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Blackburn Rovers 1875 - 1914

Blackburn Rovers 1875 - 1914

On 5th November 1875, two friends, John Lewis and Arthur Constantine, organized a meeting at the St Leger Hotel in Blackburn to discuss the possibility of establishing a football club in the town. Constantine had played the game while studying at Shrewsbury School. At that time, the game was dominated by former public school students. Seventeen men attended the meeting and as Charles Francis pointed out in his book, History of Blackburn Rovers (1925): "all present, including several young fellows who had just finished their education at public schools, signified their willingness to participate in the game and the motion to create a club was carried unanimously."

Lewis agreed to be treasurer of Blackburn Rovers and Walter Duckworth, a former pupil of Clitheroe Grammar School and the son of a local timber merchant, was appointed as the club's first secretary. Two local businessmen, Alfred Birtwistle, directory of a local firm of cotton manufacturers, and Richard Birtwistle, whose family owned cotton mills in the Blackburn area, also became involved in running the club. Jack Baldwin, the son of a wealthy Blackburn businessman, also agreed to play for the team.

J. T. Syckelmoore, a former student of St. John's College, Cambridge and a teacher at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School in Blackburn also joined the club. So also did Thomas Greenwood, who was appointed captain of Blackburn Rovers. His two brothers, Harry Greenwood and Doctor Greenwood, also played for the club.

Two other brothers, Fred Hargreaves and John Hargreaves, who both worked in the legal profession, became important figures at the club. They had played football for Malvern College and advocated that Blackburn Rovers adopted the quartered shirt design of their school shirts. However, they suggested that the traditional green should be changed to the light blue worn by the Cambridge University football team.

Jimmy Brown was another local man who joined the team. He had played football for Mintholme College, and Blackburn Law Club before joining Blackburn Rovers.

Blackburn Rovers played their first game on 11th December 1875. The team included Alfred Birtwistle, Walter Duckworth, John Lewis, Arthur Constantine, J. Syckelmoore, Thomas Greenwood, Harry Greenwood and Jack Baldwin. The game ended in a 1-1 draw.

The team played its early games at Oozehead, a piece of farmland on the road to Preston. In 1877 they began playing matches at Pleasant Cricket Ground. At a game against Preston Rovers in December, Henry Smith, collapsed and died of a heart-attack. The following year Blackburn Rovers moved to the ground used by the Alexandra Meadows Cricket Club.

According to the author of The Book of Football: "It was a modest beginning, and as the enthusiasts had no idea of the future that was in store, no complete records were kept for the first few seasons." Those existing documents show that Arthur Constantine apparently left the club in 1877.

On 4th November 1878 Blackburn Rovers played its first floodlit game. As Mike Jackman has pointed out in his book, Blackburn Rovers: An Illustrated History (1995): "The visitors were Accrington and the ground was illuminated by the Gramme light - one being situated at the east end of the Meadows and the other at the west end. Each light was attached to a scaffold that rose some 30 to 40ft from the ground. An 8hp portable engine was required to work the battery and it was said that the system provided the equivalent of some 6,000 candle power. However, it was felt necessary to paint the ball white to aid both players and spectators."

Blackburn Rovers was not the best football team in Blackburn. Whereas Rovers was mainly made up of players who attended public schools, the Blackburn Olympic team largely contained men from the working-class and was funded by Sidney Yates of the local iron foundry. The two clubs played each other on 15th February 1879 but Olympic, one of the best teams in the country, won 3-1.

In the 1879 Blackburn Rovers entered the FA Cup for the first time. However, after beating Enfield in the first round they lost to Nottingham Forest 6-0. They had better luck in the Lancashire Cup and got to the final before being beaten by Darwen 3-0 in front of 10,000 spectators.

It became clear that Blackburn Rovers would have to persuade some better players to join the club. In 1880 the club signed Hugh McIntyre from Glasgow Rangers. McIntyre was attracted to the town by his appointment to run the Castle Inn. Another footballer who had learnt his trade in Scotland, Fergie Suter, who had been playing for rivals Darwen, also joined Blackburn. This enraged Darwen who accused Blackburn of paying Suter for his services. At this time football professionalism was illegal. However, Darwen did not make an official complaint as it was well known that Suter had given up his career as a stonemason as soon as he arrived in Lancashire. McIntyre and Suter had both played their early football in Scotland. So also did their third signing, Jimmy Douglas who had played for Paisley and Renfrew.

Blackburn Rovers played Darwen in a friendly on 27th November 1880. In an attempt to embarrass Blackburn Rovers for recruiting Scottish players, Darwen officials announced that their team would only include men who had been "Darwen born and bred". The score was 1-1 when in the second-half the players began fighting after an incident involving Fergie Suter. The crowd joined in and the referee was forced to abandon the game.

The team relied heavily on the three Scotsmen brought into the side: Hugh McIntyre, Fergie Suter and Jimmy Douglas. However, the team included some of the men who originally formed the team such as Fred Hargreaves, John Hargreaves, Doctor Greenwood, Jimmy Brown and John Duckworth.

The men who ran Blackburn Rovers also decided to invest in a new ground. A lease was taken out on a ground on Leamington Street and £500 was spent on building a grandstand that could accommodate between 600 and 700 spectators. A wall was erected along the sides of the pitch in an attempt to stop crowd invasions. The first game at the new stadium was against their old rivals Blackburn Olympic. A crowd of 6,000 people saw Blackburn Rovers win 4-1.

Blackburn Rovers was now one of the best clubs in England. In 1882, Blackburn became the first provincial team to reach the final of the FA Cup. Their opponents were Old Etonians who had reached the final on five previous occasions. However, Blackburn had gone through the season unbeaten and was expected to become the first northern team to win win the game. Doctor Greenwood was injured the team included five players who had won international caps, Jimmy Douglas, Fred Hargreaves, John Hargreaves, Hugh McIntyre and Jimmy Brown.

The Old Etonians scored after eight minutes and despite creating a great number of chances, Blackburn was unable to obtain an equalizer in the first-half. Early in the second-half George Avery was seriously injured and Blackburn Rovers was reduced to ten men. Despite good efforts by Jimmy Brown, Jack Hargreaves and John Duckworth, Rovers were unable to score.

Blackburn Rovers did even better in that year's Lancashire Cup. After victories against Accrington Wanderers (7-0), Church (6-0) they beat Blackburn Olympic 6-1 in the semi-final. Blackburn won the cup by beating Accrington 3-1 in the final.

The following year Blackburn Rovers were in favourites to win the FA Cup. However, an injury hit Rovers were beaten 1-0 in the second round by local rivals Darwen. The Blackburn Times reported that this was a major surprise as the "play was so much in the Rovers' favour that Howorth (the goalkeeper) never handled the ball throughout the match." The defeat was made worse when the town's other main football club, Blackburn Olympic, became the first northern team to win the cup by beating Old Etonians in the final.

In the 1883-84 season Blackburn Rovers added another outsider into the team. John Inglis, a Scottish international, had recently been playing for Glasgow Rangers. The Blackburn Times reported: "There is one point about Blackburn Rovers that does not give entire satisfaction and this is the introduction of Inglis of the Glasgow Rangers. It is "hard lines" on Sowerbutts or whoever else is supplanted, that after the faithful services of the past he should be pushed out in this manner, and besides that there is a class of people in the town who would rather lose the Cup on their merits than win it with the aid of a specially introduced stranger." In fact, Joe Sowerbutts, a local lad, had emerged as one of the stars of the team, and retained his place alongside Inglis.

In the 1883-84 FA Cup Blackburn beat Padium (3-0), Staveley (5-0), Upton Park (3-0), and Notts County (1-0) to reach the final. After Blackburn Rovers beat Notts County the club made an official complaint to the Football Association that John Inglis was a professional player. The FA carried out an investigation into the case discovered that Inglis was working as a mechanic in Glasgow and was not earning a living playing football for Blackburn Rovers.

John Inglis played in the final against Queens Park at outside left. Other Scots in the team included Jimmy Douglas (outside right) Fergie Suter (left-back) and Hugh McIntyre (centre-half). The Scottish club scored the first goal but Blackburn Rovers won the game with goals from Blackburn lads, James Forrest and Joe Sowerbutts.

In January, 1884, Preston North End played the London side, Upton Park, in the FA Cup. After the game Upton Park complained to the Football Association that Preston was a professional, rather than an amateur team. Major William Sudell, the secretary/manager of Preston North End, admitted that his players were being paid but argued that this was common practice and did not breach regulations. However, the Football Association disagreed and expelled them from the competition.

Blackburn Rovers, who denied they were paying their players, beat Witton (6-1), Romford (8-0), West Bromwich Albion (2-0) and Old Carthusians (5-0) to reach the final. Once again they had to play Queens Park. Blackburn Rovers was now a team full of internationals. This included James Forrest, Herbie Arthur, Joseph Lofthouse, Hugh McIntyre, Jimmy Brown and Jimmy Douglas. A crowd in excess of 12,000 arrived at the Oval to see the what most people believed were the best two clubs in England and Scotland. With goals from Brown and Forrest, Blackburn Rovers won 2-0.

James Forrest won his first international cap for England against Wales on 17th March, 1884. The following year he was selected to play against Scotland. Scottish officials complained as they argued that Forrest was a professional. At the time he was receiving £1 a week from Blackburn Rovers. Forrest was eventually allowed to play but he had to wear a different jersey from the rest of the team. Forrest is now acknowledged as being the first professional to win an international cap.

In 1884 Tom Mitchell became secretary/manager of Blackburn Rovers. At the end of the 1883-84 season Blackburn Rovers joined forces with other clubs who were paying their players, such as Preston North End, Aston Villa and Sunderland. In October, 1884, these clubs threatened to form a break-away British Football Association. The Football Association responded by establishing a sub-committee, which included William Sudell, to look into this issue. On 20th July, 1885, the FA announced that it was "in the interests of Association Football, to legalise the employment of professional football players, but only under certain restrictions". Clubs were allowed to pay players provided that they had either been born or had lived for two years within a six-mile radius of the ground.

Blackburn Rovers immediately registered as a professional club. Their accounts show that they spent a total of £615 on the payment of wages during the 1885-86 season. Despite the fact that clubs could now openly pay their players, Blackburn Rovers continued to dominate English football. They reached the 1885 FA Cup Final by beating Darwen Old Wanders (6-1), Staveley (7-1), Brentwood (3-1) and Swifts (2-1) Seven of the Blackburn Rovers team were appearing in their third successive final, whereas Fergie Suter, Hugh McIntyre, Jimmy Brown and Jimmy Douglas were playing in their fourth final in five season. The game against West Bromwich Albion at the Oval ended in a 0-0 draw.

The replay took place at the Racecourse Ground, Derby. A goal by Joe Sowerbutts gave Blackburn Rovers an early lead. In the second-half James Brown collected the ball in his own area, took the ball past several WBA players, ran the length of the field and scored one of the best goals scored in a FA Cup final. Blackburn Rovers now joined the Wanderers in achieving three successive cup final victories.

In 1887, Jack Hunter, the former England international and succesful player-coach at Blackburn Olympic joined the club. A member of the playing staff, Hunter later worked as an assistant coach at the club. Edgar Chadwick also joined the club that year.

The decision by the Football Association to allow clubs to pay their players increased their out-goings. It was therefore necessary to arrange more matches that could be played in front of large crowds. In March, 1888, William McGregor, a director of Aston Villa, circulated a letter suggesting that "ten or twelve of the most prominent clubs in England combine to arrange home and away fixtures each season." The following month the Football League was formed. It consisted of six clubs from Lancashire (Blackburn Rovers, Preston North End, Accrington, Burnley and Everton) and six from the Midlands (Aston Villa, Derby County, Notts County, Stoke, West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers). The main reason Sunderland was excluded was because the other clubs in the league objected to the costs of travelling to the North-East.

The first season of the Football League began in September, 1888. Preston North End won the first championship that year without losing a single match and acquired the name the "Invincibles". Blackburn Rovers, who had lost most of their best players to retirement, finished in 4th place, 14 points behind Preston.

At the beginning of the 1889-90 season Tom Mitchell, the club secretary, recruited four top players from Scotland: Tom Brandon, Johnny Forbes, George Dewar and Harry Campbell. These players joined local men such as James Forrest, Herbie Arthur, John Barton, Billy Townley, Nathan Walton, Joseph Lofthouse, Jack Southworth, Willie Almond, John Horne, Harry Fecitt and James Southworth.

Tom Mitchell was particularly concerned with the position of goalkeeper. Herbie Arthur, at 36, was coming to the end of his playing days. Mitchell initially signed Ted Doig from Arbroath. However, he found it difficult to settle and after playing only one game he returned to Scotland. Billy McOwen, a local lad, played in 14 games that season. Eventually, John Horne took over as Blackburn's goalkeeper. The defence did not perform well that season letting in 45 goals in 22 games.

Blackburn Rovers had little difficulty scoring goals. The team beat Notts County (9-1), Stoke (8-0), Aston Villa (7-0), Bolton Wanderers (7-1) and Burnley (7-1). Top scorers that season were Jack Southworth (22), Harry Campbell (15), Nathan Walton (14) and Joseph Lofthouse (11).

In the 1889-90 season Blackburn Rovers finished in 3rd place, six points behind Preston North End. They did even better in the FA Cup. On the way to the final they beat Sunderland (4-2), Grimsby Town (3-0), Bootle (7-0) and Wolverhampton Wanderers (1-0).

Blackburn were odds-on favourites to win the cup against Sheffield Wednesday, who played in the Football Alliance league. Blackburn selected the following players: (G) John Horne, (2) Johnny Forbes, (3) James Southworth, (4) John Barton, (5) George Dewar, (6) James Forrest, (7) Joseph Lofthouse, (8) Harry Campbell, (9) Jack Southworth, (10) Nathan Walton and (11) Billy Townley.

Blackburn took the lead in the 6th minute when a shot from Townley was deflected past the Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper. Campbell hit the post before Walton converted a pass from Townley. Blackburn scored a third before half-time when Southworth scored from another of Townley's dangerous crosses from the wing.

Townley scored his second, and Blackburn's fourth goal in the 50th minute. Bennett got one back for the Sheffield side when Bennett headed past the advancing Horne. Townley completed his hat-trick when he converted a pass from Lofthouse. Ten minutes before the end of the game, Lofthouse completed the scoring and Blackburn had won the cup 6-1. As Philip Gibbons pointed out in his book Association Football in Victorian England: "The Blackburn side had given one of the finest exhibitions of attacking football in an FA Cup Final, with England internationals, Walton, Townley, Lofthouse and John Southworth at the peak of their form."

After their 1890 FA Cup success, the Blackburn Committee negotiated a 10 year lease with the Ewood racecourse ground. The cost was £60 per annum for the first five years and then £70 per annum for the remaining period. It was also decided to spend £1,000 to improve Ewood Park.

In April 1891 the FA decided to use Ewood Park for the annual England v Scotland international. Surprisingly, the FA decided not to pick Blackburn players, John Barton, James Forrest, Joseph Lofthouse, Jack Southworth, Nathan Walton and Billy Townley. As a result the attendance at the game was less than 6,000 and produced only £664 in gate money.

In an effort to improve the quality of Blackburn's defence, Tom Mitchell signed a new goalkeeper, John Gow from Scottish club Renton. However, he was eventually lost his place to local lad, Rowland Pennington.

Although the defence did slightly improve that year, Blackburn was not as successful in front of goal and the club finished in 6th place in the league. However, Blackburn had another good run in the FA Cup and beat Middlesborough Ironopolis (3-0), Chester (7-0), Wolverhampton Wanderers (2-0), West Bromwich Albion (3-2) to reach their second successive final.

Notts County were their opponents. Blackburn selected the following players: (G) Rowland Pennington, (2) Tom Brandon, (3) Johnny Forbes, (4) John Barton, (5) George Dewar, (6) James Forrest, (7) Joseph Lofthouse, (8) Nathan Walton, (9) Jack Southworth, (10) Coombe Hall and (11) Billy Townley.

Blackburn Rovers put Notts County under pressure from the beginning and in the 8th minute, centre-half Dewar scored from a Townley corner. Before the end of the first-half, Southworth and Townley added further goals. Jimmy Oswald of Notts County did score a late consolation goal but Blackburn finished comfortable 3-1 winners and won the FA Cup for the 5th time in 8 years.

At the beginning of the 1891-92 season John Barton suffered a serious injury that brought an end to his football career at Blackburn Rovers. Jack Southworth and James Forrest also missed a lot of games that season as a result of injuries. The club also lost the services of Tom Brandon who was transferred to Sheffield Wednesday after an argument with the Blackburn Committee.

Blackburn Rovers also got into trouble with the Football Association after a game against Burnley in December 1891. Joseph Lofthouse was fouled by Alexander Stewart. The two men started fighting which resulted in both men being sent off my the referee. The Blackburn players thought that Lofthouse had been treated too severely and except for the goalkeeper, Herbie Arthur, walked off in protest. Arthur then refused to restart the game with a free-kick and the referee was forced to abandon the game.

Blackburn finished in 9th position in the 1891-92 season. They were also knocked out of the FA Cup in the second round by West Bromwich Albion.

Blackburn Rovers won their first game in the 1892-93 season against Newton Heath. Blackburn then began a bad run hat brought five draws and five defeats from their next 10 League games. Tom Mitchell, the club secretary, once again went to Scotland to recruit players. He signed Scottish international defenders, George Anderson (Leith Athletic) and Harry Marshall (Hearts). Johnny Murray, who had also played for Scotland, arrived from Sunderland.

Blackburn still had problems with the goalkeeping position. Rowland Pennington lost his place after letting in seven goals in two games. Herbie Arthur was brought back into the side but he was dropped after conceding ten goals in three games. Mitchell then made the strange decision of putting inside forward Nathan Walton in goal. That year Blackburn finished in 9th place in the league.

28,000 spectators watched Blackburn Rovers beat Sunderland, 3-0 in the 3rd round of the FA Cup. There was a record gate of £760, the previous best being £454. One Blackburn supporter wrote after the game: "Southworth is the finest centre-forward and Anderson the finest half-back the world has ever seen, or ever will have the luck to see." Unfortunately Blackburn lost 2-1 in the semi-final to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The 1893-94 season saw Blackburn encounter serious financial problems. The costs of developing Ewood Park had not resulted in the expected higher attendances for marches. Only the visit of Sunderland brought a 10,000 plus crowd. Blackburn was forced to sell their main asset, Jack Southworth, to Everton for £400.

Adam Ogilvie was signed as the new goalkeeper. He joined fellow Scotsmen, George Anderson, Harry Marshall, Johnny Murray, Johnny Forbes, George Dewar, Coombe Hall, Tom Brandon and Harry Campbell in the side.

Blackburn's defence was now completely made up of Scotsmen. However, the club did have three talented Englishmen in the forward line: Harry Chippendale, Jimmy Whitehead and Jamie Haydock. In fact, Chippendale and Whitehead both obtained their first international caps in March 1894 in a game against Ireland. That year Blackburn finished in 4th place in the First Division of the Football League.

In 1894 Blackburn Rovers signed Patrick Gordon from Liverpool. Gordon replaced Jamie Haydock in the team. This upset the supporters and one man wrote to the local newspaper and claimed "Gordon is scarcely worth his place in the team after all. The wiseacres on the Rovers' committee think him a dashing outside-right. But he is not. Haydock is the best they have had for a long time."

Gordon only scored 2 goals in 12 games and Jamie Haydock eventually got his place back. On May, 1895 Patrick Gordon was sacked from the club for what was described as "refractory conduct" during a tour of Scotland. It was also stated that he refused to play for the reserve team after he was replaced by Haydock.

Blackburn continued to have trouble balancing the books and in 1895 the club made a public appeal for £1,500. A club bazaar raised £1,200 and all the players decided to contribute a week's wages to the fund.

The 1895-96 season was a major disappointment. New signing Peter Turnbull, a centre-forward with a good goal scoring record when he played for Glasgow Rangers, Bolton Wanderers and Burnley, only managed seven in 25 games for Blackburn. The all-Scottish defence played well but the lack of goals resulted in the club finishing in 8th place in the league.

Blackburn also lost the services of James Forrest, a man who had played in five winning cup finals for the club. Forrest left the club in October 1895 after he refused a request from the Blackburn Committee to register as an amateur in order to avoid paying him a wage.

In October, 1896, Tom Mitchell, Blackburn's club secretary/manager resigned. His replacement was Joseph Walmsley, a local cotton mill manager. It seemed Blackburn missed Mitchell as they slumped to 14th place in the First Division of the Football League.

The following season Blackburn Rovers lost the services of Jamie Haydock, Adam Ogilvie, George Dewar and Harry Chippendale. The only good news that year was the emergence of some talented youngsters such as Kelly Houlker, Bob Crompton, Tom Booth, Sam McClure, Tommy Briercliffe, Arnie Whittaker and Fred Blackburn. The team also included experienced players such as George Anderson and Tom Brandon.

In the 1897-98 season Blackburn finished second from bottom. Only a decision to increase the size of the First Division of the Football League to 18 clubs saved Blackburn Rovers from relegation. The following season saw a revival with the team finishing in a respectable 6th place. However, they were beaten by Liverpool in the first round of the FA Cup.

Blackburn found itself in another relegation struggle in the 1899-1900 season. The club had to win one of its last two games against Notts County and Preston North End in order to avoid the drop to the Second Division. Blackburn lost to Preston but managed to beat Notts County 2-0. Unfortunately this was followed by the news that Blackburn's former player, Jamie Haydock, had died after a long illness at the age of 27.

The Blackburn Times criticised the performance of the Blackburn team arguing: "There can be no such thing as standing still in the football world as in many other things, and as the Rovers have not made headway they must have been going backwards. Alas, this is only too plain. The rovers of today are not the Rovers of yore, when their fame spread far and wide".

The following season, two of Blackburn's most experienced players, George Anderson and Tom Brandon, left the club. Tom Booth, an English international, was sold to Everton and Tommy Briercliffe moved to Stalybridge Celtic. Considering the loss of these good players, Blackburn did well to finish in 9th place. Blackburn also won the Lancashire Cup beating Burnley 4-0 in the final.

The 1901-02 season saw a major improvement in the form of Blackburn Rovers. For a while it looked like they would win the First Division title. However, Sunderland beat them 1-0 at Ewood Park and this started a poor run that left them in fourth place by the end of the season. Three of Blackburn's young stars, Fred Blackburn, Kelly Houlker and Bob Crompton, won international caps playing for England that season.

The ambition of the club was questioned when one of the team's English internationals, Kelly Houlker, was allowed to sign for Portsmouth in the Southern League. He was replaced by Lionel Watson, who had been purchased from Manchester City.

Bob Crompton had emerged as a superb talent. Despite only being 21 years old, he had become a commanding figure in the Blackburn defence and his leadership qualities resulted in him being appointed club captain. In 1902 Crompton won his first international cap for England. Playing at right-back he held his place in the team for the next 12 years. At the age of 24 he was appointed as England's captain.

Blackburn struggled again in the 1902-03 season. Joseph Walmsley, Blackburn's manager, desperately needed someone to score goals and in March, 1903, persuaded Adam Bowman from Everton to join the club.

With only a couple of games to play, Bolton Wanderers were already relegated. Blackburn Rovers and Grimsby Town were the main rivals for the second club to move into the Second Division.

On Easter Monday, Blackburn Rovers had to visit Bowman's former club. Blackburn surprisingly beat Everton 3-0 with Adam Bowman scoring two of the goals. Four days later, Bowman scored another two goals in a 3-1 victory over Newcastle United. These two results meant that Grimsby Town, rather than Blackburn was relegated from the First Division of the Football League.

Rumours began to circulate that Blackburn Rovers had bribed Everton players to lose the game. Officials at Grimsby lodged an official protest and the Football Association decided to hold an inquiry into the game. A report by the FA claimed that there was evidence that Joseph Walmsley had tried to arrange a win for Blackburn Rovers. However, they believed that Everton players had not taking any bribes and that the final league placings should remain unaltered. Walmsley was immediately banned from having any further involvement with football.

In July 1903, Robert Middleton, a former school teacher, was appointed as Blackburn's new secretary/manager. Middleton purchased Bob Evans, a Welsh international goalkeeper, from Wrexham for £150. In November, 1903, Middleton also persuaded Fred Pentland, who had scored five goals in eight games for Blackpool, to join the club. Pentland scored seven goals in 18 league appearances, but his efforts could not stop Blackburn from being involved in another relegation struggle. The club eventually finished in 15th place in the league. Lionel Watson was the club's top scorer with 14 goals.

In 1904 Robert Middleton signed Sam Wolstenholme from Everton. Wolstenholme, who was described at the time as being "a brainy and thoughtful right-half, as nimble as a squirrel", was a great success and played for England against Ireland and Wales in 1905.

Despite good individual performances from Sam Wolstenholme, Bob Crompton, Adam Bowman, Bob Evans, Fred Blackburn and Arnie Whittaker, Blackburn could only finish in 13th place in the 1904-05 season. Bowman was the top scorer with 13 goals. In an article that appeared in the Blackburn Times a journalist wrote: "Like its two predecessors, the season of 1904-05 has been one of disgrace to the Rovers".

Lawrence Cotton, a local wealthy businessman, became chairman of Blackburn Rovers in March 1905. The following month Robert Middleton signed Welsh international striker, Billy Davies from Wrexham. Ellis Crompton, another young player with a reputation for scoring goals, also joined the club. At the same time, two of Blackburn's best players, Lionel Watson and Fred Blackburn, joined West Ham United. Blackburn, an English international, left because he was upset with the decision not to grant him a benefit. Fred Pentland who was unable to maintain his goalscoring form, moved to Brentford in the Southern League.

Blackburn Rovers finished in 9th place in the 1905-06 season. Adam Bowman was once again the club's top scorer with 15 goals. His strike partner, Billy Davies, added 11 more. That year, Blackburn's talented centre-half, Sam McClure, died after an abscess in the ear spread inwards towards the brain. The club also lost Arnie Whittaker who signed for Accrington Stanley.

Robert Middleton made several significant signings that year, including Jack Martin, Edwin Latheron and Wattie Aitkenhead. Kelly Houlker, who had played for Blackburn between 1896 and 1901, also rejoined the club. However, now aged 34, he was passed his best and only managed 31 more games over the next two years.

Lawrence Cotton helped to raise the money to improve the Elwood Park ground. On 1st January, 1907, the recently constructed Nuttell Street Stand was opened. It could accommodate 4,112 supporters seated in the upper tier, with room for a further 9,320 standing in front. A crowd of 35,000 watched Blackburn draw 1-1 with Preston North End.

Blackburn Rovers finished in 12th place in the 1906-07 season. They were knocked out of the FA Cup by Tottenham Hotspur but won the Lancashire Cup when they beat Liverpool 3-0. Jack Martin proved to be a great buy and ended up the club's leading scorer with 17 goals.

1907-08 season was very disappointing. Blackburn Rovers was knocked out of the FA Cup in the first round when they were defeated by Second Division Leicester Fosse. They also had a first round exit in the Lancashire Cup. Blackburn's league form was little better and after a late rally they finished in 14th place. Billy Davies, Edwin Latheron and Jack Martin, ended up as joint top scorers with 9 goals each. After scoring 25 goals in 57 games Martin was surprisingly allowed to join Brighton & Hove Albion.

Blackburn's new signings failed to shine. The Blackburn Times commented: "The second-rate players might advantageously be reduced and the money thus saved be utilized in paying the maximum wage to first-class men."

Robert Middleton appointed the former Preston North End star, Bob Holmes, as trainer. This had a good impact on the team as they obtain 4th place in the 1908-09 season. Billy Davies scored 19 goals in 27 league appearances. This included four goals against both Bristol City and Everton. Ellis Crompton (10) and Edwin Latheron (9) added to the impressive number of goals scored that season. Blackburn also won the Lancashire Cup and the East Lancashire Charity Cup that season.

Blackburn continued their good form the following season and by October 1909 they became leaders of the First Division of the Football League. They lost their position in January 1910 and finally finished in 3rd place behind Aston Villa and Liverpool. Blackburn's 45 points was the best total they had ever accumulated in a season.

Blackburn's defence was outstanding that season. In goal was England international Jimmy Ashcroft. Bob Crompton and Arthur Cowell were a formidable full-back pairing. George Chapman played at centre-half whereas Albert Walmsley and Billy Bradshaw were the wing-halfs. An injury to Billy Davies caused the club serious problems in front of goal. Wattie Aitkenhead was top scorer with 14 goals and the consistent Edwin Latheron added 10 more.

Ellis Crompton, who had the impressive record of scoring 20 goals in 35 games, joined Tottenham Hotspur in 1910 in order to get first-team football. Blackburn's away form that season was disastrous with their only win coming on the last day of the season. Although they won 12 games at home they could only finish in mid-table. This was very disappointing considering their 3rd and 4th positions in the previous two seasons. Top scorers were Billy Davies (16), Wattie Aitkenhead (13) and Edwin Latheron (11).

Billy Davies, who had won eleven Welsh international caps during his career, was forced to retire in 1911. During his time at Blackburn Rovers he had scored 66 goals in 132 games.

In 1911 Robert Middleton signed Jock Simpson from Falkirk for a fee of £1,800. He joined a foward line that included at different times in the season, Edwin Latheron, George Chapman, Walter Anthony, and Wattie Aitkenhead. Middleton also signed Alf Robinson to back up Jimmy Ashcroft. The defence looked very strong with players like Bob Crompton, Arthur Cowell, Albert Walmsley, Percy Smith and Billy Bradshaw in the side.

The 1911-12 season began badly with Blackburn Rovers losing two of its first three games. Robert Middleton decided to move George Chapman from centre-half to centre-forward. This was a great success and Blackburn's form gradually improved and the team went on an unbeaten run that lasted three months. This took them to the top of the league.

Despite being defeated by Bolton Wanderers and Arsenal, Blackburn went on another good run and by the end of the season they had three more points than main challengers, Everton. It was the first time in Blackburn's history that they had won the Football League title. Top scorers were Wattie Aitkenhead (15) and George Chapman (9). Jimmy Ashcroft and Alf Robinson played well and Blackburn only conceded 43 league goals. Only Everton let in fewer goals that season.

On 16th March, 1912, Wattie Aitkenhead won his first international cap playing for Scotland against Ireland. He made an immediate impact on his international debut with two goals in the first 23 minutes but was never selected again.

Blackburn started the 1912-13 season very well and were undefeated until December. This was followed by five successive defeats. In an attempt to regain the championship, Robert Middleton broke the British transfer record by buying Danny Shea from West Ham United for £2,000. Patsy Gallagher, described Shea as "one of the greatest ball artists who has ever played for England... his manipulation of the ball was bewildering."

Robert Middleton also purchased another forward, Joe Hodkinson for £1,000. Shea scored 12 goals but it was not enough and Blackburn finished 5th that season. Edwin Latheron (14), Wattie Aitkenhead (13), George Chapman (10) were the club's other top scorers. The defence played well and conceded only 43 goals league goals. Only Manchester City had a better defensive record that season.

In July 1913, Alec Bell, the Scottish international left-half, joined Blackburn from Manchester United for £1,000. Bell was recruited as cover for the half-back line of Albert Walmsley, Percy Smith and Billy Bradshaw.

As well as buying the top players, Lawrence Cotton also invested in ground improvements. He spent 7,000 on a new stand by the River Darwen. This provided covered accommodation for some 12,000 spectators.

In the 1913-14 season Blackburn once again won the league title. Danny Shea was in great form scoring 27 goals. Edwin Latheron also did well that season with 13 goals. Both men also won international caps for England that season. They joined other Blackburn players, Billy Bradshaw, Jock Simpson, Bob Crompton and Joe Hodkinson in the England team. The defence also performed well and only let in 42 league goals that season.

The following season Blackburn broke the transfer record again when they bought Percy Dawson for £2,500 from Heart of Midlothian. Blackburn Rovers scored 83 goals in 1914-15 season. However, their defence was not as good and Blackburn finished 3rd behind the champions, Everton. Dawson was top scorer with 20 goals. He was followed by Edwin Latheron (17), Danny Shea (13), George Chapman (9) and Wattie Aitkenhead (8).

Bob Crompton played his international game for England in 1914. All told, Compton had gained 41 caps, 22 of them as England captain. As one commentator has pointed out: "Bearing in mind there were only three regular international matches each year, then the odd tour in the summer, in modern terms this would have equated to something in the region of 120 caps. No wonder that in his time he was considered the greatest player in the world."

Blackburn Rovers was one of the first clubs to suggest that the Football League should be brought to a halt. Lawrence Cotton stated that: "We shall pull through some way or other, and then, after the war is over, we shall try to build up what we have lost. But for the present the one thing, and the only thing, is the war."

Edwin Latheron was one of the many Blackburn players to join the British Army and served on the Western Front with the Royal Field Artillery. Latheron was killed during the offensive at Passchendaele on 14th October 1917 and is buried at the Vlamertinge New Military Cemetery.

Lawrence Cotton became Mayor of Blackburn in 1917 and as a result of "the increasing pressure of civic and other duties" resigned as chairman of Blackburn Rovers on 19th February, 1919.

There is one point about Blackburn Rovers that does not give entire satisfaction and this is the introduction of Inglis of the Glasgow Rangers. It is "hard lines" on Sowerbutts or whoever else is supplanted, that after the faithful services of the past he should be pushed out in this manner, and besides that there is a class of people in the town who would rather lose the Cup on their merits than win it with the aid of a specially introduced stranger.

Our team journeyed to Blackburn the following Monday to try issues with the Rovers. Three minutes after the start the Blackburn side scored, and within ten minutes a second point was added to their account. As soon as the ball had been kicked off from the centre the Rovers with a rush carried it into our territory and got it past the goalkeeper again; and within a minute they scored a fourth goal, to the frantic joy of the spectators. Vaughton scored a goal for the Villa after this and some hard play, characterised by desperate rushes and a few fierce scrimmages ensued. The Rovers, however, were irresistible and lowered our flag seven times, only two goals being placed to the Villa account. The team returned home thoroughly disappointed.

Blackburn, who were the first provincial team to appear in an FA Cup Final, were without England defender D. H. Greenwood... The Old Etonians were the last "All Amateur" side to win the FA Cup, as well as the last team south of Birmingham to win it during the nineteenth century. However, they appeared in their sixth final in 1883, where they met another team from Blackburn. For Blackburn Rovers, on the other hand, it was the start of a ten-year period in which they appeared in six FA Cup Finals.

Our encounter with the Blackburn team took place on their ground and we took over with us Albert Brown, whose first season it was with the Villa and he played a most serviceable game. He is, as you doubtless are aware, still playing for the Villa and is considered to be one of the cleverest members of the team. He came from the Aston Unity and was the brother of Arthur Brown, my old centre-forward comrade.

The match was fairly exciting, the tactics of the Rovers at the opening of the game being remarkably good. They scored a quarter of an hour from the start, Hugh McIntyre shooting the ball through goal. We equalised matters before half-time and directly after play was resumed Jimmy Brown, of the Rovers, lowered our flag again. But again we got level and in good time; and playing up in true form we began to press our opponents very hard. Then Albert Brown came to the front and sent the ball spinning through the posts for the third time. The Rovers felt called upon to make an effort and only by the cleverness of Mason, our goalkeeper, were we saved several times. Jimmy Brown, however, equalised matters again and now the intensist excitement prevailed, for we only had a few minutes to keep on playing. Fortunately, we were equal to the emergency and Olly Whateley kicked the winning goal just before the whistle blew.

I regard this as one of our best matches and our win by four to three advanced us another step in local popularity. Jimmy Brown, whom I have mentioned, was a good centre-forward and had won international honours. After McIntyre - who also distinguished himself by his good play that day - he captained the team. Brown was very fast, a splendid dribbler, and a sure shot. The two Hargreaves, though not playing that day, were noted members of the Blackburn team and the elder of them was for some time captain, but had to retire on account of an injury to his leg. Among our own men who deserve special mention for their play against the Rovers is Vaughton; and Mason also worked well at goal.

The Rovers were overwhelming favourites to lift the trophy as all of their team, bar Jimmy Southworth and Jack Horne, were of international status. Jack Southworth, Jack Barton, Jimmy Forrest, Joe Lofthouse, Billy Townley and Nat Walton were all English internationals, while John Forbes, Geordie Dewar and Henry Campbell had represented Scotland.

The rovers looked immaculate when they took to the field, being attired in white dress shirts that had been hastily acquired from a London outfitters once it was realised that Sheffield would be turning out in blue jerseys. Prior to the match a representative of the Blackburn Times spoke to someone who had been in the dressing room area and he had reported that while the Rovers players were singing and laughing the men from Sheffield were fraught with nerves. He predicted an easy victory for the Rovers and so it turned out. Billy Townley was undoubtedly the star of the show and he became the first man to score a hat-trick in the FA Cup Final as the Rovers romped to a 6-1 win.

It was generally agreed that Blackburn had a little too much FA Cup experience for Wednesday, for whom Morley, Brayshaw, Mumford and Bennett performed splendidly. However, the Blackburn side had given one of the finest exhibitions of attacking football in an FA Cup Final, with England internationals, Walton, Townley, Lofthouse and John Southworth at the peak of their form.

Blackburn Rovers redeemed themselves in the presence of 28,000 spectators by inflicting a decisive defeat on Sunderland in the third round of the Association Cup, on February 18th, 1893. Incidentally, there was a record gate of £760, the previous best being £454... Entranced by this achievement a jubilant supporter addressed the following post-card to the Press: "Southworth is the finest centre-forward and Anderson the finest half-back the world has ever seen, or ever will have the luck to see. Blackburn Rovers have never won a League match for the last three years without Southworth.

There can be no such thing as standing still in the football world as in many other things, and as the Rovers have not made headway they must have been going backwards. The rovers of today are not the Rovers of yore, when their fame spread far and wide.


Blackburn Rovers F.C.

Blackburn Rovers Football Club / ˈ b l æ k b ɜːr n ˈ r oʊ v ər z / is a professional association football club based in Blackburn, Lancashire, England. The club competes in League One, the third tier of the English football league system, following relegation from the Championship at the conclusion of the 2016-17 season.

The club was established in 1875, becoming a founding member of The Football League in 1888. It is one of only three clubs to have been both a founder member of the Football League and the Premier League (the others being Aston Villa and Everton). In 1890, Rovers moved to Ewood Park. Blackburn Rovers have been English champions three times, and have won six FA Cups and one Football League Cup. [2] Blackburn are the only extant club to have won three consecutive FA Cups. The club has spent the majority of its existence in the top flight of English football (72 years). [3]

In 1992, Rovers gained promotion to the new Premier League a year after being taken over by local entrepreneur Jack Walker, who installed Kenny Dalglish as manager. In 1995, Rovers became Premier League champions. [4] In the 1998-99 season, the club was relegated. It was promoted back to the Premier League two years later, in the 2000-01 season. It has qualified for the UEFA Cup four times: once as League Cup winners, twice as the Premier League's sixth-placed team and once via the Intertoto Cup. The 2011-12 season marked the club's 72nd, non-consecutive, year in the top flight. Rovers are currently one of only six clubs to have won the Premier League, along with Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City and Leicester City. They are currently the only team to have won the Premier League that are no longer playing in it and the only team to subsequently compete in League One.

The club's motto is " Arte et Labore ", "By Skill and Hard Work" in Latin.


Blackburn Rovers F.C.

Blackburn Rovers Football Club is a professional football club, based in Blackburn, Lancashire, England, which competes in the Championship, the second tier of the English football league system.

The club was established in 1875, becoming a founding member of The Football League in 1888 and the Premier League in 1992. In 1890, Rovers moved to Ewood Park. Blackburn Rovers have been English champions three times, and have won six FA Cups, one Football League Cup and one Full Members' Cup. [3] The club has spent most of its existence in the top flight of English football. [4]

In 1992, Rovers gained promotion to the new Premier League a year after being taken over by local entrepreneur Jack Walker, who installed Kenny Dalglish as manager. In 1995, Rovers became Premier League champions. [5] In the 1998–99 season, the club was relegated. It was promoted back to the Premier League two years later, in the 2000–01 season, before suffering relegation again in the 2011–12 season. Rovers have not returned to the Premier League since. It has qualified for the UEFA Champions League once, and the UEFA Cup six times: once as League Cup winners, four times through league position and once via the Intertoto Cup.

The club's motto is "Arte et Labore", meaning "By Skill and Hard Work" in Latin. They have a long-standing rivalry with nearby club Burnley, with whom they contest the East Lancashire derby.

History

Early years

The club was founded following a meeting, at the Leger Hotel, Blackburn, on 5 November 1875. The meeting was organised by two young men, namely John Lewis and Arthur Constantine, two old-boys of Shrewsbury School. The purpose of the meeting was "to discuss the possibility of forming a football club to play under Association rules". [6] The first match played by Blackburn Rovers took place in Church, Lancashire on 18 December 1875 and was a 1–1 draw. [7]

On 28 September 1878, Blackburn Rovers became one of 23 clubs to form the Lancashire Football Association. [8] On 1 November 1879 the club played in the FA Cup for the first time, beating the Tyne Association Football Club 5–1. [8] Rovers were eventually put out of the competition in the third round after suffering a heavy 6–0 defeat by Nottingham Forest. [9]

On 25 March 1882 the club won through to the final of the FA Cup against the Old Etonians. Blackburn Rovers was the first provincial team to reach the final, [10] but the result was a 1–0 defeat by the Old Etonians. [11]

Rovers finally won the FA Cup on 29 March 1884 with a 2–1 victory over the Scottish team Queen's Park. [12] The same teams played the FA Cup final again the next season, with Blackburn Rovers again emerging victorious, with a 2–0 score. [12] Rovers repeated this success yet again the next season, winning the final replay 2–0 against West Bromwich Albion. For this three-in-a-row of FA Cup victories, the club was awarded a specially commissioned silver shield. [12]

The 1885–86 season was the birth of the legal professional footballer, and Blackburn Rovers spent £615 on player wages for the season. [13]

Football League commences

Blackburn Rovers were founder members of the Football League in 1888. [14]

Blackburn Rovers again reached the FA Cup final on 29 March 1890 at the Kennington Oval. [15] The club claimed the trophy for the fourth time, by beating Sheffield Wednesday a hefty 6–1 with left forward William Townley scoring three goals and becoming the first player to achieve a hat-trick in the FA Cup final. [16]

The 1890–91 season saw Blackburn Rovers win the FA Cup for the fifth time against Notts County with a 3–1 victory. [17] During the 1897–98 season the club stayed in the first division only as the result of a decision to increase the number of teams from 16 to 18. [18] The season did, however, mark the beginning of Bob Crompton's 45-year association with the club, both as a player and eventually as an FA Cup winning manager.

Early 20th century

Blackburn Rovers continued to struggle during the early years of the 20th century, but the results began a gradual improvement. Major renovations were made to Ewood Park: in 1905 the Darwen End was covered at a cost of £1680 and the new Nuttall Stand was opened on New Year's Day 1907. During the first three decades of the 20th century, Blackburn Rovers were still considered a top side in the English league. They were First Division champions in 1911–12 and 1913–14, and F.A Cup winners in 1927–28 with a 3–1 victory against Huddersfield Town, but the F.A Cup win was their last major trophy for nearly 70 years.

Mid 20th century

Blackburn Rovers maintained a respectable mid-table position in the First Division until they were finally relegated (along with Aston Villa) from the top flight (for the first time since the foundation of the league) in the 1935–36 season.

When the league resumed after the war, Blackburn Rovers were relegated in their second season (1947–48). At this time the tradition of burying a coffin began. The club remained in the second division for the following ten years. After promotion in 1958, they again returned to the mid-table position they had occupied in the earlier part of the century. During this time, they seldom made a serious challenge for a major trophy – although they did reach the 1960 FA Cup final when managed by Scot Dally Duncan. Rovers lost this game 3–0 to Wolverhampton Wanderers after playing most of the game with only 10 men on the field following an injury to Dave Whelan, who broke a leg.

There were brief hopes of a return to glory in the 1963–64 season, when a remarkable 8–2 away win over West Ham United in east London on Boxing Day took them to the top of the league. However, their lead of the league was short lived and they finished the season some way down the table as the title was seized by a Liverpool side who would record a further 12 league titles over the next 26 years, while Blackburn's fortunes took a very different route. They were relegated from the First Division in 1966 and began a 26-year exile from the top division.

1970s and 1980s

During the 1970s, Blackburn Rovers bounced between the Second and Third Divisions, winning the Third Division title in 1975, but never mounted a challenge for promotion to the First Division despite the efforts of successive managers to put the club back on track, and fell back into the Third Division in 1979. They went up as runners up in the Third Division in 1980 and, save for one season in League One in 2017–18, have remained in the upper two tiers of the English league ever since. A second successive promotion was nearly achieved the following year, but the club missed out on goal difference, and promotion-winning manager Howard Kendall moved to Everton that summer. Kendall's successor, Bobby Saxton only managed mid-table finishes for the next three seasons, then nearly achieved promotion in the 1984–85 season, but a poor finish the following year (just one place above relegation) followed by an abysmal start to the 1986–87 season cost Saxton his job.

Saxton was replaced by Don Mackay, who steered them to a decent finish that season and also victory in the Full Members Cup. In the following three seasons Mackay re-established Rovers as promotion contenders, but they fell just short of promotion each time the closest they came was in 1988–89 reached the Second Division play-off final in its last season of the home-away two-legged format – but lost to Crystal Palace. A defeat in the 1989–90 Second Division playoff semi-finals brought more frustration to Ewood Park, but the following season saw the club taken over by local steelworks owner and lifelong supporter Jack Walker (1929–2000). [19]

1990s

Following the Walker takeover Rovers finished 19th in the Second Division at the end of the 1990–91 season, but the new owner had made millions of pounds available to spend on new players and appointed Kenny Dalglish as manager in October 1991. [20] Rovers secured promotion to the new FA Premier League at the end of 1991–92 season as play-off winners, ending 26 years outside the top flight. [21]

Rovers made headlines in the summer of 1992 by paying an English record fee of £3.5million for the 22-year-old Southampton and England centre forward Alan Shearer. [22] After finishing fourth in 1992–93 [23] and runners-up in 1993–94, [24] they went on to win the Premier League title in 1994–95. [25] The title chase went down to the last game of the season, but despite Rovers losing to Liverpool they edged out rivals Manchester United to win the championship.

Kenny Dalglish moved upstairs to the position of Director of Football at the end of the Premier League winning season, and handed over the reins to his assistant Ray Harford. [26] Blackburn Rovers made a poor start to the 1995–96 season, and found themselves in the bottom half for most of the first half of the season. Rovers also struggled in the Champions League and finished bottom of their group with just four points. [27] A terrible start to the 1996–97 Premier League campaign saw Harford resign in late October with the club bottom of the division, having failed to win any of their first ten games. Relegation looked a real possibility, just two seasons after winning the league. After an abortive attempt to bring in Sven-Göran Eriksson as manager, long-serving coach Tony Parkes took over as manager for the rest of the campaign, narrowly steering the side to survival. That summer, the manager's job was taken by Roy Hodgson, who joined the club from Internazionale. [28] UEFA Cup football was secured with a 6th-place finish. However, Rovers made a poor start to the 1998–99 campaign and Hodgson was sacked in December less than an hour after a 2–0 home defeat by bottom side Southampton, a result that locked Rovers in the relegation zone. [29] He was replaced as manager by Brian Kidd. [30] However Kidd failed to save Rovers from relegation.

2000s

In 1999–2000 Rovers began the season as promotion favourites, but with the club hovering just above the Division One relegation zone Brian Kidd was sacked in October [31] and replaced in March by Graeme Souness. [32] Jack Walker died just after the start of the 2000–01 season, [33] and the club dedicated its promotion challenge in memory of their benefactor. Fittingly, they returned to the Premier League after a much improved season, finishing second behind Fulham.

In 2001–02, record signing Andy Cole was bought in for £8million, [34] and Rovers won their first-ever League Cup by beating Tottenham Hotspur 2–1 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Cole scoring the winner in the 69th minute. [35] The following season Rovers finished sixth to qualify for the UEFA Cup for the second season running. Souness left just after the start of 2004–05 to take charge at Newcastle, [36] and he was replaced by Welsh national coach Mark Hughes. [37] Hughes secured Rovers' Premier League survival for the 2004–05 season as well as an FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal, with Rovers finishing 15th once again. He led the team to sixth the following season and Rovers's third European qualification in five years.

Rovers reached the semi-final of the 2006–07 FA Cup, but lost to Chelsea in extra time, and finished that season's league in tenth, qualifying for the Intertoto Cup, which led to a short run in the 2007–08 UEFA Cup. In May 2008, Mark Hughes left Blackburn Rovers for the vacancy at Manchester City. He was replaced by Paul Ince, [38] Ince's first job was to persuade some of the wantaway players to stay. [39] with Archie Knox coming in as his assistant. [40] Ince's time in charge started well, but following a run of eleven games without a win he was sacked in December 2008. [41] Sam Allardyce was appointed as Ince's replacement [42] and in 2009–10 he led the team to a tenth-place finish and a League Cup semi-final.

2010 onwards

In November 2010, the Indian company V H Group bought Blackburn Rovers under the name of Venky's London Limited for £23 million. [43] The new owners immediately sacked manager Sam Allardyce and replaced him with first-team coach Steve Kean, initially on a temporary basis, but by January 2011 he had been awarded a full-time contract until June 2013. [44] [45] Kean's appointment was shrouded in a great deal of controversy since his agent Jerome Anderson had earlier played a major role in advising Venky's during the takeover of the club in the preceding months. [46] [47] [48]

In December 2011, Blackburn Rovers posted an annual pre-tax loss of £18.6m for the year ending 30 June 2011. Despite this, the owners of Blackburn Rovers provided assurances over the continued funding of the club, even if they were relegated. [49]

On 7 May 2012, the club was relegated to the Championship after being defeated at home by Wigan Athletic in the penultimate game of the season, ending eleven years in the Premier League. [50]

At the start of the 2012–2013 season, Kean was given a chance by owners to win promotion and kept his job as the manager. Ultimately though, pressure from the supporters who had been calling for the manager's removal for months resulted in his resignation as manager on 29 September 2012. [51]

On 7 May 2017, five years to the day after dropping out of the Premier League, the club was relegated again to League One.

On 24 April 2018, they were promoted back to the second tier with a 1–0 win at Doncaster Rovers. [52]

In the 2018–2019 season, Rovers finished 15th in the Championship and in the 2019–20 season the club finished 11th in the division. [53]

Players

Current squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

  • Player subject to negotiation to renew contract long-term, contract due to expire at the end of 2020/21 season

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

Development/Academy squad

Notable former and existing players

For a list of notable Blackburn Rovers players in sortable-table format see List of Blackburn Rovers F.C. players.

Awards

Player of the season

Club honours

League

  • First Division/Premier League[55]
    • Winners (3): 1911–12, 1913–14, 1994–95
    • Runners-up (1):1993–94
    • Winners (1): 1938–39
    • Runners-up (2):1957–58, 2000–01
    • Play-off winners (1):1991–92
    • Winners (1): 1974–75
    • Runners-up (2):1979–80, 2017–18
    • FA Cup
      • Winners (6): 1883–84, 1884–85, 1885–86, 1889–90, 1890–91, 1927–28
      • Runners-up (2):1881–82, 1959–60
      • Winners (1): 2001–02
      • Winners (1): 1912
      • Runners-up (3):1928, 1994, 1995
      • Winners (1): 1987
      • Winners (19): 1882, 1883, 1884, 1885, 1896, 1901, 1902, 1904, 1907, 1909, 1911, 1945, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990, 2007, 2011, 2019
      • Winners (1): 1958–59
      • Runners-up (3):1997–98, 2000–01, 2011–12
      • Runners-up (1):2014–15
      • Runners-up (1):1939–40

      Season-by-season record

      European football

      Blackburn Rovers in Europe
      Season Competition Round Country Club Home Away Aggregate
      1994–95 UEFA Cup First round Trelleborg 0–1 2–2 2–3
      1995–96 UEFA Champions League Group B Spartak Moscow 0–1 0–3 4th
      Legia Warsaw 0–0 0–1
      Rosenborg 4–1 1–2
      1998–99 UEFA Cup First round Lyon 0–1 2–2 2–3
      2002–03 UEFA Cup First round CSKA Sofia 1–1 3–3 4–4 (a)
      Second round Celtic 0–2 0–1 0–3
      2003–04 UEFA Cup First round Gençlerbirliği 1–1 1–3 2–4
      2006–07 UEFA Cup First round Red Bull Salzburg 2–0 2–2 4–2
      Group E Nancy 1–0 N/A 1st
      Feyenoord N/A 0–0
      Wisła Kraków N/A 2–1
      Basel 3–0 N/A
      Round of 32 Bayer Leverkusen 0–0 2–3 2–3
      2007–08 UEFA Intertoto Cup Third round Vėtra 4–0 2–0 6–0
      UEFA Cup Second qualifying round MyPa 2–0 1–0 3–0
      First round Larissa 2–1 0–2 2–3

      Managerial history

      Period Manager Assistant manager(s) Notes
      1884–1887 James Fielding Won 3 FA Cups (1884, 1885 & 1886) [58]
      1887–1896 Thomas Mitchell Won 2 FA Cups (1890 & 1891) [58]
      1896–1903 Joseph Warmsley
      1903–1925 Robert Middleton Won League Titles (1911–12 & 1913–14) and Charity Shield (1912) longest serving manager (22 years & 3 months)
      1922–1926 Jack Carr
      1926–1930 Bob Crompton Won FA Cup (1928)
      1931–1936 Arthur Barritt
      1936–1938 Reg Taylor
      1938–1941 Bob Crompton Won Second Division title (1938–39)
      1946–1947 Eddie Hapgood
      1947 Will Scott
      1947–1949 Jack Bruton
      1949–1953 Jackie Bestall
      1953–1958 Johnny Carey First manager from outside the United Kingdom
      1958–1960 Dally Duncan
      1960–1967 Jack Marshall
      1967–1970 Eddie Quigley
      1970–1971 Johnny Carey
      1971–1973 Ken Furphy Richard Dinnis
      1974–1975 Gordon Lee Richard Dinnis Won Third Division (1974–75)
      1975–1978 Jim Smith
      1978 Jim Iley John Pickering
      1978–79 John Pickering
      1979–1981 Howard Kendall Runners up/Promoted from Third Division to Second Division (1979–80).
      1981–1986 Bobby Saxton
      1987–1991 Don Mackay Won Full Members Cup (1987)
      1991–1995 Kenny Dalglish Ray Harford Promoted from Second Division to Premier League (1991–92), Won Premier League Title (1994–95)
      1995–1996 Ray Harford Assistant manager under Kenny Dalglish for Premier League winning title season.
      1997–1998 Roy Hodgson
      1998–1999 Brian Kidd Brian McClair Relegated from Premier League to Division One 1998–99 season
      1999–2000 Tony Parkes Caretaker of club on 4 separate occasions
      2000–2004 Graeme Souness Tony Parkes Runners up/Promoted from Division One to Premier League (2000–01), Won League Cup (2002)
      2004–2008 Mark Hughes Mark Bowen
      2008 Paul Ince Ray Mathias
      2008–2010 Sam Allardyce Neil McDonald
      2010–2012 Steve Kean John Jensen, Paul Clement, Eric Black Relegated from the Premier League 2011–12 season
      2012 Henning Berg Eric Black First manager from outside British Isles in club's history. Shortest-serving manager in club history (57 days).
      2013 Michael Appleton Ashley Westwood Club's second shortest serving manager (67 days).
      2013–2015 Gary Bowyer Terry McPhillips Served as caretaker manager on two previous occasions.
      2015–2016 Paul Lambert Alan Irvine
      2016–2017 Owen Coyle Alan Irvine, Sandy Stewart Club initially retained Lambert's staff.
      2017– Tony Mowbray [59] David Lowe, Mark Venus Mowbray's staff were initially promoted from within – David Lowe to assistant manager from the club's academy David Dunn to first-team coach from U-23s assistant coach Ben Benson to acting first-team goalkeepers' coach from the academy. Following relegation to League One, Mark Venus replaced Lowe as assistant manager, who in turn took over from Dunn as first-team coach, who in turn returned to his role with the U-23s. Benson was appointed first-team goalkeeping coach on a permanent basis.

      Team colours and badge

      Unlike most teams, Blackburn Rovers have only ever had one design to their home kit. The distinctive blue and white halved jersey is widely acknowledged as the "town colour". Although the design has remained the same, the side in which the colours fall has often changed. Blue has resided on the wearers left since 1946 however prior to this regulation the blue and white often switched order almost yearly.

      Blackburn Rovers' first ever kit is however indefinite. The 1905 book Book of Football by Jonathan Russell describes Blackburn Rovers' first kit as a white jersey with Maltese Cross on the wearers left breast, Trousers and a blue and white skull cap. The Maltese Cross notorious with the public schools in which the founders of the club were educated. In contrast an account from the Blackburn Standard on 6 January 1894 accounts the first kit as navy blue and white quartered jersey (quartered accounting for the shirts four panels front and back), white knickers and navy hose. This account is much more synonymous with the kit today. Photographic evidence from 1878 shows the team in Blue and white halved (quartered) jerseys, white shorts and blue socks, complete with blue and white cap and Maltese Cross.

      Through its history the club has adopted four badges as its crest the Maltese Cross, the towns coat of arms, Lancashire Rose and the present day Blackburn Rovers Badge. From 1875 to approximately 1882 The Maltese Cross was present on the club's first ever home kit and was worn by both the Shrewsbury and Malvern school teams. Two former Malvernians and two former Salopians played in that first team, so there is a clear link with these public schools.

      During FA Cup finals it is tradition for the club to adopt the town's coat of arms as their badge. This tradition has carried through all eight FA Cup finals the cup has been a part of all the way to their last FA Cup final against Woverhampton Wanderers in 1960.

      From roughly 1882 and excluding cup finals the club did not use a badge until 1974. In this year the club opted for an embroidered Lancashire Rose with the club's initials "B.R.F.C." below. This badge lasted unchanged for 15 years until it was 1989 due to visibility issues of the dark red rose on the dark blue of the shirt.

      From 1989 to the present day the current Blackburn Rovers badge has been used. It has encompassed the previous badge in a newer design for the Lancashire Red Rose. Circling the rose is the team name "Blackburn Rovers F.C." and the date in which the club was founded "1875". At the base of the badge is the club motto, "Arte Et Labore" which translated means, "by skill and by labour". This motto has been taken from the town motto which was adopted in 1852.

      As of 2016, the club's kit has been manufactured by Umbro, [60] and sponsored by sporting brand, Recoverite Compression since 2020. [61]

      Period Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
      1974–81 Umbro None
      1981–84 Spall
      1984–88 Perspex
      1988–90 Ellgren
      1990–91 Ribero
      1991–92 McEwan's Lager
      1992–96 ASICS
      1996–98 CIS
      1998–2000 Uhlsport
      2002–04 Kappa Time Computers
      2002–03 AMD
      2003–04 HSA
      2004–05 Lonsdale
      2005–06 Lonsdale
      2006–07 Bet24
      2007–08 Umbro
      2008–11 Crown Paints
      2011–12 The Prince's Trust

      Prostate Cancer UK (Back of shirt, 2013)

      Grounds

      Oozehead Ground 1875–1877

      Rovers first home ground was a field at Oozehead on Preston New Road to the north west of the town. This field was farmland and was owned by a local farmer when Blackburn Rovers weren't using the field it was used to graze cows. In the centre of the field was a large watering hole, which on match days was covered with timber and turf. [62]

      Pleasington Cricket Ground 1877

      Due to the rough conditions at Oozehead, the committee felt an established sports ground would be best to play on. Therefore, during the 1877 season they acquired the use of Pleasington's cricket ground to the south west of the town. Play stopped on this ground after Henry Smith of Preston North End died of a heart attack whilst playing. [62]

      Alexandra Meadows 1877–1881

      Still adopting cricket grounds, the committee acquired the use of the East Lancashire Cricket Club's ground in the centre of the town, Alexandra Meadows. Sources differ as to the date of the first match played by Rovers at Alexandra Meadows. A programme from Clitheroe F.C. states that Clitheroe was the first team to beat Blackburn at Alexandra Meadows on 17 November 1877. [63] Other sources indicate that the first match took place on 2 January 1878 with a Blackburn victory against Partick Thistle. [64] [65] It was on this ground Blackburn Rovers played for the first time under artificial light against Accrington on 4 November 1878. [62]

      Leamington Road 1881–1890

      Due to the increasing demand in football in the area and in particular for Blackburn Rovers the committee felt that a private ground was more fitting. Therefore, in 1881 the club moved to Leamington Road, Blackburn Rovers' first purpose built ground including a 700-person capacity seated grandstand, costing £500. The first game played at this ground was held on 8 October 1881 against Blackburn Olympic resulting in a 4–1 win for Rovers. Whilst at Leamington Road and under James Fielding [58] the club won three FA Cups and was inaugurated into the Football League as a founding Member in 1888. However, despite the club's success, they had to leave Leamington Road due to increases in lease costs. [62]

      Ewood Park 1890–present

      Built in April 1882 as Ewood Bridge. The ground was an all purpose sporting venue hosting football, athletics and dog racing. The Blackburn Rovers committee felt this was the ideal venue for the club after having already played numerous games there in 1882. The first game played at the new Ewood Park ground was on 13 September 1890 against Accrington, the 0–0 draw was viewed by 10,000 people and on 31 October 1892 artificial lights were installed. [62] Ewood sits on the bank of the River Darwen in Blackburn, Lancashire.

      Supporters and rivalries

      Blackburn Rovers supporters have formed several support clubs related to the team, and almost all of them are partially focused on making trips to Ewood Park easier. Rovers home games were well attended as a percentage of the Blackburn population throughout the 2000s with average attendances of around 25,000, equal to roughly a quarter of Blackburn's population (approximately 100,000). [ citation needed ] The supporters' long-running fanzine is called 4,000 Holes. Clement Charnock and his brother Harry were Blackburn Rovers fans who introduced football into Russia in the 1880s.

      Rovers' primary rivals are Burnley, with whom they contest the East Lancashire derby.

      Other rivalries for the Rovers include Preston North End, Bolton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic. All by proximity. There is also a rivalry with Manchester United over the Premier League dispute in the 1990s.

      Statistics and records

      Records

      Derek Fazackerley, 593+3 sub, 1970–71 to 1986–87

      Simon Garner, 194 goals (168 league), 1978–79 to 1991–92

      62,255 v Bolton Wanderers, FA Cup 6th round, 2 March 1929

      £8m to Manchester United for Andrew Cole in December 2001
      £8m to Huddersfield Town for Jordan Rhodes in August 2012

      11–0 v Rossendale United, Ewood Park, FA Cup 1st round 13 October 1884

      9–0 v Middlesbrough, Ewood Park, Division 2, 6 November 1954

      8–2 v West Ham United, Division 1, 26 December 1963

      0–8 v Arsenal, Division 1, 25 February 1933, 0–8 v Lincoln City, Division 2, 29 August 1953 [66]

      1–7 v Notts County, 14 March 1891 1–7 v Middlesbrough, 29 November 1947

      13: 5–8 v Derby County, 6 September 1890

      Tommy Briggs, 7 v Bristol Rovers, Ewood Park, Division 2, 5 February 1955

      Harry Dennison, aged 16 yrs and 155 days against Bristol City, Division 1, 8 April 1911

      Bob Crompton, 40 yrs and 150 days against Bradford, Division 1, 23 February 1920

      24 games including 3 consecutive FA Cup wins, 1884–86. Still an FA Cup record


      Blackburn Rovers F.C.

      Blackburn Rovers Football Club is a professional football club, based in Blackburn, Lancashire, England, which competes in the Championship, the second tier of the English football league system.

      The club was established in 1875, becoming a founding member of The Football League in 1888 and the Premier League in 1992. In 1890, Rovers moved to Ewood Park. Blackburn Rovers have been English champions three times, and have won six FA Cups, one Football League Cup and one Full Members' Cup. [3] The club has spent most of its existence in the top flight of English football. [4]

      In 1992, Rovers gained promotion to the new Premier League a year after being taken over by local entrepreneur Jack Walker, who installed Kenny Dalglish as manager. In 1995, Rovers became Premier League champions. [5] In the 1998–99 season, the club was relegated. It was promoted back to the Premier League two years later, in the 2000–01 season, before suffering relegation again in the 2011–12 season. Rovers have not returned to the Premier League since. It has qualified for the UEFA Champions League once, and the UEFA Cup six times: once as League Cup winners, four times through league position and once via the Intertoto Cup.

      The club's motto is "Arte et Labore", meaning "By Skill and Hard Work" in Latin. They have a long-standing rivalry with nearby club Burnley, with whom they contest the East Lancashire derby.


      Blackburn Rovers F.C.

      Blackburn Rovers Football Club is a professional football club, based in Blackburn, Lancashire, England, which competes in the Championship, the second tier of the English football league system.

      The club was established in 1875, becoming a founding member of The Football League in 1888 and the Premier League in 1992. In 1890, Rovers moved to Ewood Park. Blackburn Rovers have been English champions three times, and have won six FA Cups, one Football League Cup and one Full Members' Cup. [3] The club has spent most of its existence in the top flight of English football. [4]

      In 1992, Rovers gained promotion to the new Premier League a year after being taken over by local entrepreneur Jack Walker, who installed Kenny Dalglish as manager. In 1995, Rovers became Premier League champions. [5] In the 1998–99 season, the club was relegated. It was promoted back to the Premier League two years later, in the 2000–01 season, before suffering relegation again in the 2011–12 season. Rovers have not returned to the Premier League since. It has qualified for the UEFA Champions League once, and the UEFA Cup six times: once as League Cup winners, four times through league position and once via the Intertoto Cup.

      The club's motto is "Arte et Labore", meaning "By Skill and Hard Work" in Latin. They have a long-standing rivalry with nearby club Burnley, with whom they contest the East Lancashire derby.

      Early years

      The club was founded following a meeting, at the Leger Hotel, Blackburn, on 5 November 1875. The meeting was organised by two young men, namely John Lewis and Arthur Constantine, two old-boys of Shrewsbury School. The purpose of the meeting was "to discuss the possibility of forming a football club to play under Association rules". [6] The first match played by Blackburn Rovers took place in Church, Lancashire on 18 December 1875 and was a 1–1 draw. [7]

      On 28 September 1878, Blackburn Rovers became one of 23 clubs to form the Lancashire Football Association. [8] On 1 November 1879 the club played in the FA Cup for the first time, beating the Tyne Association Football Club 5–1. [8] Rovers were eventually put out of the competition in the third round after suffering a heavy 6–0 defeat by Nottingham Forest. [9]

      On 25 March 1882 the club won through to the final of the FA Cup against the Old Etonians. Blackburn Rovers was the first provincial team to reach the final, [10] but the result was a 1–0 defeat by the Old Etonians. [11]

      Rovers finally won the FA Cup on 29 March 1884 with a 2–1 victory over the Scottish team Queen's Park. [12] The same teams played the FA Cup final again the next season, with Blackburn Rovers again emerging victorious, with a 2–0 score. [12] Rovers repeated this success yet again the next season, winning the final replay 2–0 against West Bromwich Albion. For this three-in-a-row of FA Cup victories, the club was awarded a specially commissioned silver shield. [12]

      The 1885–86 season was the birth of the legal professional footballer, and Blackburn Rovers spent £615 on player wages for the season. [13]

      Football League commences

      Blackburn Rovers were founder members of the Football League in 1888. [14]

      Blackburn Rovers again reached the FA Cup final on 29 March 1890 at the Kennington Oval. [15] The club claimed the trophy for the fourth time, by beating Sheffield Wednesday a hefty 6–1 with left forward William Townley scoring three goals and becoming the first player to achieve a hat-trick in the FA Cup final. [16]

      The 1890–91 season saw Blackburn Rovers win the FA Cup for the fifth time against Notts County with a 3–1 victory. [17] During the 1897–98 season the club stayed in the first division only as the result of a decision to increase the number of teams from 16 to 18. [18] The season did, however, mark the beginning of Bob Crompton's 45-year association with the club, both as a player and eventually as an FA Cup winning manager.

      Early 20th century

      Blackburn Rovers continued to struggle during the early years of the 20th century, but the results began a gradual improvement. Major renovations were made to Ewood Park: in 1905 the Darwen End was covered at a cost of £1680 and the new Nuttall Stand was opened on New Year's Day 1907. During the first three decades of the 20th century, Blackburn Rovers were still considered a top side in the English league. They were First Division champions in 1911–12 and 1913–14, and F.A Cup winners in 1927–28 with a 3–1 victory against Huddersfield Town, but the F.A Cup win was their last major trophy for nearly 70 years.

      Mid 20th century

      Blackburn Rovers maintained a respectable mid-table position in the First Division until they were finally relegated (along with Aston Villa) from the top flight (for the first time since the foundation of the league) in the 1935–36 season.

      When the league resumed after the war, Blackburn Rovers were relegated in their second season (1947–48). At this time the tradition of burying a coffin began. The club remained in the second division for the following ten years. After promotion in 1958, they again returned to the mid-table position they had occupied in the earlier part of the century. During this time, they seldom made a serious challenge for a major trophy – although they did reach the 1960 FA Cup final when managed by Scot Dally Duncan. Rovers lost this game 3–0 to Wolverhampton Wanderers after playing most of the game with only 10 men on the field following an injury to Dave Whelan, who broke a leg.

      There were brief hopes of a return to glory in the 1963–64 season, when a remarkable 8–2 away win over West Ham United in east London on Boxing Day took them to the top of the league. However, their lead of the league was short lived and they finished the season some way down the table as the title was seized by a Liverpool side who would record a further 12 league titles over the next 26 years, while Blackburn's fortunes took a very different route. They were relegated from the First Division in 1966 and began a 26-year exile from the top division.

      1970s and 1980s

      During the 1970s, Blackburn Rovers bounced between the Second and Third Divisions, winning the Third Division title in 1975, but never mounted a challenge for promotion to the First Division despite the efforts of successive managers to put the club back on track, and fell back into the Third Division in 1979. They went up as runners up in the Third Division in 1980 and, save for one season in League One in 2017–18, have remained in the upper two tiers of the English league ever since. A second successive promotion was nearly achieved the following year, but the club missed out on goal difference, and promotion-winning manager Howard Kendall moved to Everton that summer. Kendall's successor, Bobby Saxton only managed mid-table finishes for the next three seasons, then nearly achieved promotion in the 1984–85 season, but a poor finish the following year (just one place above relegation) followed by an abysmal start to the 1986–87 season cost Saxton his job.

      Saxton was replaced by Don Mackay, who steered them to a decent finish that season and also victory in the Full Members Cup. In the following three seasons Mackay re-established Rovers as promotion contenders, but they fell just short of promotion each time the closest they came was in 1988–89 reached the Second Division play-off final in its last season of the home-away two-legged format – but lost to Crystal Palace. A defeat in the 1989–90 Second Division playoff semi-finals brought more frustration to Ewood Park, but the following season saw the club taken over by local steelworks owner and lifelong supporter Jack Walker (1929–2000). [19]

      1990s

      Following the Walker takeover Rovers finished 19th in the Second Division at the end of the 1990–91 season, but the new owner had made millions of pounds available to spend on new players and appointed Kenny Dalglish as manager in October 1991. [20] Rovers secured promotion to the new FA Premier League at the end of 1991–92 season as play-off winners, ending 26 years outside the top flight. [21]

      Rovers made headlines in the summer of 1992 by paying an English record fee of £3.5million for the 22-year-old Southampton and England centre forward Alan Shearer. [22] After finishing fourth in 1992–93 [23] and runners-up in 1993–94, [24] they went on to win the Premier League title in 1994–95. [25] The title chase went down to the last game of the season, but despite Rovers losing to Liverpool they edged out rivals Manchester United to win the championship.

      Kenny Dalglish moved upstairs to the position of Director of Football at the end of the Premier League winning season, and handed over the reins to his assistant Ray Harford. [26] Blackburn Rovers made a poor start to the 1995–96 season, and found themselves in the bottom half for most of the first half of the season. Rovers also struggled in the Champions League and finished bottom of their group with just four points. [27] A terrible start to the 1996–97 Premier League campaign saw Harford resign in late October with the club bottom of the division, having failed to win any of their first ten games. Relegation looked a real possibility, just two seasons after winning the league. After an abortive attempt to bring in Sven-Göran Eriksson as manager, long-serving coach Tony Parkes took over as manager for the rest of the campaign, narrowly steering the side to survival. That summer, the manager's job was taken by Roy Hodgson, who joined the club from Internazionale. [28] UEFA Cup football was secured with a 6th-place finish. However, Rovers made a poor start to the 1998–99 campaign and Hodgson was sacked in December less than an hour after a 2–0 home defeat by bottom side Southampton, a result that locked Rovers in the relegation zone. [29] He was replaced as manager by Brian Kidd. [30] However Kidd failed to save Rovers from relegation.

      2000s

      In 1999–2000 Rovers began the season as promotion favourites, but with the club hovering just above the Division One relegation zone Brian Kidd was sacked in October [31] and replaced in March by Graeme Souness. [32] Jack Walker died just after the start of the 2000–01 season, [33] and the club dedicated its promotion challenge in memory of their benefactor. Fittingly, they returned to the Premier League after a much improved season, finishing second behind Fulham.

      In 2001–02, record signing Andy Cole was bought in for £8million, [34] and Rovers won their first-ever League Cup by beating Tottenham Hotspur 2–1 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Cole scoring the winner in the 69th minute. [35] The following season Rovers finished sixth to qualify for the UEFA Cup for the second season running. Souness left just after the start of 2004–05 to take charge at Newcastle, [36] and he was replaced by Welsh national coach Mark Hughes. [37] Hughes secured Rovers' Premier League survival for the 2004–05 season as well as an FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal, with Rovers finishing 15th once again. He led the team to sixth the following season and Rovers's third European qualification in five years.

      Rovers reached the semi-final of the 2006–07 FA Cup, but lost to Chelsea in extra time, and finished that season's league in tenth, qualifying for the Intertoto Cup, which led to a short run in the 2007–08 UEFA Cup. In May 2008, Mark Hughes left Blackburn Rovers for the vacancy at Manchester City. He was replaced by Paul Ince, [38] Ince's first job was to persuade some of the wantaway players to stay. [39] with Archie Knox coming in as his assistant. [40] Ince's time in charge started well, but following a run of eleven games without a win he was sacked in December 2008. [41] Sam Allardyce was appointed as Ince's replacement [42] and in 2009–10 he led the team to a tenth-place finish and a League Cup semi-final.

      2010 onwards

      In November 2010, the Indian company V H Group bought Blackburn Rovers under the name of Venky's London Limited for £23 million. [43] The new owners immediately sacked manager Sam Allardyce and replaced him with first-team coach Steve Kean, initially on a temporary basis, but by January 2011 he had been awarded a full-time contract until June 2013. [44] [45] Kean's appointment was shrouded in a great deal of controversy since his agent Jerome Anderson had earlier played a major role in advising Venky's during the takeover of the club in the preceding months. [46] [47] [48]

      In December 2011, Blackburn Rovers posted an annual pre-tax loss of £18.6m for the year ending 30 June 2011. Despite this, the owners of Blackburn Rovers provided assurances over the continued funding of the club, even if they were relegated. [49]

      On 7 May 2012, the club was relegated to the Championship after being defeated at home by Wigan Athletic in the penultimate game of the season, ending eleven years in the Premier League. [50]

      At the start of the 2012–2013 season, Kean was given a chance by owners to win promotion and kept his job as the manager. Ultimately though, pressure from the supporters who had been calling for the manager's removal for months resulted in his resignation as manager on 29 September 2012. [51]

      On 7 May 2017, five years to the day after dropping out of the Premier League, the club was relegated again to League One.

      On 24 April 2018, they were promoted back to the second tier with a 1–0 win at Doncaster Rovers. [52]

      In the 2018–2019 season, Rovers finished 15th in the Championship and in the 2019–20 season the club finished 11th in the division. [53]

      Current squad

      Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

      • Player subject to negotiation to renew contract long-term, contract due to expire at the end of 2020/21 season

      Out on loan

      Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

      Development/Academy squad

      Notable former and existing players

      For a list of notable Blackburn Rovers players in sortable-table format see List of Blackburn Rovers F.C. players.

      Player of the season

      League

      • First Division/Premier League[55]
        • Winners (3): 1911–12, 1913–14, 1994–95
        • Runners-up (1):1993–94
        • Winners (1): 1938–39
        • Runners-up (2):1957–58, 2000–01
        • Play-off winners (1):1991–92
        • Winners (1): 1974–75
        • Runners-up (2):1979–80, 2017–18
        • FA Cup
          • Winners (6): 1883–84, 1884–85, 1885–86, 1889–90, 1890–91, 1927–28
          • Runners-up (2):1881–82, 1959–60
          • Winners (1): 2001–02
          • Winners (1): 1912
          • Runners-up (3):1928, 1994, 1995
          • Winners (1): 1987
          • Winners (19): 1882, 1883, 1884, 1885, 1896, 1901, 1902, 1904, 1907, 1909, 1911, 1945, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990, 2007, 2011, 2019
          • Winners (1): 1958–59
          • Runners-up (3):1997–98, 2000–01, 2011–12
          • Runners-up (1):2014–15
          • Runners-up (1):1939–40

          Season-by-season record

          European football

          Blackburn Rovers in Europe
          Season Competition Round Country Club Home Away Aggregate
          1994–95 UEFA Cup First round Trelleborg 0–1 2–2 2–3
          1995–96 UEFA Champions League Group B Spartak Moscow 0–1 0–3 4th
          Legia Warsaw 0–0 0–1
          Rosenborg 4–1 1–2
          1998–99 UEFA Cup First round Lyon 0–1 2–2 2–3
          2002–03 UEFA Cup First round CSKA Sofia 1–1 3–3 4–4 (a)
          Second round Celtic 0–2 0–1 0–3
          2003–04 UEFA Cup First round Gençlerbirliği 1–1 1–3 2–4
          2006–07 UEFA Cup First round Red Bull Salzburg 2–0 2–2 4–2
          Group E Nancy 1–0 N/A 1st
          Feyenoord N/A 0–0
          Wisła Kraków N/A 2–1
          Basel 3–0 N/A
          Round of 32 Bayer Leverkusen 0–0 2–3 2–3
          2007–08 UEFA Intertoto Cup Third round Vėtra 4–0 2–0 6–0
          UEFA Cup Second qualifying round MyPa 2–0 1–0 3–0
          First round Larissa 2–1 0–2 2–3
          Period Manager Assistant manager(s) Notes
          1884–1887 James Fielding Won 3 FA Cups (1884, 1885 & 1886) [58]
          1887–1896 Thomas Mitchell Won 2 FA Cups (1890 & 1891) [58]
          1896–1903 Joseph Warmsley
          1903–1925 Robert Middleton Won League Titles (1911–12 & 1913–14) and Charity Shield (1912) longest serving manager (22 years & 3 months)
          1922–1926 Jack Carr
          1926–1930 Bob Crompton Won FA Cup (1928)
          1931–1936 Arthur Barritt
          1936–1938 Reg Taylor
          1938–1941 Bob Crompton Won Second Division title (1938–39)
          1946–1947 Eddie Hapgood
          1947 Will Scott
          1947–1949 Jack Bruton
          1949–1953 Jackie Bestall
          1953–1958 Johnny Carey First manager from outside the United Kingdom
          1958–1960 Dally Duncan
          1960–1967 Jack Marshall
          1967–1970 Eddie Quigley
          1970–1971 Johnny Carey
          1971–1973 Ken Furphy Richard Dinnis
          1974–1975 Gordon Lee Richard Dinnis Won Third Division (1974–75)
          1975–1978 Jim Smith
          1978 Jim Iley John Pickering
          1978–79 John Pickering
          1979–1981 Howard Kendall Runners up/Promoted from Third Division to Second Division (1979–80).
          1981–1986 Bobby Saxton
          1987–1991 Don Mackay Won Full Members Cup (1987)
          1991–1995 Kenny Dalglish Ray Harford Promoted from Second Division to Premier League (1991–92), Won Premier League Title (1994–95)
          1995–1996 Ray Harford Assistant manager under Kenny Dalglish for Premier League winning title season.
          1997–1998 Roy Hodgson
          1998–1999 Brian Kidd Brian McClair Relegated from Premier League to Division One 1998–99 season
          1999–2000 Tony Parkes Caretaker of club on 4 separate occasions
          2000–2004 Graeme Souness Tony Parkes Runners up/Promoted from Division One to Premier League (2000–01), Won League Cup (2002)
          2004–2008 Mark Hughes Mark Bowen
          2008 Paul Ince Ray Mathias
          2008–2010 Sam Allardyce Neil McDonald
          2010–2012 Steve Kean John Jensen, Paul Clement, Eric Black Relegated from the Premier League 2011–12 season
          2012 Henning Berg Eric Black First manager from outside British Isles in club's history. Shortest-serving manager in club history (57 days).
          2013 Michael Appleton Ashley Westwood Club's second shortest serving manager (67 days).
          2013–2015 Gary Bowyer Terry McPhillips Served as caretaker manager on two previous occasions.
          2015–2016 Paul Lambert Alan Irvine
          2016–2017 Owen Coyle Alan Irvine, Sandy Stewart Club initially retained Lambert's staff.
          2017– Tony Mowbray [59] David Lowe, Mark Venus Mowbray's staff were initially promoted from within – David Lowe to assistant manager from the club's academy David Dunn to first-team coach from U-23s assistant coach Ben Benson to acting first-team goalkeepers' coach from the academy. Following relegation to League One, Mark Venus replaced Lowe as assistant manager, who in turn took over from Dunn as first-team coach, who in turn returned to his role with the U-23s. Benson was appointed first-team goalkeeping coach on a permanent basis.

          Unlike most teams, Blackburn Rovers have only ever had one design to their home kit. The distinctive blue and white halved jersey is widely acknowledged as the "town colour". Although the design has remained the same, the side in which the colours fall has often changed. Blue has resided on the wearers left since 1946 however prior to this regulation the blue and white often switched order almost yearly.

          Blackburn Rovers' first ever kit is however indefinite. The 1905 book Book of Football by Jonathan Russell describes Blackburn Rovers' first kit as a white jersey with Maltese Cross on the wearers left breast, Trousers and a blue and white skull cap. The Maltese Cross notorious with the public schools in which the founders of the club were educated. In contrast an account from the Blackburn Standard on 6 January 1894 accounts the first kit as navy blue and white quartered jersey (quartered accounting for the shirts four panels front and back), white knickers and navy hose. This account is much more synonymous with the kit today. Photographic evidence from 1878 shows the team in Blue and white halved (quartered) jerseys, white shorts and blue socks, complete with blue and white cap and Maltese Cross.

          Through its history the club has adopted four badges as its crest the Maltese Cross, the towns coat of arms, Lancashire Rose and the present day Blackburn Rovers Badge. From 1875 to approximately 1882 The Maltese Cross was present on the club's first ever home kit and was worn by both the Shrewsbury and Malvern school teams. Two former Malvernians and two former Salopians played in that first team, so there is a clear link with these public schools.

          During FA Cup finals it is tradition for the club to adopt the town's coat of arms as their badge. This tradition has carried through all eight FA Cup finals the cup has been a part of all the way to their last FA Cup final against Woverhampton Wanderers in 1960.

          From roughly 1882 and excluding cup finals the club did not use a badge until 1974. In this year the club opted for an embroidered Lancashire Rose with the club's initials "B.R.F.C." below. This badge lasted unchanged for 15 years until it was 1989 due to visibility issues of the dark red rose on the dark blue of the shirt.

          From 1989 to the present day the current Blackburn Rovers badge has been used. It has encompassed the previous badge in a newer design for the Lancashire Red Rose. Circling the rose is the team name "Blackburn Rovers F.C." and the date in which the club was founded "1875". At the base of the badge is the club motto, "Arte Et Labore" which translated means, "by skill and by labour". This motto has been taken from the town motto which was adopted in 1852.

          As of 2016, the club's kit has been manufactured by Umbro, [60] and sponsored by sporting brand, Recoverite Compression since 2020. [61]

          Prostate Cancer UK (Back of shirt, 2013)

          Oozehead Ground 1875–1877

          Rovers first home ground was a field at Oozehead on Preston New Road to the north west of the town. This field was farmland and was owned by a local farmer when Blackburn Rovers weren't using the field it was used to graze cows. In the centre of the field was a large watering hole, which on match days was covered with timber and turf. [62]

          Pleasington Cricket Ground 1877

          Due to the rough conditions at Oozehead, the committee felt an established sports ground would be best to play on. Therefore, during the 1877 season they acquired the use of Pleasington's cricket ground to the south west of the town. Play stopped on this ground after Henry Smith of Preston North End died of a heart attack whilst playing. [62]

          Alexandra Meadows 1877–1881

          Still adopting cricket grounds, the committee acquired the use of the East Lancashire Cricket Club's ground in the centre of the town, Alexandra Meadows. Sources differ as to the date of the first match played by Rovers at Alexandra Meadows. A programme from Clitheroe F.C. states that Clitheroe was the first team to beat Blackburn at Alexandra Meadows on 17 November 1877. [63] Other sources indicate that the first match took place on 2 January 1878 with a Blackburn victory against Partick Thistle. [64] [65] It was on this ground Blackburn Rovers played for the first time under artificial light against Accrington on 4 November 1878. [62]

          International Venue

          England v Wales
          26 February 1881 Friendly England 0–1 Wales Blackburn
          Vaughan 54 ' Stadium: Alexandra Meadows
          Attendance: 3,000
          Referee: Segar R. Bastard

          Leamington Road 1881–1890

          Due to the increasing demand in football in the area and in particular for Blackburn Rovers the committee felt that a private ground was more fitting. Therefore, in 1881 the club moved to Leamington Road, Blackburn Rovers' first purpose built ground including a 700-person capacity seated grandstand, costing £500. The first game played at this ground was held on 8 October 1881 against Blackburn Olympic resulting in a 4–1 win for Rovers. Whilst at Leamington Road and under James Fielding [58] the club won three FA Cups and was inaugurated into the Football League as a founding Member in 1888. However, despite the club's success, they had to leave Leamington Road due to increases in lease costs. [62]

          International Venue

          England v Wales
          14 March 1885 Match 2 England 1–1 Wales Blackburn
          Mitchell 35 ' Lewis 37 ' Stadium: Leamington Road
          Attendance: 7,500
          Referee: Alexander Stewart
          England v Scotland
          19 March 1887 Match 4 England 2–3 Scotland Blackburn
          Lindley 32 '
          Dewhurst 51 '
          McCall 30 '
          Keir 50 '
          Allan 53 '
          Stadium: Leamington Road
          Attendance: 12,000
          Referee: John Sinclair

          Ewood Park 1890–present

          Built in April 1882 as Ewood Bridge. The ground was an all purpose sporting venue hosting football, athletics and dog racing. The Blackburn Rovers committee felt this was the ideal venue for the club after having already played numerous games there in 1882. The first game played at the new Ewood Park ground was on 13 September 1890 against Accrington, the 0–0 draw was viewed by 10,000 people and on 31 October 1892 artificial lights were installed. [62] Ewood sits on the bank of the River Darwen in Blackburn, Lancashire.

          International Venue

          England v Scotland
          4 April 1891 Match 6 England 2–1 Scotland Blackburn
          Goodall 22 '
          Chadwick 35 '
          Watt 78 ' Stadium: Ewood Park
          Attendance: 10,000
          Referee: William J. Morrow
          England v Wales
          3 March 1924 Match 4 England 1–2 Wales Blackburn
          Roberts 55 ' Davies 60 '
          Vizard 63 '
          Stadium: Ewood Park
          Attendance: 30,000
          Referee: George Noel Watson

          Blackburn Rovers supporters have formed several support clubs related to the team, and almost all of them are partially focused on making trips to Ewood Park easier. Rovers home games were well attended as a percentage of the Blackburn population throughout the 2000s with average attendances of around 25,000, equal to roughly a quarter of Blackburn's population (approximately 100,000). [ citation needed ] The supporters' long-running fanzine is called 4,000 Holes. Clement Charnock and his brother Harry were Blackburn Rovers fans who introduced football into Russia in the 1880s.

          Rovers' primary rivals are Burnley, with whom they contest the East Lancashire derby.

          Other rivalries for the Rovers include Preston North End, Bolton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic. All by proximity. There is also a rivalry with Manchester United over the Premier League dispute in the 1990s.

          Records

          Derek Fazackerley, 593+3 sub, 1970–71 to 1986–87

          Simon Garner, 194 goals (168 league), 1978–79 to 1991–92

          62,255 v Bolton Wanderers, FA Cup 6th round, 2 March 1929

          £8m to Manchester United for Andrew Cole in December 2001
          £8m to Huddersfield Town for Jordan Rhodes in August 2012

          11–0 v Rossendale United, Ewood Park, FA Cup 1st round 13 October 1884

          9–0 v Middlesbrough, Ewood Park, Division 2, 6 November 1954

          8–2 v West Ham United, Division 1, 26 December 1963

          0–8 v Arsenal, Division 1, 25 February 1933, 0–8 v Lincoln City, Division 2, 29 August 1953 [66]

          1–7 v Notts County, 14 March 1891 1–7 v Middlesbrough, 29 November 1947

          13: 5–8 v Derby County, 6 September 1890

          Tommy Briggs, 7 v Bristol Rovers, Ewood Park, Division 2, 5 February 1955

          Harry Dennison, aged 16 yrs and 155 days against Bristol City, Division 1, 8 April 1911

          Bob Crompton, 40 yrs and 150 days against Bradford, Division 1, 23 February 1920

          24 games including 3 consecutive FA Cup wins, 1884–86. Still an FA Cup record


          Back in the Second Tier

          Blackburn’s alarming downward spiral continued in Division One and Brian Kidd was relieved of his duties with Rovers struggling at the wrong end of the table, despite being the pre-season favourites for promotion.

          Tony Parkes took over once again as caretaker manager and led a mini revival, with Blackburn pulling off a shock FA Cup win over Liverpool at Anfield, thanks to Nathan Blake’s goal. Results remained inconsistent, though, and so the club moved to bring in Graeme Souness as manager from March.

          During the close season, Souness prepared for a promotion push. Craig Hignett arrived from Barnsley for £2.7million, Stig Inge Bjornebye from Liverpool and Marcus Bent from Sheffield United. The start of the season was overshadowed, though, by the death of Jack Walker in August 2000, following a period of illness. Throughout his illness, Walker was always adamant that Blackburn should regain a place in the top flight by winning promotion in 2000-01.

          Their promotion challenge, led by youngsters Matt Jansen, Damien Duff and David Dunn, was dedicated to the memory of the man who had transformed the club. Hignett’s long awaited debut after injury inspired the team to a six game winning run and the capture of veteran Mark Hughes added experience to the team. A win over Preston in the final game of the season secured second spot and automatic promotion behind Fulham, as Blackburn returned to the big time.


          Blackburn Rovers Football Club can trace its history back to 1875 and is one of the few clubs that has retained the same name for the entirety of its existence. The team has been given several nicknames, including The Riversiders and The Blue and Whites, but is most commonly referred to by fans simply as the Rovers.

          The club is based at Ewood Park stadium in Blackburn, Lancashire, and has been there since 1890. If that sounds like a lengthy occupancy then the team may be compensating for having occupied no fewer than four grounds in the first fifteen years of their existence, with the first being the Oozehead Ground.

          Blackburn Rovers currently play in the English Football League (EFL) Championship, but also have plenty of experience at the top tier, having won the Premier League (previously known as the First Division) title three times. Naturally, such success has helped the team to attract a huge fan base, and many of those who can’t attend matches in person are still able to watch Blackburn Rovers on TV as well as via online football live streams.

          Club Badge and Colours

          Blackburn Rovers has a circular badge which shows the red rose of Lancashire against a white background. Surrounding that is a blue band with the name of the club and its year of formation in yellow lettering. The Latin motto 'ARTE ET LABORE' (which translates as 'by skill and labour') appears at the foot of the badge.

          The home strip of Blackburn Rovers consists of a half-blue, half-white shirt, white shorts and blue socks. The away strip comprises a yellow shirt, dark blue shorts and yellow socks.

          Key Players and Managers

          Birmingham City has been managed by Tony Mowbraw since 2017. Earlier managers have included Gary Bowyer, Steve Keane, Sam Allardyce, Graeme Souness, Roy Hodgson, Kenny Dalglish and Howard Kendall.

          Key former players for Rovers include Roque Sana Cruz, Andrew Cole, Mark Hughes, Henning Burg, Alan Shearer and Derek Fazackerley.

          Key players on the current squad for Blackburn Rovers include captain Charlie Mulgrew, forwards Danny Graham and Adam Armstrong, midfielders Richard Smallwood and Darragh Lenihan, defenders Jack Rodwell and Derrick Williams, and goalkeeper David Raya.

          Honours, Noteworthy Stats and Memorable Moments

          Blackburn Rovers were earning plenty of accolades long before the advent of football on TV, and the team has achieved many more in the decades since. Here are just a few of their proudest accomplishments, where they won the:

          • league at the top tier on three occasions, in 1912, 1914 and 1995. The team also finished second in 1994.
          • league at the second tier in 1939 and finishing second in 1958 and 2001.
          • league at the third tier in 1975 and finishing second in 1980 and 2018.
          • Football League Cup in 2002.
          • FA Community Shield in 1912 and finishing in second place in 1928, 1994 and 1995.
          • FA Cup for the first time in 1884. The team went on to repeat that feat on five more occasions and also reached the final in 1882 and 1960.

          All Premier League 2021 matches

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          Matches against Blackburn Rovers F.C.

          Blackburn Rovers Football Club is a professional football club based in the town of Blackburn, Lancashire. The club was established in 1875, becoming a founding member of The Football League in 1888. It is one of only three clubs to have been both a founder member of the Football League and the Premier League (the others being Aston Villa and Everton). In 1890 Rovers moved to its permanent home at Ewood Park.

          Prior to the formation of the Premier League in 1992, most of the club's successes were before 1930, when it had gained league and FA Cup trophies on several occasions. Relegation in 1966 was followed by 26 successive seasons of football outside the top flight. They returned in 1992 and won the Premier League title in 1994-95. Most of Chelsea's matches against Blackburn have come in the top flight, in addition to some Second Division meetings in the 1970s and 80s. The most notable cup meeting between the sides was an FA Cup semi-final in 2007.


          BLACKBURN ROVERS, THE HISTORY OF BRITISH FOOTBALL CHOOSES MACRON

          The history of British football chooses Macron. When a British icon like Blackburn Rovers Football Club decides to wear the shirts made by the Italian company, what more can we say. These football heroes will wear the Macron Hero on their chest for the up and coming 5 seasons. As well as the first 11, the Italian brand will also dress the women’s team, the youth division and the football academy.

          The club, named after the local town in Lancashire, was founded on November 5th, 1875. One month later, the blue & whites played their first official game against a Church side which went on along with Everton, Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers to be the founding members of the Football League and subsequently of the Premier League. In their trophy cabinet, the club can boast 3 titles as Champions of England, 6 FA Cups, 1 English League Cup and 1 Charity Shield. For years, Blackburn Rovers has been a reference point in English football and one of the first high ranked club to adopt one of the oldest tactical arrangements, the so-called pyramid of Cambridge, or 2-3-5 formation that still appears on the field today, in fact, like an overturn pyramid, where the vertex is the goalkeeper. The scheme was used for a long time, until the second half of the 1920s, when the offside rule took place, together with the simultaneous arrival of the method and the system.

          Today, Blackburn plays in the Football League Championship, English football second division and has been playing its home games in the historical Ewood Park for more than 120 years.

          The already strong presence of Macron in English football is thus further enriched by the collaboration with Rovers, who, starting from the 2021-22 season, will enjoy match day kits, technical training wear and travel wear as well as a merchandising line characterized by exclusive style, design, technical quality which are some of the features that make the Italian company a leader in sportswear production. Immediately following the technical sponsorship agreement, there will be the development of the new Blackburn Rovers kits which are designed hand in hand with the club in direct collaboration between the club staff and the Macron design team meaning the pantone colours, the symbols, the history and all traditions of the British giant will be celebrated in these garments.


          History

          The club was founded after a meeting, at the Leger Hotel, Blackburn , on November 5, 1875. The meeting was organized by two young people, namely John Lewis and Arthur Constantino. The purpose of the meeting was “to discuss the possibility of forming a football club to play under association rules”. The first game played by Blackburn Rovers took place at the Church in Lancashire on December 18, 1875 and the result was a 1-1 draw.

          On September 28, 1878, Blackburn Rovers became one of 23 clubs to form the Lancashire Football Association. On 1 November 1879 the club played the FA Cup for the first time, beating the Tyne Association Football Club 5-1. The Rovers were eventually expelled from competition in the third round after suffering a heavy 6-0 defeat by Nottingham Forest .

          On March 25, 1882, the club won the FA Cup final against the Old Etonians. Blackburn Rovers was the first provincial team to reach the final, but the result was a 1-0 loss to Old Etonians. The Rovers finally won the FA Cup on March 29, 1884 with a 2-1 victory over the Scottish team Queen Park Rangers. The same teams played the FA Cup final again in the following season, with Blackburn Rovers emerging again victorious, with a score of 2- 0. Rovers repeated that success again in the following season, winning the final 2-0 replay against the West Bromwich Albion. For this three-in-a-row FA Cup win, the club was awarded a specially ordered silver shield and given the unique privilege of displaying the club’s shield on its corner flags.

          Blackburn Rovers is one of the most traditional clubs in England . Founded in 5 of November of 1875 , inaugurated with other major British championships teams. The foundation took place at a meeting organized by two students from the Shrewsbury School, John Lewis and Arthur Constantine. The young people met at a hotel, St. Leager, on William Street, and discussed with about 70 people the possibility of forming a football team . Along with 23 other clubs, Blackburn Rovers opened the Lancashire Football Association on September 28 , 1878 . On November 1 of 1879 , the team played in the first FA Cup.

          In 1884, the team won the Cup by defeating Scottish Queen’s Park FC. From there he managed three titles in a row (1884/1885/1886). The English Professional League was opened in the 1885-1886 season and, in the same year, the Rovers won their third championship by beating West Bromwich Albion.

          Blackburn’s new home, the Ewood Park Stadium , which opened in 1890 , in a 0-0 draw with Accrington. Blackburn won two more FA Cup titles in 1890 and 1891. In the first half of the 1910s, the club won two major titles, the two English Leagues. In 1911-1912 led by the goals of George Chapman and, in 1913-1914, with the help of striker Danny Shea.

          Another FA Cup title would only take place in 1928. After that, the club would remain in the middle positions of the table until being relegated in 1936, but returned three seasons later to the English elite. After the recession of the English Championship due to World War II , Blackburn fell back to the second division, bittering ten seasons in ostracism. The team only managed to leave in 1958, when it reached the vice-championship.

          However, Blackburn’s return to the top flight was short-lived. In 1966 the club is relegated again, and five seasons later it goes to the third division, obtaining the definitive return to the second division in 1980.

          90s and present

          From 1991 Blackburn began an incredible rise. A year earlier, Jack Walker, a successful businessman in the iron and steel industry, invested heavily in hiring new players. In 1992, the team returned to the national football elite after 26 years, winning the Premier League title in the 1994-1995 season.

          However, the following year’s campaign was disappointing, with the team being eliminated from the European Champions League prematurely. In the same season, Blackburn sold Alan Shearer , supporter of the crowd, to Newcastle United , for the world record of 15 million pounds at the time.

          The club’s trajectory followed a modest line until the new relegation, in 1999. In the 2000-2001 season the Rovers returned to the Premier League first division and, in 2002, managed to win the English League Cup .


          Watch the video: Highlights: Barnsley 0-0 Blackburn Rovers (January 2022).