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WHEN the Swindon Advertiser launched our search for Town’s greatest left winger, one name stood out above all others.
And sure enough, Don Rogers trounced the competition to emerge the clear winner in that position.
Arguably Town’s greatest ever player, Rogers scored the two extra time goals that famously helped Swindon stun Arsenal 3-1 in the League Cup final in 1969.
Now 64, the Paulton-born man, who runs his own sports shop in Swindon, is still thankful for the way both the game and the fans have treated him.
“My career could not have been better - I had a great life in football,” said Rogers, who made nearly 500 appearances for Town during two spells at the County Ground.
“The Wembley win was the biggest in my career. It never goes away, it gets spoken about nearly every week in the shop. I have dined out on that for about 40 years now.”
And Rogers paid tribute to the supporters that had made his career in Wiltshire such a pleasurable experience.
“It was a lot different when I played, I knew so many people,” he said.
“I used to say that three quarters of the fans that went to the County Ground knew me.
“When it comes to the fans, that’s all that matters. They are the ones that support you every week.
“Nowadays it’s amazing where people come from just to say hello.”
Things might have turned out quite different for Rogers, who so nearly signed for Bristol City instead of Town as a teenager.
But happily for the Wiltshire club, the skilful winger opted to join the Robins, and went on to score 181 goals in 487 appearances, setting up many more.
“I was about an hour away from signing for Bristol City,” admitted Rogers.
“But I don’t really think about how things might have been changed if I had.
“As my mother-in-law said, ‘What will be, will be’.”
Rogers signed for Swindon in 1962 and was a first-team regular by the 1965/66 season, going on to become the club’s top scorer in the next three seasons.
His goals helped Town on their way to League Cup glory and the winger was even the subject of a bid from Liverpool, though Town rejected it.
The wide man stayed in Wiltshire until 1972 before departing for Crystal Palace, then moving on to QPR.
He returned to Swindon in 1976 but made just 11 appearances in his second stint, as he was forced to retire due to a hip injury.
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