogant get out of my way attitude to a hard northern townJeremy Clarkson
The programme concludes with late film director Michael Winner, Changing Rooms presenter Carol Smillie, TV weatherman John Kettley and comedian Steve Coogan singing the praises of Doncaster in a spoof promotional film entitled “Doncaster: The Town Of Dreams.”
Smillie quips: “We’ve never filmed Changing Rooms in Doncaster because nothing needs changing,” while Kettley jokes: “Doncaster is the sunniest place on the whole of the earth.”
The clip ends with Steve Coogan as character Paul Calf proclaiming: “Doncaster - it’s not a bag of sh***”