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MCMC1875
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Bryan Douglas, the best footballer I have ever seen, he could dribble the ball round any opponent who ever tried to get the ball off him, to the left or to the right, when the next one came you never new, Dougie would either beat him, or if the time was right pass with either foot, to a suitable teamate or cut in and shoot. When he crossed the ball he used to turn the lace on the ball to face the crossbar, to avoid the 'Frankenstein stitches' appearing on the forehead of the centre forward. All the 'Giffers' of that era used to say when Dougie first started, " Oh he's alright, but not as good as Eddie Latheron" he was their top player of bygone days, but after watching Dougie they changed their minds, so just think about that !! When the ball came out to the Riverside and Dougie collected it, heading towards the Blackburn end, usually in the second half, the atmosphere was unbelievable, with the anticipation of what was to come, the man was the best all round footballer its been my privilage to watch week in week out. And just one more thing when Man utd were reported to want to sign him, Dougie said "what do l want to go there for? l achieved my ambition when l pulled on my blue and white halved shirt, the England shirt was just an extra bonus".

BRYAN DOUGLAS the best ever rovers footballer.

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In one of the earlier discussions, I suggested we pick a side to play in a 3-5-2 formation, simply because of that problem. It was a formation that would have covered the modern day player and the players from yesteryear. The inside forwards such as Dobing, Vernon etc wont really have a chance in this poll, but there you go. smile.gif No-one spoke out in favour of that, so we have gone 4-4-2.

I'd forgotten that den, do you have to stick with the 4-4-2? How about looking at the players selected and then picking the team?

Just to give our greatest manager one last headache smile.gif

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When he crossed the ball he used to turn the lace on the ball to face the crossbar, to avoid the 'Frankenstein stitches' appearing on the forehead of the centre forward.

I think that might be going a bit too far Billy! biggrin.gif

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Stuart Ripley wasn't blessed with the kind of dribbling skills someone like Duff possesses, thankfully he never tried to pretend to be something he wasn't. Ripley would beat his man, or not, but do enough to get the ball into the box for one of our expensive strikers to put into the back of the net. He knew where the strength in the team was, he knew our front two of Shearer and Sutton had the beating of each and every centre-back pairing in the league, so he gave them the ball and let them do what they did best. If you look at his attributes in any area they weren't great, not a great scorer, not even a great crosser, but he was an incredibly important player in the championship winning team. People always credit skillful, and generally lazy, midfielders with being 'intelligent' players and having football brains, Ripley was far more intelligent from a footballing point of view than most of them, not for him to seek personal glory to the detriment of the team and club. He was effectively a one club man, spent most of his career at Rovers and never amounted to anything at any other club, or on the international stage.

I'm voting for Bryan Douglas, along with Ronnie Clayton he is one of the two players I consistently hear mentioned as being far above all others who have played for the club when talking to those fortunate enough to have seen them in their prime.

As has been said before, they both still turn up at Ewood most of the time, I don't think very many players from the modern era would dream of doing that in the future.

If Clayton didn't make the team it would be an absolute travesty, so I feel I have to leave my fondness for Ripley to one side and admit that Douglas was a far better football player.

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Douglas was good to watch, but my problem with picking him stems frrom seeing those brief bits of old internationals they show on the tele occasionally. They seem to be played at half the speed they're played at today. I wonder whether Bryan could cut it in todays game. But certainly he was excellent.

The most exciting player on the list for me was Mike Ferguson. He could do the most amazing things with the ball (and some pretty stupid ones too at times) but he's the one I'll go for. Ripley - good but a bit predictable. A one trick wonder.

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It is argued that one of the reasons the Rovers struggled in the mid sixties was that we were one of the last clubs to change to 4-2-4.

In that system Dougie could play the attacking midfield player, so I see no reason why he couldn't play a similar role in 4-4-2.I'm not saying people who haven't seen him would vote for him but I am saying he could have played there, that he played his best football for the Rovers there and I would vote for him there.

His one draw-back for the current game would be his lack of pace but he was an excellent player.

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How did Donis get in the list?

At least Gillespie had a few good games with us, played in a cup final and got promoted with us, scored a few goals and lasted more than one season. Surely we've had more better players on the right than Donis.

Am really tempted to go for Ripley as although he wasn't the most gifted of player, he always did his job of providing great service to the strikers. I also think he was very unlucky especially on the international stage, and that with a bit more luck would have been considered by those outisde the club as well as a 'star' player. Douglas' record however speaks for itself, but if Ripley doesn't come second I'd be disappointed.

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Like many others Ripley was one of my favourite Rovers players of the last decade or so. Let's be honest here though...the only way the words 'Stuart Ripley' and 'great player' can reasonably appear in the same sentence is if describing one of his crosses to that great player Alan Shearer. Ripley was good at his job and sent over the crosses but never a great player. Added to that, the case put forward for Douglas is excellent with some great contributions. Those putting forward the case for Ripley have, with the exception of a couple of good posts such as that by Bellamy11 and Dr Rich (who even then still went for Douglas) are a waste of time. Many of the 'has to be Ripley, haven't seen many others though' type just make me want to vote Douglas. Hate to join the 'old giffers' (copyright Scotty) brigade but when most of the cases put forward to Ripley are so sparse and the cases put forward for Douglas so eloquent and evocative then what choice is there? Also Dr Rich said Ripley was a one club man in a kind of way because he only really achieved anything at Blackburn...not quite, he was pretty successful at Middlesbrough (and fondly remembered) which is why he didn't come cheap for those days. when we bought him. Bryan Douglas - now that's a one-club man, not only a Rovers player but a Rovers fan - for life. One of us.

Unlike many others I actually liked Keith Gillespie, true he was inconsistent and always on the one-armed bandits downtown but on his day he was great to watch as he slalomed down the wing. Of course he then ballsed up the cross at the end of it but it was an exciting ride nonetheless.

One final thing...Ripley won a title, it's true. However Bryan Douglas is the only Rovers player to have played for England in two world cups. How many games in the finals of a international tournament would you really have expected Ripley to start. 'Super Stu' was a good player for Rovers...but let's not be daft and pretend he can match a true Blackburn legend like Bryan Douglas.

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yes fourlaneblue Dougie was a true Blackburnian born and bred, not bought in, played through Blackburn schools, Rovers and then England, all while still living in Blackburn.

Just as a matter of interest how many more players have done that for us, if any?

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den - if you follow the link below it'll (hopefully) take you to a picture of Ken Clayton in Rovers gear, so to answer your question yes he did play for Rovers, although probably not for that long. Otherwise just go on the cottontown site and search for "Ken Clayton".

Ken Clayton - Cottontown picture

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Stuart Ripley for me.

He was a brilliant winger, there are not many wingers today like Ripley.

Never given a real chance in the England team, got subbed because of injury against Moldova a few years back I think.

The cross to Shearer at Anfield in 95 was what he was about.

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Lets just think a minute what we are voting for, is it the greatest ever team? if so, no contest the 1994 - 95 lads, who gave me the pride of supporting Englands best team in the land, something no one can take away, but that was won by a TEAM, not the best ever individuals.

Lets face it we all know Duff will be the voted outside left, because most voters haven't seen enough of the earlier ones, but for the likes of Eckersley ( born in Southport, fourlaneblue) not to be in, after he's acheivments for us in ten years service, and Le Saux to be classed as the Rovers all time geatest left back wow! next its Ripley instead of Douglas?

other clubs will think we are puddled, Man utd. Charlton, Best, Law, Beckam, no mancunians in sight, Burnley brag over Mcilroy, Pointer, etc.. not true born Dingles. Only Preston can get near us with Tom Finney though if he had played for us I suppose Ripley would have outvoted him.

Vote for the greatest BRYAN DOUGLAS you know it makes sence.

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Stuart Ripley for me.

He was a brilliant winger, there are not many wingers today like Ripley.

Never given a real chance in the England team, got subbed because of injury against Moldova a few years back I think.

The cross to Shearer at Anfield in 95 was what he was about.

What we need is for someone to put forward a "real" case for Stuart Ripley. Looks like you could be the one roversismylife. To be fair in all this, there have been many glowing testimonials for Douglas, but I don't really see any for Rippers.

Why don't you give it a go?

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This is a tricky 1 because we have had loads of good wingers. From my time I rate Windy Miller, Howard Gale (although he was more of a striker and Rippers. I'll probably end up voting for Windy for the memories of him dashing down the wing to cross towards an expectant Super Simon. It usually ended up in the back of the Blackburn End but when it came off there was no better sight in football.

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