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Long standing employee named Premier League Community Captain, recognising their work within the community

14 May 2024

Long standing employee, Mark Cooper, has been named Club Doncaster Foundation’s Community Captain as part of a campaign that celebrates people at the heart of the Premier League funded programmes, for an individuals commitment to football and the local community. 

Clubs across the Premier League, EFL and National League have been naming a Community Captain, somebody at the heart of their funded programme, who deserves the recognition for their commitment and contribution to the game and society. 

Clocking up over 23 years, known mostly as ‘Coops’, he’s been an integral part within the growth of the Foundation throughout the years, predominantly within his community work and has helped the Premier League Kicks programme go from strength to strength. 

The impact he has made on young people within the community, is regularly recognised across Doncaster and across numerous areas within the Foundation, something that CEO John Davis thinks is a valuable asset in staff within the charity: “He cares about what he does and he’s a key part in what we do.

“He brings that experience and the knowledge of the community too. 

“Working with so many young people in the years he’s been here, has given him the local knowledge for new programmes, getting into new areas of the community. 

“Lots of people know him and have worked with him, allowing him to build up those relationships which are a key part within the work. 

“He’s integral to the PL Kicks programme, he’s pulled it together and developed it. He’s always looking at ways to make Kicks better.”

Going on to why he thought Mark was deserving of this accolade, John said: “He deserves this recognition because he’d never ask for it. He’s an outstanding individual and we’re very fortune at the Foundation to have him, and the this Premier League programme wouldn’t be the same without Mark.”

Mark has delivered on the Kicks programme since it first became a part of the delivery within the local community, 15 years ago and has since grown the programme to be as successful as it is today, with numerous regular sessions each week, along with organising tournaments, workshops, stadium visits and providing participants with as many experiences as possible.

It’s not just participants who speak highly of Mark and are impacted by his work. It’s staff too, who he has helped mentor and support within his many roles, including his most recent role as Sports Development Officer, being a positive role model to everyone he meets, who will do anything for anyone without any hesitation. 

Mark was recognised at the Foundation’s community day, back in March, where he was presented with his award at half time, by his family. His children donned Doncaster Rovers shirts with Cooper 23 on the back, as a special recognition on the years he’s given to the organisation.

Speaking of receiving the award, Mark said: “I’m very surprised and honoured. It’s a privilege to be recognised for the work that I’ve done. Never really seen it as work, working on the Kicks project, enjoyable everyday and being a part of the Foundation. 

“The past 23 years has been a brilliant experience and to get recognised for this award, I still owe the Foundation a lot for giving me the opportunity to work here for so long. 

“Each day is different here, working here for this length of time, I’ve got to see young people and children grow up into adults and when I see them in the local community, they talk about the Kicks programme and how much they enjoyed it. 

“It felt special receiving this award on the community day. All the staff I work with were here and to be presented with the award by my family, just topped it off for me.”

Congratulations Mark! Here’s to another 23 years! 

Long standing employee named Premier League Community Captain, recognising their work within the community