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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 April, 2003, 16:24 GMT 17:24 UK
Hereford 2-4 Doncaster
John Ryan
Ryan got a minute to shine

Doncaster Rovers owner John Ryan made history in his side's win at Hereford when he became the oldest player to turn out for a professional British club.

The cosmetic surgery millionaire, aged 52 years and 11 months, fulfilled a lifetime ambition when he went on as a last-minute substitute, although he failed to influence the result.

I didn't actually get a kick of the ball but I had a good run around
John Ryan

He came on to tumultuous applause and said: "It was wonderful, we won 4-2 as well so I am over the moon. I have also made it into the Guinness Book of Records."

Mr Ryan beat the record set in 1947 by Neil McBain, the then manager of New Brighton, who at the age of 52 years and four months swapped the bench for the field after running out of players.

The new record holder said: "I came on when the ref put his board up for an extra three minutes of injury time.

"I didn't actually get a kick of the ball but I had a good run around."

Hereford took the lead in the 38th minute when Daniel Williams' 25-yard free-kick flew into the top left corner of the net after Stephen Foster had fouled Steve Guinan.

John Doolan attempted to reduce the deficit at the start of the second half when he tried his luck from long range, but Bulls goalkeeper Mathew Baker made a spectacular save.

Rovers drew level after 63 minutes when Andy Watson converted Chris Beech's cross with a bullet header.

Albano Correia put the Bulls back in front in the 77th minute, but their lead lasted only two minutes as Tristram Whitman found the net from close range.

Doncaster's former Burnley striker Paul Barnes netted with his 25th goal of the season in the 84th minute and Gregg Blundell wrapped up the scoring three minutes from time.

Hereford: Baker, Clarke, James, Teesdale, Rose, Williams, Smith, Pitman, Parry, Correia, Guinan. Subs: Sawyers, Griffiths, Tretton, Hawley, Purdey.

Doncaster: Warrington, Marples, Tim Ryan, Foster, Beech, Tierney, Doolan, Ravenhill, Watson, Whitman, Barnes. Subs: Morley, Nelson, Blundell, John Ryan, Blunt.

Referee: S Brand (Wirral)

Doncaster owner John Ryan
"I thought the ref would do us a favour"



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