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Now our captain has left I must say as a proud Irish rover I feel quite flat. Rovers have always had a link with the national team. I remember being very excited the title season when kenna signed. Of course there was duffer and Moran. Plus many from the north. Growing up there were always plenty of rovers fans over here. Not at utd or Liverpool levels but respectable. Now we are nearly extinct. Calling all Irish rovers what are your memories? And to our uk neighbours your memories of Irish guys wearing that famous jersey.

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The two lads from Eire that were first team players when I first started watching - Mick McGrath, who is still alive I believe. Andy McEvoy was the other one. We also had Joe Haverty then but he didn’t stay long at Ewood. Andy died at quite a young age back in Ireland and I think Joe died a few years ago.

Mick was a really hard working wing half ( defensive midfield player ) who was a lot better footballer than some people gave him credit for. He was a main stay of the team along with Ronnie Clayton and Matt Woods for at least 6 or 7 seasons. 

Andy was a tremendous goal scorer once he’d been converted from a pretty ordinary midfield player. Again he was more than just a finisher, he could set goals up for other people as well. His partnership with Fred Pickering made the two of them into a goal scoring machine. He was up there with two of the best goal scorers I’ve ever seen in Denis Law and Jimmy Greaves.

Joe was a tiny ( 5ft 3ins ) left winger that had been a star and a crowd favourite at Arsenal but never really settled at Rovers and he moved on after one season.

Edited by Tyrone Shoelaces
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Moran will always be one of my favourite all time players, everything a defender should be and exactly the type of chap you'd want next to you in the trenches.

Ironically he probably wouldn't even be considered a Premier league player these days, can barely think of any hard as nails no nonsense centre halves, the obsession seems to be with them being able to bring the ball out of defence 🥴

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Jimmy Quinn, good header of the ball which was just as well as his feet weren't much use. I quite liked him and he had a decent career and went full international when with Rovers.

We made a decent profit on him too.

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Ian Lawther, a Northern Ireland international centre forward we got from Sunderland. He was another good header of the ball, he had the happy knack of being able to hang in the air when the defenders were on their way back down. Scored a terrific opening goal in a 2-1 win at Ewood against the dingles. It’s over 60 years ago but I can still see it now. He latched onto a square pass about 25 yards out in the old inside right position at the Blackburn End. Out of nothing he hit a perfect shot right into the bottom corner. The old ball went like a bullet and it never went more than an inch or two off the ground.

He seemed to get out of favour with Jack Marshall and with Fred Pickering and Andy McEvoy scoring for fun and John Byrom in the wings Ian was transferred to 2 nd Div Scunthorpe.

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5 hours ago, Ossydave said:

Moran will always be one of my favourite all time players, everything a defender should be and exactly the type of chap you'd want next to you in the trenches.

Ironically he probably wouldn't even be considered a Premier league player these days, can barely think of any hard as nails no nonsense centre halves, the obsession seems to be with them being able to bring the ball out of defence 🥴

He would be up there, just for the goal at Derby in the play-offs.

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Jason McAteer certainly divided opinions but he was a handful on his day...Steven Reid never afraid of a tackle and who can forget the Wigan rocket...underrated  probably because of his last stop with the neighbors...Keith Treacy had a wicked left foot but was never fit for various reasons...Gavin Gunning another youth player who should have done better but had "issues." Alan Judge another Irish Rover who really should have had a better career here...injuries and poor management took it's toll. Seems as if we had the pick of the Irish youth at one time but those days seem long gone.

 

 

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I was a fan of Jeff Kenna. Solid, reliable right back and a part of the good times.

Watching old season reviews and highlights remind me of how good Steven Reid was. I think he was underrated at the time. However, it's fair to say his injury issues held him back quite a bit. Aside from that rocket at Wigan, I loved his strong running through the middle of the pitch and his long passing was good too. His goal away at Sunderland in April/May 2006 stands out for me due to the bursting run.

Finally, the main man. Duffer. What a player. He could twist any defender inside out and was truly world class around about the 2002 World Cup time. Happy to have seen such quality and the fact that his last season was his best in a Rovers shirt in '02/03.

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40 minutes ago, SuperBrfc said:

I was a fan of Jeff Kenna. Solid, reliable right back and a part of the good times.

Watching old season reviews and highlights remind me of how good Steven Reid was. I think he was underrated at the time. However, it's fair to say his injury issues held him back quite a bit. Aside from that rocket at Wigan, I loved his strong running through the middle of the pitch and his long passing was good too. His goal away at Sunderland in April/May 2006 stands out for me due to the bursting run.

Finally, the main man. Duffer. What a player. He could twist any defender inside out and was truly world class around about the 2002 World Cup time. Happy to have seen such quality and the fact that his last season was his best in a Rovers shirt in '02/03.

I remember Duff coming on as a sub for Chelsea against us at Stamford bridge, as he waited to come on he had his back to the Rovers fans, who were singing "You'll Always Be A Rover " He gave us a clench fist salute. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 13/06/2022 at 22:45, Tyrone Shoelaces said:

Mick McGrath, who is still alive I believe. 

He certainly is, TS. I had the pleasure of meeting him a couple of weeks ago and chatting to him for a short while. Still lives locally and a very nice man.

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I was a big fan of Kevin Moran (wasn't everybody?) and I thought Frank Stapleton was ok for us too. For me the best Irishman we had must be Damien Duff. No stepovers or pirouettes, just fantastic close control, great balance and an ability to accelerate past and away from opponents. He could finish too. Fantastic player. 

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I had my picture taken with Kevin Moran at ewood park, when they were rebuilding the Blackburn end. I was only a toddler so obviously can't remember but my mum tells me any time I mention the rovers to her. 😂

Edited by Danny O.Brien
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11 hours ago, Claytons Left Boot said:

He certainly is, TS. I had the pleasure of meeting him a couple of weeks ago and chatting to him for a short while. Still lives locally and a very nice man.

When I was growing up, I used to play regularly with and against his son, Paul, no mean player himself. Mick was always there on the touchline giving his encouragement. He obviously loved the game and I'm glad to hear he's still with us and healthy too.

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1 hour ago, oldjamfan1 said:

When I was growing up, I used to play regularly with and against his son, Paul, no mean player himself. Mick was always there on the touchline giving his encouragement. He obviously loved the game and I'm glad to hear he's still with us and healthy too.

Mill Hill St Peters and Darwen Sun Leisure if I remember correctly Andy. I came across him a few times too and really polite lad who knew where the net was. Was he also in your Orphanage Cup team or is my Alzheimer's kicking in 😂😂.

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I think Mick was a very under rated player apart from by Rovers fans of course. Although he did get picked along with Ronnie and Matt Woods to make up the half back line for the English League in one fixture, I can’t remember who it was against.

For those who never saw him play he was a busy un-fussy  player, a good firm tackler and a tenacious man marker. Very consistent, he was never the MOM but very rarely had a poor game. A player who kept his passing within the range of ability. Get it and give it to Dougie or Mike Harrison. He wasn’t much of a goal scorer, most wing halves weren’t in those days. Two I do remember  - one was a fine 20 yard shot into the top corner at Old Trafford that sent us on the way to a 3-0 win. The other was in the famous game against West Brom were Bryan Douglas beat most of the Baggies team to score the best goal I’ve ever seen at Ewood. Mick was being kept out of the team by the emerging colossus that was Mike England by then but on this day he was in for an injured Ronnie Clayton. Fergie got away down the side and crossed a low ball into the goal mouth. Mick came sliding in on a greasy pitch, he was about 3 yards from goal. He blocked the cross with his left foot and then swept the ball home with his right foot. Almost all in one movement. I was right behind the goals at the Darwen End and it was right in front of me. Unfortunately the goal he’ll be in all the record books for was the own goal in the 1960 Cup Final when he deflected another low cross into the Rovers goal to open the scoring for Wolves.

I suppose Mick’s claim to fame was being the first Rovers player to be substituted. We were desperate for points and we’d played Mick as an extra defender in an away game, again at Old Trafford, in the hope of grinding out a result. It didn’t work and we were losing at half time. Mick was subbed off and John Byrom came on to take his place. It sort of worked because all though we were outplayed we got a very fortuitous draw courtesy of United’s keeper Harry Gregg deciding to chin Mike England from a corner right in front of the referee ! A pen which Mike Harrison converted against stand in keeper outfield player David Herd and a sending off. An even luckier equaliser made my day.

That was Mick’s only game that season and his last for the Rovers first team.

 

 

Edited by Tyrone Shoelaces
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1 hour ago, arbitro said:

Mill Hill St Peters and Darwen Sun Leisure if I remember correctly Andy. I came across him a few times too and really polite lad who knew where the net was. Was he also in your Orphanage Cup team or is my Alzheimer's kicking in 😂😂.

Definitely MHSP but I don't remember him playing for the Council team (that doesn't mean he didn't ha ha). I played alongside him in the Park Lane Rangers youth teams (Patty was the third forward in that side). He was a nice lad yeah (and hopefully still is), but could handle himself on the park.

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On 14/06/2022 at 18:38, SuperBrfc said:

I was a fan of Jeff Kenna. Solid, reliable right back and a part of the good times.

Watching old season reviews and highlights remind me of how good Steven Reid was. I think he was underrated at the time. However, it's fair to say his injury issues held him back quite a bit. Aside from that rocket at Wigan, I loved his strong running through the middle of the pitch and his long passing was good too. His goal away at Sunderland in April/May 2006 stands out for me due to the bursting run.

Finally, the main man. Duffer. What a player. He could twist any defender inside out and was truly world class around about the 2002 World Cup time. Happy to have seen such quality and the fact that his last season was his best in a Rovers shirt in '02/03.

 

Agree completely about Reidy. People always remember the Hughes midfield as Savage & Tugay because of how well they complemented each other, but it says a lot about how good Reid's all round game was that he could play alongside them both and do just as well. One of the best genuine box-to-box midfielders we've had since the title win, albeit too briefly before the injuries took their toll. 

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1 hour ago, Admiral Nelsen said:

 

Agree completely about Reidy. People always remember the Hughes midfield as Savage & Tugay because of how well they complemented each other, but it says a lot about how good Reid's all round game was that he could play alongside them both and do just as well. One of the best genuine box-to-box midfielders we've had since the title win, albeit too briefly before the injuries took their toll. 

I heard him say on a podcast, around a year ago, that he was overawed by the big names and characters in the Rovers dressing room when he first arrived.

He said he came from Millwall into a dressing room featuring the likes of Cole, Yorke, Tugay, Ferguson, Flitcroft, Short, Brad etc and felt as though he didn't belong there for a long time. It took him a while to settle and injuries set him back.

I thought it was interesting how he said it was the '05/06 season where he truly felt he belonged and could compete at that level. He mentioned that Wigan game with the rocket goal as being a real turning point for him.

Such a shame we didn't get to see more of him due to his injury issues. Not putting him on the same level or even close to it, obviously, as the other guy was top level, but Reidy's style of play did remind me a bit of Gerrard at times.

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