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Rovers 3 Villa 2


FourLaneBlue
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Does anybody remember this game? 87/88 season I think and we had been on a huge unbeaten run that took us near the top of the table.

Graham Taylor brought the only side above us, Aston Villa, to Ewood Park and I had never seen the place so packed. There was about 18,000 there that day and as they was no Riverside open that meant that in the Blackburn End, for once, it was absolutely heaving.

Villa had been European Champions five or so years before and were big team. However, we had Steve Archibald on loan from Barcelona (even now the thought of having a player on loan from Barca seems strange) and he had put an extra 5,000 on the gates! Literally...his first game after coming saw queues outside the ground that we hadn't seen all season. We also got World Cup winner Ossie Ardiles in on loan from Spurs but Nicky Marker crocked him in his first game. Thanks Nick!

The game was a peach, lots of flowing football and we eventually won it 3-2 thanks to an Archibald double. In fact I think he may have injured himself when scoring one, diving in despite the boots flying. Every goal was greeted by a huge push at the front of the Blackburn End, usually you could walk around and get your usual spot five minutes after kick-off but not that day.

It looked like we were finally going up and our form meant we were selected as one of the teams to go to Wembley for the centenary celebrations for the Football League. Each game in the tournament was only fifteen minutes per half or something stupid and Villa got their revenge by knocking us straight out on penalties. Interestingly, Archibald was the only one to score a penalty for us.

After that we had the usual folding at the end of the season, ended up in the play-offs and...er...that was that for another year. A great time to be a Rovers fan though! Seeing players from Barca and world cup winners lining up with the likes of Windy Miller and Chris Sulley was a sight to behold!

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Remember it well. Villa had a cracking team with the likes of Alan McInally, and those really cool Hummel Shirts similar to the ones that Denmark had in the 80's. Interestingly, an unknown by the name of David Platt scored on his debut for Villa.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Wheelton Blues ahd actually been to Loret de Mar and on the day trip to the Nou camp, we actually spoke to Archibald the day he signed for Rovers. We had some photographs done which appeared in the LET.

The look of agony on Stevies fce when he scored the 3rd goal made it all worth while

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Cant ever remember the old Blackburn End being that full as it was against Villa that season,right down to the front fence shoulder to shoulder.Dangerous crushes at the exit at the end of the game as the crowd swayed to get out......easily 7-8,000+ on the old terrace that day.The game is included on a video somewhere that I used to have.... 'Lancashire hotshots'

Despite the above it was a brilliant atmosphere on the BBE that is sadly missed today.

Edited by SIMON GARNERS 194
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**slightly off topic**....a while back i went to 'an evening with Simon Garner' at the Hordens. One of the tales told that night was just after Steve Archibald had signed for the Rovers & they`d been playing away in London. Archibald had suggested a night out around the capital with his new team mates & proceeded to show Garner & co all the hotspots & night clubs. Archibald was flashing the cash, buying champagne etc & was constantly surrounded by a bevvy of beauties. Garner said he had a word with Steve, telling him they didn`t have a lot of money on them. "not to worry" said Archibald "....i`ll pay & you can treat me when you you show me the nightlife & sights of Blackburn" Simon relented & agreed that`s what they`d do. The next week Garner said they took him up Sutty`s :D ....he went on to say an oldish looking granny approached Steve & asked him who he was? "I`m Steve Archibald" he said. to which the woman replied "Never heard of you, but i`ll #### you off for a tenner!" ;)

class.

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  • 1 year later...

Just watched whittle blue's you tube clip of this game. The Blackburn End was absolutely packed due to the Riverside being knocked down and there only being three sides to the ground. I was in the Blackburn End that day and can't ever remember it being so full, (for some reason I missed the City cup game in 1969). Watch and enjoy - you'll have to find it yourself because I can't do the link things, sorry!

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Yes I agree SG, never been in the Blackburn end when I was as full as that. The celebration when we scored is something you can only dream about these days.

Happy days, but nowhere near as successful as today, says allot really.

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