Doncaster Free Press

22nd January 1998

Front page


Players afraid of looking foolish

by Darren Burke

ROVERS’ players have backed out of a psychic training session with mindbender Uri Geller because they fear it will make them look foolish.

Members of the troubled Belle Vue squad were due to see Uri today for “brain-training” in a bid to lift them to safety.

The story – revealed exclusively in last week’s Free Press – made national headlines after we told how the spiritual star was prepared to offer the ailing side his services.

But the spoon bending psychic was shunned after players claimed the trip to his Berkshire home would turn them into a laughing stock.

Called in union

Angry players even called in their union, the Professional Footballers’ Association, in a bid to settle the row.

Now Uri has hit back and axed a planned visit to Doncaster to offer his support to Rovers who have won just twice and conceded 84 goals in 30 matches this season.

He said: “I find it silly and tragic they don’t want my help.”

“They are right at the bottom and I was giving them the chance to turn around their fortunes. I help lots of big players who earn millions of pounds and they don’t get upset.”

“They should be grateful I was prepared to help for free. The whole thing is stupid.”

Uri had planned to demonstrate spoon bending to Rovers’ players before talking to them about how to increase positive thinking on the field.

He added: “I organised catering for the lads but I have cancelled all that. I think there is a lack of unity, good spirits and something wrong with the players’ attitudes.”

And although Uri has shelved plans to use his energies during Saturday’s clash with Macclesfield, he is still hopeful Rovers will avoid relegation.

“I wish them luck,” he added. “I hope they manage to stay up.”

Rovers’ boss Mark Weaver said: “I didn’t think it would do any harm but the players feel they have been made fools of enough already this season.”

A PFA spokesman said: “We support the players. They felt they were being made to take part in a stunt.”

n Members of the Save The Rovers group will march on Belle Vue before this Saturday’s game in a further demonstration against the club’s management. The protest sets off from the Park Hotel at 2.30pm.


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“Eternity is down the hall And you sit there bending spoons In your mind, in your mind”

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