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Firstly, the result of the shoot out for the second midfielder slot:

Jimmy Forrest........[ 107 ]........[54.31%]

Tim Sherwood........[ 90 ].........[45.69%]

Total Votes: 197

I bet no-one had Jimmy Forrest in their initial team. Well done FourLaneBlue and all who voted for Forrest.

So the team up to now is:

Brad Friedel

Bob Crompton

Colin Hendry

Mike England

Graeme Le Saux

Bryan Douglas

Ronnie Clayton

Jimmy Forrest

Now for the last of the midfielders. This is a list of those that I can remember:

Mike Harrison

Damien Duff

Ally McLeod

Jason Wilcox

Dave Wagstaffe

Scott Sellars

Bobby Langton

Noel Brotherston

Wow, what a list! sad.gif There must be others that I've missed out, let me know and I'll add them to that list.

Out of that lot, there can only be one winner? I'll give it a few days for consideration/discussion and if someone wants to put forward a case for the inclusion of any of those players, ala FLB and Brownie in the last thread, that would really help the discussion.

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I think the results of the 2nd midfielder contest should remind us all that recent memories of Duff do not make him the automatic choice.

Let's find out about some of the other left-sided players to have graced the team during the past 130 years.

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I think the results of the 2nd midfielder contest should remind us all that recent memories of Duff do not make him the automatic choice.

Let's find out about some of the other left-sided players to have graced the team during the past 130 years.

Amen to that, though I suspect the the spotty faced brigade have already made up their minds.

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Amen to that, though I suspect the the spotty faced brigade have already made up their minds.

True, but the simple fact is that Duffer was probably the best out of that list anyway. I've seen virtually all of them.

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I think the results of the 2nd midfielder contest should remind us all that recent memories of Duff do not make him the automatic choice.

Let's find out about some of the other left-sided players to have graced the team during the past 130 years.

Amen to that, though I suspect the the spotty faced brigade have already made up their minds.

Better go and find yer golden helmet, Jim !

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Bobby Langton used to beat defenders and then go back and beat them again!!

The crosses he put in were so hard that defenders ducked!

He made a lot of goals for Tommy Briggs.

My Dad told me that Bobby Langton was the best player he has ever seen.

That's good enough for me.

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I seem to remember the late great Noel being a right as opposed to left winger. Recall him having to carry us single handedly on numerous occasions in the early 80's when we had a VERY mediocre side.

For what it's worth of the players I have seen in the flesh he would be my choice on the right, with the incomparabe Duff on the left. To use the reverse of Jim's argument, just because he is modern day doesn't automatically preclude him from being the best either! smile.gif

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Duff used to run right through mid-fielders and defenders alike and then slot the ball home at the near or far post (i think his goal vs ipswich is my favourite). I liked the way Wilcox played as well weaving in and out of the left side before putting in a good low cross. Too young to recognise a few of the others so the irishman gets it.

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I seem to remember the late great Noel being a right as opposed to left winger. Recall him having to carry us single handedly on numerous occasions in the early 80's when we had a VERY mediocre side.

biggrin.gif

I can't win Simon. I put him on the shortlist for the right winger, only to be told he was a left winger. I think the truth was he could, and did, play on either flank.

I must say, I'd love someone to do an article on Noel, if just to bring back the memories of a truly top rovers servant and someone who sadly left this life a few years ago. He deserves to be remembered in this thread.

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Brotherston was mainly a left winger. Strange appearance with his prematurely balding pate but bamboozled second division defences with lovely skills and made many a goal for Garner in the 1980s.

Joined Rovers on a free transfer from Tottenham if I remember correctly; regular for Northern Ireland when they had a good team (did he play at the 1982 Spain World Cup ?) and certainly a contender for the all-time team.

We've had some good left wingers over the years (is Ally Macleod on the list ??) and I've enjoyed watching them all. Langton is a legend among older Rovers followers, Harrison had power and pace and a thunderous shot, and Wagstaffe, although in his declining years, had a left foot made in heaven.

For me, though, the most under-rated and best of them all is Jason Wilcox for his outstanding service to the club from 1989-99 and vital contributions to the promotion- winning team of 1991-92 and the championship team of 1994-95. Ask Shearer who he'd like on the wing serving the ball up on a plate.

Wilcox gets my vote.

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Scott Sellars was my favourite player when my dad finally relented and started taking me to Ewood (I was 22 at the time...just kidding!). An awesome player who served us in the second division but proved himself to be Premiership-quality when his brilliant passing and startling vision helped light up Kevin Keegan's famously flamboyant Newcastle side. Unfortunately Scott was an unlucky player. The wrong move at the wrong time (to the new league champions Leeds United in 1992) which didn't really work out and then, injury struck at a fateful moment. Called up to the England squad but having to decline and instead sit it out on the fitness table. Like Jansen a decade or so later, the chance never came again. Sellars really was an excellent player, full of creatity, flair and skill. An unpredicatale and enigmatic sikily skilled winger who entertained the crowd and got people on the edge of their seats.

Will I be voting for him over Duff? Nah don't be daft he wasn't that good but Sellars does deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as the Irishman and remembered as an excellent Rovers player.

So after going on about Sellars all the time my vote is Duff. Oh well, what can you do? tongue.gif

Jim - Noel Brotherston did go to the 1982 World Cup with Northern Ireland.

Edited by FourLaneBlue

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For me, though, the most under-rated and best of them all is Jason Wilcox for his outstanding service to the club from 1989-99 and vital contributions to the promotion- winning team of 1991-92 and the championship team of 1994-95. Ask Shearer who he'd like on the wing serving the ball up on a plate.

Wilcox gets my vote.

Wilcox has been one of my favourite players in my time watching Rovers and what really annoys me - and epitomises the England selection process - is how he received so few England caps (if any?) while playing for Rovers, then got transferred from our reserve team to Leeds United and instantly got a call up. mad.gif

I think I'll vote for him too, even though Duff was a fabulous player.

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I know he was before my time (started following rovers properly in 86/7) but I have to admit I hadn't heard much about Brotherston. Wheras Compton, Clayton and Douglas are bona-fide legends of the game.

Sellars was my favourite player as a kid, even the papers down south used to describe him as the best player outside of the top flight. I was gutted he didn't get to play for us in the Premiership.

That said, the boy Duff was almost certainly the best left-winger in the world when he was playing for us and in modern times only Shearer and Friedel came close to being the best in their position whilst at Rovers.

So Duff for me unless one of the old-timers can come up with a very good case...

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I have been a Rovers supporter for 48 years and have been privilidged to have seen some great players wearing the blue and white halves. In past polls I have voted for players from the sixties like Douglas, Clayton and England as unlike some of the younger forum members I have been able to see play.

However in the vote for the greatest left winger there can only be one man for me. Damien Duff. I am sure I will never see a greater left winger.

I have great memories of some of the others from Noddy McLeod onwards, and I have marvelled at the skills of Scotty Sellars, Noel Brotherston and Jason Wilcox, but let's be honest here, there can only be one winner.

The problem we have, is that in this position we have been spoiled over the years. When all the talk is of a lack of good left sided players, we have had an abundance of them.

I must make mention of Mike Harrison who I think we bought from Plymouth Argyle. He was built like a brick out-house but this belied the fact that he possesed great speed coupled with a tremendous shot. I can well remember sitting over the wall on that red cinder track at the corner of the Blackburn End/Nuttal St., and seeing this massive frame running towards me. If he hadn't stopped in time I always thought that he would have taken both me and the wall with him. Long live Mike Harrison and the memories he gave me. A gentleman as well.

Edited by Ianrally

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If this was a vote for the most elegant Rovers players in history, Scott Sellars would stroll into the side with that laid back foot dragging walk regularly witnessed at Ewood Park.

Scott Sellars was brought through the youth team by Eddie Gray, and like his mentor had a sweet left foot and was capable of producing defence-splitting balls when he was really on form. Under Billy Bremner he was deemed surplus to requirements and moved on to Blackburn where he enjoyed 6 successful years. Howard Wilkinson briefly brought him back to Elland Road, but that didn't work out. A couple of years at Newcastle and a little longer at Bolton were followed by a move to Huddersfield, where he played until the end of the 2000-01 season when he moved to Denmark to keep himself in a first team situation.

After playing for AGF in Denmark, he returned to English football, signing for Mansfield close to the transfer deadline in March 2002 to help them in their promotion push. He was linked with a move to non-league Kettering in the close season but re-signed at Field Mill for a further year. Although he started as a regular in the side in 2002-03, suspension and injury meant that he was only involved in coaching and working with the youngsters from November to the end of the season.

When Scott Sellars was at Newcastle, an England call up could not have been far away. With his defence splitting ball, close control he had the world at his feet when all of a sudden he got injured and Newcastle signed David Ginola and when he moved on to Bolton you felt that that was the end of any chance with England.

Certainly, one of the best players never to play for England. The phrase educated left foot was truly an understatement with Scott, and this coupled with great vision, made him a glorious player.

In the old days of the Blackburn End terrace, "Scotty Scotty beam us up" was one the most regularly sang chants of the day.

It always brought a clap of appreciation from Scott who I often wondered must have thought what the hell are they singing.

The term 'Could open a can of beans' was made for his left foot, 'wispy' was another term regularly used by the press.

Sellars played a crucial part in winning the Full Members Cup and winning promotion for the first time.

Better than any left winger outside the Premiership, he soon showed at Newcastle that he was as good as anything in it. Andy Cole stated that Sellars was the key to his success at St James Park, laying on goal after goal.

Despite Sellars' contributions being mainly as a creator, he also scored many vital goals, the equaliser in 3-3 draw at home to Leicester, and another in the famous 4-2 win over Derby in the Play off semis immediately spring to mind.

If Sellars was a cricketer he would be David Gower, serene and poetry in motion when in full flow.

Did Scott have more natural talent than a certain young Irishman ? probably not, Is Scott more of a Blackburn Rovers legend ? Definitely !

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Club From To Apps Goals Sold for

Leeds United 25 Mar 1983 28 Jul 1986 86 14 20000

Blackburn Rovers 28 Jul 1986 01 Jul 1992 245 41 £800000

Leeds United 01 Jul 1992 09 Mar 1993 10 0 £700000

Newcastle United 09 Mar 1993 07 Dec 1995 75 8 £750000

Bolton Wanderers 07 Dec 1995 30 Jul 1999 126 16 £0

Huddersfield Town 30 Jul 1999 18 Apr 2001 53 2 £0

Mansfield Town 31 Mar 2002 20 3

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Mike Harrison- we bought him from Chelsea. We might have sold him to Plymouth.

The late Noel was a right winger when he came but ended up on the left after Saxton bought Miller who could only play on the right.

It was a sad restriction on Noel's versatile abilities.

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Damien Duff first signed professional forms for Rovers on March 5th 1996 at the age of 17. It was a momentous day for the club.

He was scouted by Pat Devlin, manager of Bray Wanderers and still Duff's agent to this day. Devlin was a friend of Kenny Dalglish and alerted Kenny to the talent he'd unearthed in Ireland. Rovers weren't the only club he told though. Rumour has it that Huddersfield came very close to poaching Damien - thankfully though he chose the Rovers.

Duff made his Rovers senior debut in the last home game of 1996-97 season. However, it wasn't until the season after that he established himself in the side ahead of Jason Wilcox. A crowd favourite straight away, he won over the fans with his skill and touch, as well as a running style best described as "unusual", not to mention the appearence of someone who was permanently knackered. He just looked funny, not remotely like a footballer was supposed to look, but give him the ball and he could be superb.

Superb but inconsistent. Duff had a habit of drifting in and out of games in the early stages of his career, and probably suffered more than most during the frequent managerial upheavals at the time. In fact it was rumoured that Hodgson didn't rate Duff and was willing to sell him - thankfully Hodgson left first.

Duff was relegated along with the rest of the squad in 1999 and remained inconsistent during the clubs first season in Division 1. However, his form was still good enough to earn him his first cap as a substitute for Ireland. He went on to make two more appearences for his country that season.

It wasn't until the arrival of Graeme Souness in early 2000 that Duff started to consistently produce the form that we all knew he was capable of. Although he only scored one league goal during our promotion season it was a vital one - securing victory away against promotion rivals Birmingham. His all-round game though was excellent that season. He terrorised First Division right-backs and linked up superbly with the likes of Jansen, Dunn, Bent and Berkovic.

Our first season back in the Premiership was largely a struggle for the team, but Duff continued to shine. He chipped in with 7 goals, many of them vital, and was instrumental in our 2002 Worthington Cup winning team. It remains the only major honour of his career so far (although I suspect it won't be for long).

That summer saw Damien Duff graduate to world class. He was arguably the star of the 2002 World Cup, helping Ireland into the knock-out stages with a series of man-of-the-match performances. He even managed a goal in the 3-0 group win over Saudi Arabia. Speculation was rife in the media throughout the summer that Duff would leave for one of the "big boys". However, he defied everyone by signing a new 2 year contract at Blackburn and stating his love for the club.

Duff was now unstoppable. He won a place in UEFA's team of the year and inspired the team to new heights during the next season, scoring 13 goals and setting up many, many more. In fact, the only thing that could stop him was a niggling hamstring injury that restricted him to only 26 appearences that season. However, it was no coincidence that Rovers put a fantastic run together during the second half of the season when Duff returned from injury. The run took us up to 6th place and a UEFA cup spot.

Again, media speculation was rife during the summer about Duff leaving. Just as we all thought he might defy the critics again and stay, Chelsea came in with a huge bid and, after a protracted negotiation involving a lot of soul-searching on Duff's part, he left for the bright lights of London.

I've been watching the Rovers for more than 25 years and Duff is easily my favourite player throughout that time. His skill, vision, touch and passing ability made him a fantastic player to watch - a real entertainer. I loved the way he looked shattered one minute then electrifying the next.

He seemed such an uncomplicated character off the pitch as well. We used to laugh as we passed his old battered Fiesta in the car-park before home games - alongside all the BMW's, 4x4's and Jag's of the other players. He lists one of his favourite hobbies as sleeping and spent most of his time at Blackburn living in Hurst Green out in the sticks. No boozy nights out with Page 3 girls for Damien.

I'm still sad that he left yet I still enjoy watching play for Chelsea. For example, I watched him tonight in the Carling Cup against Fulham and he was superb - scoring one and troubling Fulham throughout. Unfortunately, in a few years history will probably show that Duff was at his most successful whilst playing for Chelsea. However, I'll never forget what he did at Rovers. The boy's a genius.

Career

1996-97: Rovers 1 game, 0 goals

1997-98: Rovers 26 games, 4 goals

1998-99: Rovers 28 games, 1 goal

1999-00: Rovers 39 games, 5 goals; Ireland 3 appearences, 0 goals

2000-01: Rovers 32 games, 1 goal; Ireland 6 appearences, 0 goals

2001-02: Rovers 32 games, 7 goals; Ireland 10 appearences, 2 goals

2002-03: Rovers 26 games, 9 goals; Ireland 5 appearences, 2 goals

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