April 28, 1990, remains one of the finest days in Exeter City's history as, on the back of an incredible home record, we secured our first title in our club's history. During this month we will be taking a look back - in alphabetical order - of the main players in that title winning side. This time we look at a reliable and versatile player who made 20 appearances during the title winning campaign.
1989/90 APPEARANCES: 32
Just how many goals Darran Rowbotham could have got in the title winning season and how high he could have played up the English football pyramid remains unanswered thanks to an horrendous knee injury he suffered in the final few months of the 1989/90 campaign.
He picked up the injury in the first half of a 2-0 win over Peterborough United at St James Park.
The top scorer, who had 20 goals to his name at the time, collided with Posh keeper Tony Godden and, after being stretchered off, would miss the final 14 games of the season as a result.
In what was a one of the most incredible and enjoyable seasons to be a City fan, this incident remains the only moment of real disappointment as Darran, at the age of 24, had been turned from a midfielder struggling to make an impact in the game to a goalscoring sensation. Such were his displays in the 1989/90 season that he was attracting the attentions of some higher league clubs, Chelsea included, and it seems so cruel that injury cut short his season and his chance of a big money move away.
Darran would not return to football for almost a year and while he did manage to take his goals for Exeter City to 58 in 142 games he never quite hit the goalscoring exploits he managed in 1989/90.
After leaving for Torquay and then Birmingham, Darran went onto play for Crewe Alexandra and Shrewsbury Town before re-joining the Grecians for a four-year spell between 1996 and 2000. In that time, he netted 37 goals in 118 appearances.
This article has been created using material from the Grecian Archive and ECFC Museum as part of the 'Celebrating our Heritage' programme, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and supported by the University of Exeter.