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MCMC1875

Bobby Saxton

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I was talking to a friend of mine last week who is a good friend of Neil Saxton. Neil is the son of Bobby Saxton, Rovers manager from 1981-86. He followed a tough act, Howard Kendall and preceded the popular Don Mackay. My mate was saying he never gets mentioned, it's like he never existed. He did a great job at a tough time, keeping Rovers in the 2nd Division when all our Lancashire neighbours were plumbing the depths of the 3rd and 4th Divisions - our only derby games then were Oldham and CIty every year. Without him Rovers would have sunk probably to the 4th. A great bloke who still loves Rovers.

Anyone got any memories or photos?

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Agreed Saxton did an excellent job in increasingly challenging circumstances.

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I met Bobby Saxton a few times. He said he considered it a privilege to be manager of Rovers. A very likeable man who did a very good job. 

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Had a good chat with him at the Cheltenham Festival a few years ago, couldn’t speak highly enough of Rovers.

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Was manager when I first got into it can't remember much other than he came across as very straightforward and honest. Had the basis of a solid side but had absolutely no means to bolt anything onto it so looking back he did an amazing job but In true Rovers style probably never got the credit for it whilst here.

Read some stories about his time retrieving balls from the river in training, counting out the tea bags etc, it's a world away from that now I bet you don't even get that at a lot on non league clubs these days.

Makes it even more criminal the amount of money that gets poured straight through football.

Edited by tomphil

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If anybody on here knows either Mark Patterson or Simon Barker - ask either of those two about 'Sacko' and they have nothing but good things to say about him. I think Basil Rathbone said similar in his recent book as well. I have some great memories of his teams. On a par with Don Mackay I would say.

Edited by oldjamfan1

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The man in the hot seat when I first stepped foot into the Church of Ewood,who could ever forget that gravelly voice!

A decent Manager when the Club could barely afford the Milk bill.

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An honest and likeable guy who lived in Mellor.  Brought Jim Furnell and Tony Long (physio) with him from Plymouth.  One of his first signings was Colin Randall (midfielder) for £40,000 from Plymouth.  A 'nice' footballer but but think the move came a bit too late for him in his career (think he'd turned 30+) and he really didn't hit the heights for us - remember him being caught 'rabbit punching' an opponent (totally out of character for the lad) on MOD and think it was Jimmy Hill who tore into him. 

Edited by Mercer

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53 minutes ago, Mercer said:

An honest and likeable guy who lived in Mellor.  Brought Jim Furnell and Tony Long (physio) with him from Plymouth.  One of his first signings was Colin Randall (midfielder) for £40,000 from Plymouth.  A 'nice' footballer but but think the move came a bit too late for him in his career (think he'd turned 30+) and he really didn't hit the heights for us - remember him being caught 'rabbit punching' an opponent (totally out of character for the lad) on MOD and think it was Jimmy Hill who tore into him. 

That would be the Portsmouth game '85(?) WW3 lol. Jim Furnell also did an amazing job, officially Reserve Team Manager but in reality did all sorts. Legend. Tony Parkes, First Team Coach, 5(?) times caretaker Manager. Legend.

Edited by MCMC1875

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I thought he did a really good job in the 80's in difficult financial circumstances. We had a good keeper and defence, lacked somewhat in midfield but with 2 good wingers and a goalscorer. We were always just a few players short of pushing for promotion. Enjoyed his press conferences - no bull just down to earth.

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1 minute ago, Stonesrick said:

I thought he did a really good job in the 80's in difficult financial circumstances. We had a good keeper and defence, lacked somewhat in midfield but with 2 good wingers and a goalscorer. We were always just a few players short of pushing for promotion. Enjoyed his press conferences - no bull just down to earth.

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Look at the board of directors, all dedicated local men. Sometimes they got "Sack the board" from the BBE. We didn't know what we had did we.

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9 minutes ago, MCMC1875 said:

That would be the Portsmouth game '85(?) WW3 lol.

You're right.

Found this - killer Keeley and brutal Branagan!

 

 

Edited by Mercer

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5 minutes ago, Stonesrick said:

I thought he did a really good job in the 80's in difficult financial circumstances. We had a good keeper and defence, lacked somewhat in midfield but with 2 good wingers and a goalscorer. We were always just a few players short of pushing for promotion. Enjoyed his press conferences - no bull just down to earth.

Image_(2).jpg

My first ever Rovers game, hard to believe now but Forest back then were a bit like City visiting now or someone, apart from the money angle of course but they were a high profile team then.

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14 minutes ago, Stonesrick said:

I thought he did a really good job in the 80's in difficult financial circumstances. We had a good keeper and defence, lacked somewhat in midfield but with 2 good wingers and a goalscorer. We were always just a few players short of pushing for promotion. Enjoyed his press conferences - no bull just down to earth.

Image_(2).jpg

Loyalty existed then. Most of those players served the club for 100's of games and so became legends.

Edited by MCMC1875

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15 minutes ago, tomphil said:

My first ever Rovers game, hard to believe now but Forest back then were a bit like City visiting now or someone, apart from the money angle of course but they were a high profile team then.

They were very recent (18 months earlier) twice champions of Europe!!!

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35 minutes ago, MCMC1875 said:

 

Went on Neil Saxton's stag do to Magaluf about 15 years ago. Bobby was there along with Jim Branagan who still calls him gaffer. A doctor was called for on the plane coming back,  Jim Bran had overdone it on the red wine. Lol.

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We beat Forest but couldn't get the ball past Shilton, who was in brilliant form.  Ian Miller had an excellent game and Garner should have scored at least a couple.  Justin Fashanuy got the winner IIRC - one of the few goals he scored for Forest where he flopped after a big money signing

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43 minutes ago, MCMC1875 said:

That would be the Portsmouth game '85(?) WW3 lol. Jim Furnell also did an amazing job, officially Reserve Team Manager but in reality did all sorts. Legend. Tony Parkes, First Team Coach, legend also - 5 (?) times caretaker Manager.

Including selling match tickets for the Liverpool FA Cup tie downstairs in the corner house opposite the main entrance to the ground (think the manager's office was upstairs then) - recall the money going into a big plastic box!

Edited by Mercer

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Just now, Mercer said:

Including selling match tickets for the Liverpool FA Cup tie downstairs in the corner house opposite the main entrance to the ground (think the manager's office was upstairs) - recall the money going into a big plastic box!

Ha, they used to sell programmes on match days from a hole in the backyard wall on Tweed Street.

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I’m pretty sure that he played against us at Ewood for Plymouth in our famous 5-2 win. One of my favourite games I’ve watched at Ewood over the years. I also think Jim Furnell was in goal for them that day.

 

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1 hour ago, tonygreenbank said:

I’m pretty sure that he played against us at Ewood for Plymouth in our famous 5-2 win. One of my favourite games I’ve watched at Ewood over the years. I also think Jim Furnell was in goal for them that day.

 

You're right on both counts. Paul Mariner who later played as a striker for England played for Plymouth that day. One of the best games ever seen at Ewood Park. It was a titanic struggle with lots of quality football played. 

 Bobby kept us afloat in the bad old days when we were on our uppers. Die hard Rovers fans will have fond memories of him. 

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After his final game some fans demonstrated on Nuttall Street. Peter White wrote "...no manager could legislate for the mistakes that team made". Bobby was gone that week. In came Don Mackay, the Full Members Cup win at Wembley and the start of the club's resurrection.

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I nexer met Saxton and Im sure he was a good bloke and everything but I think there are some slightly rose tinted recollections of his time in charge. My impression thinking back is that he was way too loyal to certain players ( can't think who that sounds like)  that the Board stuck with him for far too long, and things went badly South towards the end of his reign. There was also another season before it went wrong when we were clear at the top by 3 or 4 points at Christmas and I was thinking we only needed another nine or ten wins from twenty odd game to secure promotion to the promised land of Division One pre Sky, pre the Premiership and pre Uncle Jack only for us to completely implode and finish nowhere. It looked like there were some players assessing their situation and coming to the conclusion that if we were promoted they'd be out of the door in the second half of that season.

Don McKay eventually came in to replace him from a relatively unassuming background (one of the Dundee Clubs I think) and was fat superior to Saxton in every way imo. He was on a shortlist of three and I was expecting Gary Bowyer's dad Ian to get the job. Cant remember who was the 3rd person shortlisted.

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3 hours ago, MCMC1875 said:

After his final game some fans demonstrated on Nuttall Street. Peter White wrote "...no manager could legislate for the mistakes that team made". Bobby was gone that week. In came Don Mackay, the Full Members Cup win at Wembley and the start of the club's resurrection.

Remember hundreds pouring out of the BBE and onto the Nuttall st enclosure in protest....seemed a bit harsh looking back.Saxtons 'nearly men' indeed!

Point taken Rev about him being too loyal to certain players but let's not forget the club had barely a pot to piss in at the time.

Edited by SIMON GARNERS 194

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21 minutes ago, RevidgeBlue said:

Don McKay eventually came in to replace him from a relatively unassuming background (one of the Dundee Clubs I think) and was far superior to Saxton in every way imo. 

I loved Don Mackay's era at the club - but I think this bit is extremely harsh on Sacko.

They were quite different as managers. Saxton was a terrific man-manager, better than Mackay, whereas Don had a great eye for a player. Don also got a cash injection just when he needed it, when things were going a little stale. As someone has already stated, Rovers were skint throughout Sacko's tenure.

I think Don and Bobby should be held in similar esteem and without those two (and Howard Kendall before them) we would never have been in a position to attract Sir Kenneth Matheson Dalglish to the Rovers.

Its also worth mentioning that they are both lovely blokes who retain a deep affection for our club.

Edited by oldjamfan1

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