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First striker


Who is the greatest striker ever to play for Blackburn Rovers?  

218 members have voted

  1. 1. Who is the greatest striker ever to play for Blackburn Rovers?

    • Alan Shearer,
    • Fred Pickering,
    • Andy McEvoy,
    • John Byrom,
    • Chris Sutton,
    • Tommy Briggs,
    • Simon Garner.
    • David Speedie,
    • Mike Newell,
    • Andy Crawford.
    • Matt Jansen,
    • Roy Vernon.
    • Duncan McKenzie
    • Kevin Gallacher,

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Where's Grabbi/Grooby option?

is it just the picky part of me, or is the 'blame grooby' speech on every thread really not that funny

The point of a Grooby option on most polls (admittedly not the best player ones) is a chance for people to abstain/vote none-of-the-above.

... and besides, who's to say everything ISN'T Lee Grooby's fault smile.gif

Well, funny you should say that, a bloke down the pub said his wife saw him near the scoreboard the other night........

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I haven't got the facts to hand but, before Garner, the Rovers goalscoring record was held by Tommy Briggs - 140-odd goals in total for Rovers.

Unlike Simon who spent a leisurely 14 years racking up his record total, our Tommy did it in just four full seasons.

He scored 30-plus league goals in three consecutive years (1953-7, I think).

We were in Division 2 and, despite Tommy being so prolific, we just failed to go up three years running (sound familiar, Simon?). I think one season we may even have scored 114 league goals and still not gone up!

Tommy was a self-effacing chap and apparently pretty popular with the fans.

Must be in consideration as a partner to you-know-who?

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I'll go for the first two in this order:

Alan Shearer:

We had possibly the best striker in Europe @ '95 at Ewood in Alan Shearer...at his worst he was simply devastating infront of goal.I had never seen, and very likely will never see again a player with such ability in our famous blue'n' white......I thank my lucky stars I was able to witness every goal he scored at Ewood.

Despite serious injury and the passage of time the man continues to do the business for Newcastle....I have nothing but admiration.

Simon Garner:

He played for Rovers at a time when the club was basically on its knees and he bacame a cult hero, a figure to look up to in our darkest hours.

From scoring five in one game v Derby to breaking Rovers goalscoring record against Man city he will be remembered as a player who helped keep the clubs nose above water as the likes of Burnley,Preston and Blackpool began their fall into lower league oblivion.Magic memories of a loyal servant to the cause.

David Speedie:

What an impact this fella had on the Ewood park crowd in such a short space of time, possessed with a 'never give in mentality', like a little terrier he played with a passion and pride that warmed him instantly to the Blackburn public.

Such was the depth of feeling on his departure to Southampton that a home made banner was erected on the gates of the Blackburn end that read with great affection........


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Corrado 'Ciccio' Grabbi arrived at Ewood park under a blaze of publicity for a bargain 6.75 million.

He once robbed Fabio Barthez to score, only for a wimpy referee to dissallow, hit the bar with a free kick against Everton and equalised sensationally as a sub against Liverpool.

He also shopped in Spar.

Stick it in red Den, that's my tribute to the Stallion.

(Well I nearly got Sherwood in ! wink.gif

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My number one vote has to go to Alan Shearer of course. The greatest accolade to him is that we always expected him to score as soon as he got the ball anywhere near the opposition penalty area. Indeed it came as a massive shock if he missed. The greatest Rovers player I will see or have ever seen.

Mention must be made of David Speedie. As has already been mentioned, his efforts in our promotion season will live long in my memory, especially his goals against Derby County in the play off semi-final at Ewood when I for one thought all was lost.

Prior to that semi, I remember travelling the three million miles to Plymouth when we had to beat Argyle in the last match of the season to secure 6th. place and reach the play offs after leading the table comfortably in December.

Things went downhill from then on and I felt a little uneasy to say the least about our chances at Plymouth who were themselves fighting for their lives to avoid the drop. Enter our talisman Speedie who not just won the game but emphasised his sheer determination and guts and bagged a hat trick. What a player, he made the long trip home that Saturday night fell a quarter of the distance of the journey down.

I was absolutely gutted when we sold him to Southampton as part of the Shearer deal. What a pairing those two would have made.

And what of Andy McEvoy.

Born in Dublin and bought from Bray Wanderers in 1956 he made his League debut in 1958-59 as a wing-half as back up to Clayton and McGrath. The then manager Jack Marshall converted him to inside forward alongside Fred Pickering in 1962-63 season. This resulted in a strong goal scoring partnership the envy of many and the following season saw Andy become the League's leading scorer with 32 goals from 37 appearances. Including cup games his total for the season was 36 goals from 41 appearances.

A very healthy return you must agree, especially as the top marksmen of the time were Jimmy Greaves and Denis Law both of who were beaten by Andy's total.

He was the epitome of a good striker, lurking in or around the area with blistering pace and deadly finishing.

The McEvoy-Pickering combination was ended prematurely when Pickering was sold to Everton in 1964 and Jon Byrom was to be McEvoy's new strike partner, and that season his tally was down to 32 goals from 45 appearances.

Relegation in 1966 seemed to affect him and he became disillusioned with the professional game and returned to Ireland to play for Limerick and finished driving a tram in the city. He continued to play for Limerick until the early 70's and sadly Andy died a couple of years ago.

As a 16 year old at the time of his goal scoring exploits I have always felt privileged to have seen him play and remember him with great affection as one of Rovers truly great strikers.

Total League Appearances 183 Goals 89

Total Cup Appearances 30 Goals 14

Total 213 Total 103

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Roy Wegerle (93rd minute winner against Toon in FA Cup in about '86)

Howard Gayle (equal rights trailblazer... leisurely genius)

Oh alright then.... Shearer & Garner!!

I think you mean '96.

Was in the WalkerSteel for that game, remember the goal vividly... absolute cracker

It was actually '93 guys.

Rovers first season in the Prem, and the Geordies were top of Div 1.

Anyway, my choice is Shearer and Garner.

Shearer, simply because he is the greatest striker I have ever seen in a Rovers' shirt, and Garner because he is the club's all time top scorer.

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hard to chpoose between Gallacher and Speedie, both players who turned me into a football fan. Going for Gallacher to partner shearer as he did do it at a higher level.

Edited by andy82
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In the 30 years I have had the privilege of being a Rovers supporter, three strikers stand out as making it a pleasure to go to Ewood Park:

Shearer (Alan) - can't add to the comments above other than to note we are very unlikely to see such calibre don the shirt again at the peak of their career.

Garner - the facts speak for themselves. Sponsored by Silk Cut with an incentive scheme funded by Thwaites, he was genuinely one of us - as could be witnessed at his post-match "reviews" at the 500 club. This man was Blackburn Rovers in the '80's and must be one of the best never to play top-flight football - had he been a few years younger, I reckon KD may have given him that chance. Does anyone remember how sharply he could turn in the box, onto either foot?

Speedie - a legend in such a short time - the reason? He gave 100% all the time, he fought for every ball and square inch of turf, he wore his heart on his sleeve, he hated to lose with a passion rarely seen - he had all the characteristics of the true fan which was why we all took him to our hearts. Oh, I nearly forgot, he was a bloody good footballer with a knack of being in the right place at the right time. When the going got tough and we started to falter that season, who galvanised the team? Who rose to the challenge? Who got out there and refused to give in, making it happen? DAVID SPEEDIE, THAT'S WHO!!!

Now for the problem - which one to drop from the all time XI:

For sheer talent, Shearer has to stay

For sustained contribution to the club and a phenomenal ability to score goals in a mediocre team, Garner has to stay

For explosive impact and making the biggest event in our recent history a reality, Speedie has to stay

Oh Bugger, I've just talked them all back in - can anyone help before I resort to eeny-meeny-miny-mo?

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Simon Garner - I would have loved to have seen him and Shearer together in attack. Thatwoul've been something!

Aye, Shearer up and down the field clearing the ball out of defence and then on his way up to attack whilst Garner has a fag and a pint on the edge of the box

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Who was the most prolific striker ever to play for Rovers?

Shearer? Briggs?

No, you may find it's one JACK SOUTHWORTH. tinykit.gif

If you check goals scored per games played, I think Jack even beats the two mentioned.(I haven't looked up the stats).

If Forrest and Latheron were discussed at length, why hasn't Jack at least been put on the list of all time greats??

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Who was the most prolific striker ever to play for Rovers?

Shearer? Briggs?

No, you may find it's one JACK SOUTHWORTH. tinykit.gif

If you check goals scored per games played, I think Jack even beats the two mentioned.(I haven't looked up the stats).

If Forrest and Latheron were discussed at length, why hasn't Jack at least been put on the list of all time greats??

Bazza, to get some discussion on any player, someone has to forward a case for his inclusion.

I'd be more than happy to include him for the second striker spot if you want to give us all some more information on him.

I don't know enough about Jack Southworth to comment at all.

Give it a go Bazza.

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