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    Rovers Stop The Rot

    By vdb, in Matches,

    Rovers claimed a vital point today in an entertaining clash against Wigan at the DW Stadium.
    Benni McCarthy gave Rovers the lead on 30 minutes scoring from close range. Wigan came back in the second half and equalised through Hugo Rodallega who powered home a close-range header.
    The football on show was not for the purists but neither side was prepared to settle for a point though and a frenetic second-half ensued.
    Jason Scotland fluffed a one-on-one with Paul Robinson and McCarthy had an overhead kick saved by Chris Kirkland.
    Sam Allardyce felt that Rovers deserved to claim three points: "We are sat here hugely disappointed and very down in the mouth in terms of we know we should have had three points to get us that bit further up the league. We've come out here and matched them in every department."
    Rovers now face Sunderland on Monday, with the table being so congested a win could see Rovers climb into the top 10, whereas a defeat could see Rovers slip into the relegation zone.

    Kamy

    Rovers Woes Continue

    By Kamy, in Matches,

    Rovers' away day woes continued last night as they crashed to a 2-1 defeat against Birmingham. Two goals from Cameron Jerome put the Blues in control. Nelsen pulled one back to set up a frantic finish; however, Birmingham held on to record their fifth straight victory.
    After the game, Rovers manager Sam Allardyce lamented his team's defending: "We expected Birmingham to come out all guns blazing and put us under the cosh," he said.
    "We controlled the first 10 minutes but then gave them a first corner and decided to give them a goal.
    "With the form and confidence that they are in at the moment, it was always going to be difficult to come back from that. But to gift them another one really killed us.
    "Apart from those errors it is a toss of the coin as to who was the better side, but Birmingham were the ones who took advantage of their opportunities."
    Rovers have now been dragged back into the relegation battle and face Tottenham at Ewood Park on Saturday.

    vdb

    Rovers Woes Continue

    By vdb, in Matches,

    Rovers' away day woes continued last night as they crashed to a 2-1 defeat against Birmingham. Two goals from Cameron Jerome put the Blues in control. Nelsen pulled one back to set up a frantic finish; however, Birmingham held on to record their fifth straight victory.
    After the game, Rovers manager Sam Allardyce lamented his team's defending: "We expected Birmingham to come out all guns blazing and put us under the cosh," he said.
    "We controlled the first 10 minutes but then gave them a first corner and decided to give them a goal.
    "With the form and confidence that they are in at the moment, it was always going to be difficult to come back from that. But to gift them another one really killed us.
    "Apart from those errors it is a toss of the coin as to who was the better side, but Birmingham were the ones who took advantage of their opportunities."
    Rovers have now been dragged back into the relegation battle and face Tottenham at Ewood Park on Saturday.

    Paul

    David Dunn Interview

    By Paul, in Players,

    As you know, in an attempt to create a closer link between supporters, prior to each game we attempt to get the views of the opposition supporters in the form of a questionnaire plus predictions on the outcome of the game ahead.
    Just for a change, I approached a Rovers supporter playing for the opposition, and I’m pleased to say that David Dunn responded to the questions set.
    I know a lot has been said about events surrounding Dunny’s transfer to Birmingham, but I hope on this occasion you will give him the credit for sparing the time to respond to fellow Rovers supporters.
    What was the first Rovers game you watched ?
    Not sure of the game, just remember Ossie Ardilles and Steve Archibald playing.
    Which Rovers game stands out in your memory as a Rovers supporter ?
    When Shearer scored against Man Utd or the play off final against Leicester.
    Which Rovers game stands out in your memory as a Rovers player ?
    Worthington Cup Final v Spurs
    Who during your lifetime has been the best Rovers player ?
    Alan Shearer and Gordon Cowans.
    What was your worst moment as a Rovers supporter ?
    Getting Relegated
    What was your worst moment as a Rovers player ?
    Getting Relegated
    Who was your room mate on away trips at Rovers, and did he snore or have any strange rituals ?
    Martin Taylor……………I just cant get rid of him.
    Who is the biggest joker in the Rovers squad ?
    Graeme Souness
    Do you read supporters internet web sites, and if so have you ever read the fans message board on this site ? (www.brfcs.com)
    Yes, once or twice, but most don’t have any idea about football so I don’t anymore.
    What are your plans for the summer ?
    To get my injury sorted out for good.
    If Rovers had needed a point to stay up, and Birmingham were given a last minute penalty on Saturday, would you take it and if you did would you hit it over the stand ?
    No, I would take it because its my job to do so. But Brad knows where I put them anyway HA HA.
    Any suggestions for Burnley on who they should appoint as their new manager ?
    Not bothered
    Prediction for Saturday ?
    1-1
    Any other comments ?
    Glad that they stayed up, I was worried for a while.
    Good Luck
    Signed. David Dunn
    David, If you do read this, thanks again.
    Alan.

    Paul

    David Dunn Interview

    By Paul, in Players,

    As you know, in an attempt to create a closer link between supporters, prior to each game we attempt to get the views of the opposition supporters in the form of a questionnaire plus predictions on the outcome of the game ahead.
    Just for a change, I approached a Rovers supporter playing for the opposition, and I’m pleased to say that David Dunn responded to the questions set.
    I know a lot has been said about events surrounding Dunny’s transfer to Birmingham, but I hope on this occasion you will give him the credit for sparing the time to respond to fellow Rovers supporters.
    What was the first Rovers game you watched ?
    Not sure of the game, just remember Ossie Ardilles and Steve Archibald playing.
    Which Rovers game stands out in your memory as a Rovers supporter ?
    When Shearer scored against Man Utd or the play off final against Leicester.
    Which Rovers game stands out in your memory as a Rovers player ?
    Worthington Cup Final v Spurs
    Who during your lifetime has been the best Rovers player ?
    Alan Shearer and Gordon Cowans.
    What was your worst moment as a Rovers supporter ?
    Getting Relegated
    What was your worst moment as a Rovers player ?
    Getting Relegated
    Who was your room mate on away trips at Rovers, and did he snore or have any strange rituals ?
    Martin Taylor……………I just cant get rid of him.
    Who is the biggest joker in the Rovers squad ?
    Graeme Souness
    Do you read supporters internet web sites, and if so have you ever read the fans message board on this site ? (www.brfcs.com)
    Yes, once or twice, but most don’t have any idea about football so I don’t anymore.
    What are your plans for the summer ?
    To get my injury sorted out for good.
    If Rovers had needed a point to stay up, and Birmingham were given a last minute penalty on Saturday, would you take it and if you did would you hit it over the stand ?
    No, I would take it because its my job to do so. But Brad knows where I put them anyway HA HA.
    Any suggestions for Burnley on who they should appoint as their new manager ?
    Not bothered
    Prediction for Saturday ?
    1-1
    Any other comments ?
    Glad that they stayed up, I was worried for a while.
    Good Luck
    Signed. David Dunn
    David, If you do read this, thanks again.
    Alan.

    Alan75

    Tim Flowers

    By Alan75, in Players,

    You may recall some time ago members of this site submitted a number of questions for our Championship winning keeper Tim Flowers, who is Saturday’s opponents, Leicester City’s goal keeping coach.
    Well this afternoon I had the pleasure of a long and lengthy conversation with Tim, when I submitted your questions.
    I edited the questions before hand in to subjects to avoid duplication and have transcribed Tim’s replies accordingly. Please excuse any spelling or grammatical errors, but it’s been an exciting day chatting to one of my all time Rover heroes.
    EVENTS AT ROVERS
    Posted by: Blueboy
    How does it make you feel to know that when you had the game of your life in 1995 against the geordies at ewood park - that a grown man was crying, 12,000 miles away in Australia because he knew that we were so close to the pinnacle of the worlds greatest league?
    It’s always fantastic to find out that you’ve contributed in giving back something to the supporters.
    Posted by: bellamy11
    Does he feel the Newcastle game on VE Day to be the best of his career?
    That’s a tough one, it’s difficult to say whether it was the best in my career, but it’s one that will live in my memory. I’ve played in a lot of games throughout my career, the memory of the Newcastle game being more about how crucial it was that we didn’t loose, than how I played.
    Posted by: Jordan
    (Does he feel the Newcastle game on VE Day to be the best of his career)
    If not what was the best moment of your career?
    Best moments, Anfield knowing we were Champions, getting my cap to play against Brazil and the Worthington Cup Final with Leicester. I had a Championship medal then getting to a Wembley Cup Final was a real bonus. Very few people get the opportunity to play in a Wembley final, so I was very fortunate.
    Posted by: DP
    Sky recently awarded a save of the decade award to Peter Schmeical. Do you think they completely forgot about the Newcastle VE day game or what? (the one that springs to mind for me was the stop from Ruel Fox near the end)
    Football is a game of opinions, everyone has different memories of events and judge things differently.
    Posted by: Radaghast the Brown
    What was the first thing to enter your mind when Redknapp's free kick flew past you on championship winning day? (I'' understand if the answer is a little too 'colourful' to print
    (As an aside, thanks for the memories, Tim )
    Oh, I could sense the worry from the fans behind me, kept thinking that after all the work that season it was slipping away. By rights we should have won the championship before going to Anfield and nearly threw it away. I kept sensing the crowd reaction, then the roar when the United result came through.
    In some ways I was glad that we lost, because of all the rumours that Liverpool were going to hand us the Championship.
    Posted by: colin
    That Collymore goal. Was the divot created by Tim to mark the centre of the goal or was it just created by normal play?
    I should have guessed that question, I used to mark the pitch out. Because the Darwen end doesn’t get as much sun, it gets muddier and a groove had developed in the pitch.
    EUROPE
    Posted by: Parasyte
    After the championship win, how dissapointed were you with the European venture?
    Very disappointed, Al, Micky Newell and myself had been on holiday that summer, and we were looking forward to the European games. Then loosing Kenny was a big blow. We were in a decent group and Spartak Moscow were a very good team, and we nearly got a last minute draw against Warsaw, which might have got us through to the quarter finals.
    TEAM & PERSONALITIES AT EWOOD.
    Posted by: Exiled in Toronto
    What really happened between his pal Shearer and Sutton, which resulted in Al not passing to Sutty in the last 3rd of the championship season?
    That’s new to me, us players never noticed anything, they were the perfect double act, you only have to look at their goal total in the championship season
    Posted by: DP
    The championship squad at Rovers was renouned for having a great team spirit. What went wrong?
    There was nothing wrong with team spirit, but heads do drop when your loosing. After Ray left, Tony took charge and we dug ourselves out, if there hadn’t been any team spirit we wouldn’t have.
    Posted by: laughatthedingles
    what was it like to know jack walker personally? what was he like?
    I cant say I knew him personally. But he was a magnificent man. He attended every game travelling from Jersey home and away, and it wasn’t because of his position at the club, he just came to watch the team. He was a normal bloke but very powerful man. When I joined the club, I called him Mr Walker and he told me, that if I didn’t call him Jack, then I might as well ###### off.
    We had some great nights out with him, he had a trick flicking coins into a glass, don’t know how he did it, but he used to bet us, how many he would get into the glass and won every time.
    Posted by: Exiled in Toronto
    What were his views of the Rovers managers he played under?
    Kenny and Ray were magnificent.
    Roy Hodgson was a brilliant coach, and I learnt a lot from him. He had variety in his coaching and I’m trying to remember and use them now.
    Posted by: Exiled in Toronto
    What does Tony Parkes do?
    He worked closely with Ray coaching the team and his commitment to the club kept us up after Ray left.
    Posted by: colin
    Do you keep in touch with any of the Rovers' players from 1995?
    Al and Micky Newell. And I see Bill Mac everyday at training.
    I also see Mimmsey as well, as he’s also a keeper coach. At Wolves.
    I bump in to some of the other lads at games. Saw Jason at Leeds the other day.
    TRANSFERS
    Posted by: philipl
    He was frequently linked with a move to Old Trafford before he came to Ewood. Any regrets?
    I was never linked with United, but Liverpool came in for me at the same time as Rovers.
    And I didn’t need much convincing on which club to join as soon as I talked to Kenny.
    Posted by: Radaghast the Brown
    Was there any truth in the rumour that Celtic were interested in you before you joined Leicester?
    Celtic….Not that I know of.
    I was playing in the second string, when Kidd put me in the team to play Oldham a week before the start of the season. Martin O’Neill was at the game, so I guess he’d been talking to Rovers and wanted to see me playing. Next day I signed for Leicester.
    LEAVING ROVERS
    Posted by: Hasta
    In your opinion was the curtain brought down on your Ewood career prematurely?
    Posted by: Dr Rich
    Do you feel you deserved to lose your place to John Filan when you did, especially considering the fact that with all due respect to John, he's hardly been a massive success since?
    Posted by: Seggie
    Do you feel any Bitterness towards Brian Kidd for Ending your Rovers career prematurely?
    Posted by: colin
    Seriously, and sorry, this one may smart.....
    You seemed to go from being a championship-winning player to Stockport County's reserve keeper in a very short time. Do you feel you should have been in the big time for longer?
    (Good luck Tim, you were good.)
    Yes, I believe my time at Rovers was brought to a premature end, and that’s with no disrespect to John Filan. Managers have their opinions, so you have to accept it if your not first choice. Leaving Rovers was hard but there is never any point in hanging around if your not making any contribution to a team.
    PERSONAL
    Posted by: Nayef
    why did you decide to become a goalkeeper?
    As a kid I played striker and centre half, but my best position was in goal. I was determined to be a professional footballer, so when I was 12-13 I concentrated my game on being a keeper. I started playing for a Sunday league team and Wolves signed me from there.
    Posted by: Modi
    If you had your career over again, would you prefer to have been a goal scorer instead of a goal keeper?
    No, I’ve had a fantastic time and loads of fun along the way.
    Posted by: cn174
    When you was a youngster which goalkeepers were your role models?
    Liverpool were the team in my youth and Clements was the keeper to model on, then I signed for Southampton from Wolves, and Shilts another of my heroes was there, which was a great experience training with him.
    Posted by: roversismylife & cn174
    What was the best or most important save that you have ever pulled off?
    Great keeper for us.
    Tough one, the Newcastle game was very important for the team, so maybe during that game.
    Posted by: Parasyte
    If David Seaman wasnt such a good GK in his day, do you think you would have made a bigger impact on the English game as a whole, and not just your international career?
    Another tough one, I don’t know. Stepping up from the reserves to the first team, you have to have a run of games to establish yourself. It’s the same at international level. Something I never had. I got my 11 caps over a 6-7 year period.
    Posted by: ihatethedingles & Seggie
    What was your worst moment in a Rover's shirt?
    That we didn’t consolidate our position after the championship, looking back we should have strengthened the team and didn’t make an impact. If you look at the other clubs they have strengthened their squads after winning trophy’s.
    I didn’t like leaving Rovers the way I did either.
    Posted by: The Dart
    Does he think more ex-professionals should become referees?
    The laws are difficult these days and refs have a bad time, every thing they do is monitored by tv and from supervisors. If players want to be refs, then good luck to them, there would be less bookings if players were refs.
    Posted by: AlanK
    What was in Tim`s BOTTLE this Xmas
    The first Christmas that I haven’t played, so was able to have a bottle of wine with my Christmas dinner, Would have preferred to have missed the drink though and played against Al and Newcastle on Boxing day.
    Posted by: laughatthedingles
    Is it true you will need/already need/have had a hip replacement ? (My sister might be able to sort a cheapen out for you!) was this just caused by football?
    I have my operation in June, They sawed off a top of my leg, installed a metal peg into the bone. The peg is capped with half a metal ball, about the size of a tennis ball. Then it’s refitted into the hip. It will take about a year to get right. At least I don’t have so much pain now and can wellie a ball again.
    As for your sister, thanks for the offer, give Alan her telephone number, in case I need another op
    Posted by: laughatthedingles
    when are you coming back to rovers??
    (Thank you for everything you did "england's number 1, england's, england's number 1" )
    SATURDAY
    Posted by: Seggie
    What does it feel like to have the record for the fastest Red Card for a Premiership Goalkeeper?
    Thanks for that, it was against Brian Deane who is now at Leicester. He keeps reminding me, he says I wasn’t fast enough so why did I bother. I broke my big toe in the tackle, so it’s recovery coincided with the 3 match ban that I picked up.
    Posted by: Crunching Tackler & laughatthedingles
    who would you say are the 3 toughest opponents you've faced?
    So many, Al, Sherringham, Ferdinand, Ian Wright always gave me a bad time at Southampton, but not at Rovers.
    Teams, Brazil and Italy,
    Posted by: laughatthedingles
    who was the best player you have played with?
    Al, Matt le Tiss, Lennon, Heskey.
    Posted by: rover6
    Who was the best centre half you played behind?
    Colin, Henchoz Adams, Palister, oh and I better say Ruddock, or he’ll beat me up
    Posted by: Crunching Tackler
    Can you see yourself ever becoming a manager?
    Don’t know, but I wouldn’t rule it out. I’m currently enjoying my role coaching the keepers, but I’m also doing my UEFA coaching badges.
    Posted by: 1864roverite
    which pies he rates as the top 5
    Sylvia the cook at Rovers made some good pies.
    Barnsley pies where ok as well, they used to bring a big tray of them into the changing room.
    GOALKEEPERS
    Posted by: Tim Southampton Rover
    With the increase amount of foreign players playing in the Premier League, do you think England will struggle to produce world class goal keepers like we have done in previous years such as Shilton, Seaman and yourself?
    Posted by: Big A
    Only a small number of Premiership clubs have English goalkeepers now. Do you think this trend will continue to the detriment of the national team?
    No disrespect to non English keepers, but with limited English keepers getting premiership experience it doesn’t help. However there are a number of good English keepers about.
    Posted by: cn174
    The day after Higuita did the scorpion kick in the England v Colombia game did you try it in training?
    No I was never that supple, Not even with the new hip.
    Posted by: 92er
    How do you evaluate Brad Friedel-strengths and weaknesses?
    He has confidence, has a huge frame, can kick a mile, makes great saves and I don’t see any weakness.
    Posted by: Parasyte
    Buffon and Kahn - both always said to be the best GK's in the world. Who would you say is better and why?
    Would have to say on current performance Buffon. He’s young and a top class performer.
    Posted by: Seggie
    Who is the Number One Premiership Goalkeeper in your opinion?
    There are a number of good keepers in the premier, Friedel, Given at Newcastle, Niemi at Southampton and I was impressed on how Howard adjusted so quick to the premier league.
    Posted by: modes98
    What tips would he give to a young keeper who wants to improve his game?
    *my uncle was in Tim's year at school in kenilworth*
    Work hard, be determined and practice all the time. If possible get a coach.
    When I was a kid I used to practice on my own, kicking a ball against a tree or wall then diving to catch it.
    Posted by: Crunching Tackler
    whats the best thing about being a goal keeper?
    You get gloves to keep yourself warm in winter. And a tracksuit bottom.
    Posted by: Crunching Tackler
    What do you think is the most important attribute for goalkeepers?
    Stopping the ball. Keeping calm, concentration. Good foot work is very important in the game now.
    Posted by: Crunching Tackler
    Whats the best advice you've heard?
    Always work at your game. Take notice of experienced players and coaches.
    Upton my coach at Wolves always stressed work ethics as did Mike Kelly at Southampton, who coached me in to becoming a premiership and international keeper.
    Copyright www.brfcs.com 2004.

    Alan751363894574

    Tim Flowers

    By Alan751363894574, in Players,

    You may recall some time ago members of this site submitted a number of questions for our Championship winning keeper Tim Flowers, who is Saturday’s opponents, Leicester City’s goal keeping coach.
    Well this afternoon I had the pleasure of a long and lengthy conversation with Tim, when I submitted your questions.
    I edited the questions before hand in to subjects to avoid duplication and have transcribed Tim’s replies accordingly. Please excuse any spelling or grammatical errors, but it’s been an exciting day chatting to one of my all time Rover heroes.
    EVENTS AT ROVERS
    Posted by: Blueboy
    How does it make you feel to know that when you had the game of your life in 1995 against the geordies at ewood park - that a grown man was crying, 12,000 miles away in Australia because he knew that we were so close to the pinnacle of the worlds greatest league?
    It’s always fantastic to find out that you’ve contributed in giving back something to the supporters.
    Posted by: bellamy11
    Does he feel the Newcastle game on VE Day to be the best of his career?
    That’s a tough one, it’s difficult to say whether it was the best in my career, but it’s one that will live in my memory. I’ve played in a lot of games throughout my career, the memory of the Newcastle game being more about how crucial it was that we didn’t loose, than how I played.
    Posted by: Jordan
    (Does he feel the Newcastle game on VE Day to be the best of his career)
    If not what was the best moment of your career?
    Best moments, Anfield knowing we were Champions, getting my cap to play against Brazil and the Worthington Cup Final with Leicester. I had a Championship medal then getting to a Wembley Cup Final was a real bonus. Very few people get the opportunity to play in a Wembley final, so I was very fortunate.
    Posted by: DP
    Sky recently awarded a save of the decade award to Peter Schmeical. Do you think they completely forgot about the Newcastle VE day game or what? (the one that springs to mind for me was the stop from Ruel Fox near the end)
    Football is a game of opinions, everyone has different memories of events and judge things differently.
    Posted by: Radaghast the Brown
    What was the first thing to enter your mind when Redknapp's free kick flew past you on championship winning day? (I'' understand if the answer is a little too 'colourful' to print
    (As an aside, thanks for the memories, Tim )
    Oh, I could sense the worry from the fans behind me, kept thinking that after all the work that season it was slipping away. By rights we should have won the championship before going to Anfield and nearly threw it away. I kept sensing the crowd reaction, then the roar when the United result came through.
    In some ways I was glad that we lost, because of all the rumours that Liverpool were going to hand us the Championship.
    Posted by: colin
    That Collymore goal. Was the divot created by Tim to mark the centre of the goal or was it just created by normal play?
    I should have guessed that question, I used to mark the pitch out. Because the Darwen end doesn’t get as much sun, it gets muddier and a groove had developed in the pitch.
    EUROPE
    Posted by: Parasyte
    After the championship win, how dissapointed were you with the European venture?
    Very disappointed, Al, Micky Newell and myself had been on holiday that summer, and we were looking forward to the European games. Then loosing Kenny was a big blow. We were in a decent group and Spartak Moscow were a very good team, and we nearly got a last minute draw against Warsaw, which might have got us through to the quarter finals.
    TEAM & PERSONALITIES AT EWOOD.
    Posted by: Exiled in Toronto
    What really happened between his pal Shearer and Sutton, which resulted in Al not passing to Sutty in the last 3rd of the championship season?
    That’s new to me, us players never noticed anything, they were the perfect double act, you only have to look at their goal total in the championship season
    Posted by: DP
    The championship squad at Rovers was renouned for having a great team spirit. What went wrong?
    There was nothing wrong with team spirit, but heads do drop when your loosing. After Ray left, Tony took charge and we dug ourselves out, if there hadn’t been any team spirit we wouldn’t have.
    Posted by: laughatthedingles
    what was it like to know jack walker personally? what was he like?
    I cant say I knew him personally. But he was a magnificent man. He attended every game travelling from Jersey home and away, and it wasn’t because of his position at the club, he just came to watch the team. He was a normal bloke but very powerful man. When I joined the club, I called him Mr Walker and he told me, that if I didn’t call him Jack, then I might as well ###### off.
    We had some great nights out with him, he had a trick flicking coins into a glass, don’t know how he did it, but he used to bet us, how many he would get into the glass and won every time.
    Posted by: Exiled in Toronto
    What were his views of the Rovers managers he played under?
    Kenny and Ray were magnificent.
    Roy Hodgson was a brilliant coach, and I learnt a lot from him. He had variety in his coaching and I’m trying to remember and use them now.
    Posted by: Exiled in Toronto
    What does Tony Parkes do?
    He worked closely with Ray coaching the team and his commitment to the club kept us up after Ray left.
    Posted by: colin
    Do you keep in touch with any of the Rovers' players from 1995?
    Al and Micky Newell. And I see Bill Mac everyday at training.
    I also see Mimmsey as well, as he’s also a keeper coach. At Wolves.
    I bump in to some of the other lads at games. Saw Jason at Leeds the other day.
    TRANSFERS
    Posted by: philipl
    He was frequently linked with a move to Old Trafford before he came to Ewood. Any regrets?
    I was never linked with United, but Liverpool came in for me at the same time as Rovers.
    And I didn’t need much convincing on which club to join as soon as I talked to Kenny.
    Posted by: Radaghast the Brown
    Was there any truth in the rumour that Celtic were interested in you before you joined Leicester?
    Celtic….Not that I know of.
    I was playing in the second string, when Kidd put me in the team to play Oldham a week before the start of the season. Martin O’Neill was at the game, so I guess he’d been talking to Rovers and wanted to see me playing. Next day I signed for Leicester.
    LEAVING ROVERS
    Posted by: Hasta
    In your opinion was the curtain brought down on your Ewood career prematurely?
    Posted by: Dr Rich
    Do you feel you deserved to lose your place to John Filan when you did, especially considering the fact that with all due respect to John, he's hardly been a massive success since?
    Posted by: Seggie
    Do you feel any Bitterness towards Brian Kidd for Ending your Rovers career prematurely?
    Posted by: colin
    Seriously, and sorry, this one may smart.....
    You seemed to go from being a championship-winning player to Stockport County's reserve keeper in a very short time. Do you feel you should have been in the big time for longer?
    (Good luck Tim, you were good.)
    Yes, I believe my time at Rovers was brought to a premature end, and that’s with no disrespect to John Filan. Managers have their opinions, so you have to accept it if your not first choice. Leaving Rovers was hard but there is never any point in hanging around if your not making any contribution to a team.
    PERSONAL
    Posted by: Nayef
    why did you decide to become a goalkeeper?
    As a kid I played striker and centre half, but my best position was in goal. I was determined to be a professional footballer, so when I was 12-13 I concentrated my game on being a keeper. I started playing for a Sunday league team and Wolves signed me from there.
    Posted by: Modi
    If you had your career over again, would you prefer to have been a goal scorer instead of a goal keeper?
    No, I’ve had a fantastic time and loads of fun along the way.
    Posted by: cn174
    When you was a youngster which goalkeepers were your role models?
    Liverpool were the team in my youth and Clements was the keeper to model on, then I signed for Southampton from Wolves, and Shilts another of my heroes was there, which was a great experience training with him.
    Posted by: roversismylife & cn174
    What was the best or most important save that you have ever pulled off?
    Great keeper for us.
    Tough one, the Newcastle game was very important for the team, so maybe during that game.
    Posted by: Parasyte
    If David Seaman wasnt such a good GK in his day, do you think you would have made a bigger impact on the English game as a whole, and not just your international career?
    Another tough one, I don’t know. Stepping up from the reserves to the first team, you have to have a run of games to establish yourself. It’s the same at international level. Something I never had. I got my 11 caps over a 6-7 year period.
    Posted by: ihatethedingles & Seggie
    What was your worst moment in a Rover's shirt?
    That we didn’t consolidate our position after the championship, looking back we should have strengthened the team and didn’t make an impact. If you look at the other clubs they have strengthened their squads after winning trophy’s.
    I didn’t like leaving Rovers the way I did either.
    Posted by: The Dart
    Does he think more ex-professionals should become referees?
    The laws are difficult these days and refs have a bad time, every thing they do is monitored by tv and from supervisors. If players want to be refs, then good luck to them, there would be less bookings if players were refs.
    Posted by: AlanK
    What was in Tim`s BOTTLE this Xmas
    The first Christmas that I haven’t played, so was able to have a bottle of wine with my Christmas dinner, Would have preferred to have missed the drink though and played against Al and Newcastle on Boxing day.
    Posted by: laughatthedingles
    Is it true you will need/already need/have had a hip replacement ? (My sister might be able to sort a cheapen out for you!) was this just caused by football?
    I have my operation in June, They sawed off a top of my leg, installed a metal peg into the bone. The peg is capped with half a metal ball, about the size of a tennis ball. Then it’s refitted into the hip. It will take about a year to get right. At least I don’t have so much pain now and can wellie a ball again.
    As for your sister, thanks for the offer, give Alan her telephone number, in case I need another op
    Posted by: laughatthedingles
    when are you coming back to rovers??
    (Thank you for everything you did "england's number 1, england's, england's number 1" )
    SATURDAY
    Posted by: Seggie
    What does it feel like to have the record for the fastest Red Card for a Premiership Goalkeeper?
    Thanks for that, it was against Brian Deane who is now at Leicester. He keeps reminding me, he says I wasn’t fast enough so why did I bother. I broke my big toe in the tackle, so it’s recovery coincided with the 3 match ban that I picked up.
    Posted by: Crunching Tackler & laughatthedingles
    who would you say are the 3 toughest opponents you've faced?
    So many, Al, Sherringham, Ferdinand, Ian Wright always gave me a bad time at Southampton, but not at Rovers.
    Teams, Brazil and Italy,
    Posted by: laughatthedingles
    who was the best player you have played with?
    Al, Matt le Tiss, Lennon, Heskey.
    Posted by: rover6
    Who was the best centre half you played behind?
    Colin, Henchoz Adams, Palister, oh and I better say Ruddock, or he’ll beat me up
    Posted by: Crunching Tackler
    Can you see yourself ever becoming a manager?
    Don’t know, but I wouldn’t rule it out. I’m currently enjoying my role coaching the keepers, but I’m also doing my UEFA coaching badges.
    Posted by: 1864roverite
    which pies he rates as the top 5
    Sylvia the cook at Rovers made some good pies.
    Barnsley pies where ok as well, they used to bring a big tray of them into the changing room.
    GOALKEEPERS
    Posted by: Tim Southampton Rover
    With the increase amount of foreign players playing in the Premier League, do you think England will struggle to produce world class goal keepers like we have done in previous years such as Shilton, Seaman and yourself?
    Posted by: Big A
    Only a small number of Premiership clubs have English goalkeepers now. Do you think this trend will continue to the detriment of the national team?
    No disrespect to non English keepers, but with limited English keepers getting premiership experience it doesn’t help. However there are a number of good English keepers about.
    Posted by: cn174
    The day after Higuita did the scorpion kick in the England v Colombia game did you try it in training?
    No I was never that supple, Not even with the new hip.
    Posted by: 92er
    How do you evaluate Brad Friedel-strengths and weaknesses?
    He has confidence, has a huge frame, can kick a mile, makes great saves and I don’t see any weakness.
    Posted by: Parasyte
    Buffon and Kahn - both always said to be the best GK's in the world. Who would you say is better and why?
    Would have to say on current performance Buffon. He’s young and a top class performer.
    Posted by: Seggie
    Who is the Number One Premiership Goalkeeper in your opinion?
    There are a number of good keepers in the premier, Friedel, Given at Newcastle, Niemi at Southampton and I was impressed on how Howard adjusted so quick to the premier league.
    Posted by: modes98
    What tips would he give to a young keeper who wants to improve his game?
    *my uncle was in Tim's year at school in kenilworth*
    Work hard, be determined and practice all the time. If possible get a coach.
    When I was a kid I used to practice on my own, kicking a ball against a tree or wall then diving to catch it.
    Posted by: Crunching Tackler
    whats the best thing about being a goal keeper?
    You get gloves to keep yourself warm in winter. And a tracksuit bottom.
    Posted by: Crunching Tackler
    What do you think is the most important attribute for goalkeepers?
    Stopping the ball. Keeping calm, concentration. Good foot work is very important in the game now.
    Posted by: Crunching Tackler
    Whats the best advice you've heard?
    Always work at your game. Take notice of experienced players and coaches.
    Upton my coach at Wolves always stressed work ethics as did Mike Kelly at Southampton, who coached me in to becoming a premiership and international keeper.
    Copyright www.brfcs.com 2004.

    Paul

    Simon Garner Interview

    By Paul, in Players,

    AlanK
    I know he denies it in his book but did Simon have anything to do with the Burnley flypast?
    SG. No, but I know the people who were involved. I didn,t know about it until after the event. I laughed long, loud and hard. But it wasn't me.
    Oh, and can he remember talking to me at Cardiff last year?
    SG. Ah, so it was you! Er, no. Sorry.
    Steven
    1.What is the most memorable match you have played in?
    SG. Breaking the scoring record against Manchester City in 1989.
    2. Who was your biggest football influence?
    SG. My parents. They supported my ambitions and never once suggested I should think about a proper career.
    3. Who was the best striker you played alongside for Rovers?
    SG. Mike Newell he was an all-round performer and a generous, intelligent player.
    4. What do you think are the future prospects of the current Rovers side?
    SG. Very good. It's a bit of a cliché, but they do have a solid blend of youth and experience and, for my money, one of the best managers in the business.
    5. What is your biggest regret in your football career?
    SG. Not playing in the top flight for Blackburn.
    6. What is the most memorable goal that you scored for Rovers?
    SG. The record breaking goal against Manchester City. I hit it sweetly with my left foot into the top corner at the Blackburn End. It was the second of a hat-trick.
    7. Who was the best manager that you worked with at Rovers?
    SG. Bobby Saxton and Kenny Dalglish. Bobby managed to make us a genuine top-flight cntendors with no money. Kenny brought together some great players while also improving those he inherited.
    8. And who was the worst?
    SG. Jim Iley. He was a disaster.
    9. Who was the best character in the dressing room that you played alongside at Rovers, and why?
    SG. Mick Rathbone. His enthusiasm and humour were infectious.
    10.What do you really think of the standard of commentary and match analysis on Radio Rovers?
    SG. I can't receive it where I live, so I've never heard it.
    11.Who do you think will be the next emerging star to come out of the Academy.
    SG. From the reports I've had, Paul Gallacher is the man to watch.
    Baz
    Do you think you would have made it in football now and would you have coped with the demands of fitness and diet needed in today's game?
    SG. Basically yes, because you adapt to circumstances. But I doubt if I'd enjoyed the dietary element.
    Clare
    If you could have chosen any team, except Rovers, who would you have liked to play for?
    SG. Difficult one. I never had any real allegiance to a club as a child. How about England?
    Which current Premiership striker would you like to play with?
    SG. Alan Shearer. The best striker around, I think I'd have made him a lot of goals.
    Who was the best defender you played against?
    SG. Alan Hansen. A great all-round player, very difficult to get past, and he read the game very well.
    Chiswick_Col
    What gave you the most satisfaction:
    1) Scoring the winner at Turf Moor on Boxing Day, 1981
    2) Breaking the Rovers scoring record v Man City in 1989
    3) Scoring 5 v Derby in 1983
    4) Keeping a clean sheet when you kept goal against Ipswich (won 1-0)!
    SG. In order - 2, 1, 3, 4
    MC
    If Rovers were to offer you a job at the club and you could do anything you wanted would you take it? and if so, what would you like to do?
    SG. It'd be a bit difficult to commute from where I live! Staying in football has never been an ambition.
    Den
    I seem to remember you asking for a transfer at one stage. If that's true, what were your reasons, and why didn't a transfer materialise?
    SG. It's true. I thought I deserved a better contract than the one that was offered, considering the money coming into the club. But I eventually settled and the transfer didn't materialise.
    Colin
    How did you give up smoking?
    SG. With great difficulty. And a few cigars!
    Spencer
    Simon, after the testimonial - can you lend me a few quid?
    SG. Sure. But can you lend me a few quid now?
    Bob Fleming
    1. The team of the early - mid eighties did very, very well in my opinion considering that the club had no money at the time. In terms of team spirit at the club would you say that this was the over riding factor in this success?
    SG. Yes, you're right. We all stuck together - from the directors to the players to everyone concerned with the club.
    2. How close were Rovers to going out of business? It was touch and go by all accounts.
    SG. I don't know, but I guess it was pretty close. At one stage the players didnt get paid for a few weeks.
    3. Was Tony Finnigan insane?
    SG. Slightly. But dont tell him I said that.
    4. Who was the most consistent defender you came up against?
    SG. Steve Walsh, the ex-Leicester City defender. I played against him quite a bit and he was consistently a pain in the arse. And the ankles. A very tricky opponent.
    ABBEY
    Did Don Mackay ever catch you having a fag outside the ground just before kick off; i.e, when we chatted to you at Port Vale?
    SG. No. Nor at any other ground.
    Was it really you who messaged some of the members on here?
    SG. No. I cant work a computer. But I have one or two friends who can . . .
    Will you sign my Homer Simpson undies?
    SG. That depends. Are they clean?
    Can I have some of the royalties from your book as there is a photograph of me in it
    SG. Which picture?
    CAPT KAYOS
    What do you really think of Bumley?
    SG. I dont really think of Burnley at all.
    How did it feel when you scored against them?
    SG. Great. It's always good to score, but that's really special. Though they seemed to keep making it easy for me.
    Jim mk2
    1.Despite your goal-scoring record, you had a a lot of critics who said you were nothing better than a goal-hanger who could not play the game and had a poor technique. What do you say to them?
    SG. I dont think I was a goal-hanger. I made as many as I scored and I was never frightened to pass to someone in a good scoring position. As for technique, my meagre talents kept me in the professional game for 20 years.
    2. Your Rovers career ended in disappointment when Kenny Dalglish did not even put you on the bench for the Wembley play-off final in 1992. You had positive things to say about Dalglish in your overpriced book, but what do you really think of him?
    SG. I'm sorry you thought the book was overpriced. As for Kenny, he was a great player, a great manager and a great man. There were players in better form than me available on that day in 1992 and Kenny made the right decision. I had the next best thing by being one of the non-playing guys on the bench. I can honestly say it was one of the best days of my life.
    3. Do you think you would have been a better footballer if you had not smoked like a chimney and drunk like a navvy?
    SG. No. And while I've always enjoyed a drink, your description is over the top.
    4. Why did you never earn a big-money move to a First Division club? Do you think it was because you weren't good enough as a player or do you think managers wouldn't touch you because of your reputation for smoking and drinking?
    SG. It had nothing to do with my reputation, because I was hardly a bad boy. At that time, there were plenty of others around who might have looked after themselves a bit better. I thought I was good enough to play at the top level, but a deal never happened and that's life.
    5. Why do you think you deserve a second testimonial when some people might say that real Rovers legends such as Bryan Douglas and Ronnie Clayton, who earned more than 70 England caps between them, are far more deserving?
    SG. Those people may be right. I certainly wouldnt say they are less deserving than me, but that's not up to me. If anyone wanted to arrange a testimonial for Ronnie or Bryan, then I think that would be fantastic.
    6. What happened to the (good) money (compared with the man in street) you earned throughout your career? Did you blow it on fags and booze and having a good time with your mates?
    SG. No. On a mortgage, paying bills, bringing up my children. Like most people, I guess. And, again like most people, I like to socialise. Is that unusual?
    7. What happened to the money from your first testimonial? Did you blow it on fags and booze and having a good time with your mates (according to your book) rather than put it to one side for your retirement or to spend on your ex-wife and children?
    SG. I dont think you read the (overpriced) book properly. The majority went to my ex-wife.
    8. And talking about your ex-wife and children, do you think you would still be married if you had spent half as much time with them as you did living it up with your mates?
    SG. No, I wouldnt be married. It can be difficult spending as much time with people you'd like to when you work and, for the most part, live so far away. The reasons for that are, again, explained in my (overpriced) book. The connection you make is inaccurate and not relevant to the breakdown in my first marriage and, while I'm trying to answer honestly here, this is, with respect, a private matter.
    9. With reference to your time in jail, do you regret not paying your ex-wife the money she was owed as part of your divorce settlement, rather than (according to your book) blowing it on a Vauxhall Calibra and more good times with your mates?
    SG. Your presumption is again way off the mark, Jim, and I wonder how much of my (overpriced) book you actually read. I regret making the mistake which saw me go to prison. I didnt enjoy prison. It was a dreadful experience. My ex-wife received all the money she was due.
    10. Did you feel bitter when you saw multi-millionaires such as Jason McAteer, playing as if he could not care less in a Rovers shirt, when you gave the best years of your life to the Blackburn cause for a relative pittance? And if you don't feel bitter, why not? Most people would be.
    SG. More presumption, Jim. Please dont presume that my emotional make-up is the same as yours. Why should I feel bitter? I made a decent living (as you say earlier in question 6) during my career and had a brilliant time. As for Jason, I doubt he is a multi-millionaire. As for his attitude, I dont like to make sweeping judgements about people I dont know. That would make me look foolish. Wouldnt you agree?
    SteB
    What is your opinion of journalists ?
    SG. 99% are fine, but you always get the odd one who changes the words you say and then changes the meaning, which is worse still. I've only had one really bad experience, which I'd consider pretty good considering the number of times I've been interviewed.
    Did you always see eye to eye with the Rovers fans or did you find there were a few ungrateful whingers about ?
    SG. Again, 99% are fine but there's the odd one who would moan if it was free admission, free pies, free beer and Rovers were in the Champions League Final.
    Scotty
    I'd love to hear his opinions on the current squad too, especially about the Dunn saga, but I suspect he won't want to rock the boat before his testimonial.
    SG. I think the current squad is more than capable of holding their own. Perhaps Dunn needed a kick up the backside. It certainly appears to have worked, but I dont know the full story.
    Nelly bc
    What is your proudest moment for Rovers?
    SG. Breaking the scoring record.
    Moppy
    Taking Rovers out of the equation, which club did you most enjoy playing at?
    SG. Wycombe Wanderers. A fantastic style of play, a great manager, a lovely club and we did extremely well. I thoroughly enjoy going to Wycombe, which is near my home, and I am always made to feel welcome there.
    (Not sure if you will remember this)
    How did you feel when my dog got the ball off you during a training session in Witton Park, and how long did the ribbing last from the other players?
    SG. I've had a lot worse players than your dog take the ball off me. The ribbing lasted until I scored my next goal.
    Glenn
    Some of the current Rovers team have a reputation for enjoying a skinfull and can often be seen out and about in Blackburn. Some fans feel this has an adverse effect on their game. Do you think the fans should get off their back and leave them alone or has the modern game changed so much that your beer and fags training regime is no longer acceptable.
    SG. If players are performing on the pitch, they should be able to lead their own lives off it.
    In your book you mention befriending Helen Chamberlin, does her real life persona match her on screen one? Is she really that attractive close up and why haven't we seen you on the coach with her and Tim ?
    SG. Yes, she is. I've been on the couch once before and I'm waiting for another invitation.
    If you could bring one current Premiership player to Rovers, who would it be and why?
    SG. Alan Shearer. He's the best player of the Premiership era without exception, still absolutely deadly and a great leader on the pitch.
    Glenn/cont'd
    You have kindly been the first interviewee for this feature, given your knowledge of people connected with Rovers past and present, who do you feel would make an interesting interview and who do you feel would welcome such questioning ?
    SG. Ronnie Clayton must have some great stories to tell.
    You disclaimed any connection with the flypast many times now, but do you know how your name got linked with it in the first place?
    SG. Because I knew some of the people involved in it.
    FourLaneBlue
    Was there ever a time when it seemed likely that a top- flight side would sign you? What was the closest you came to leaving Rovers for one of the bigger clubs of the time or did those clubs just have a look but decide not to bite?
    SG. I was always told by the club that if someone wanted me, then they,d tell me. But I was also under contract and in my day, players tended to honour their contracts. I don't know if there was anything ever going on in the background.
    Alan75
    During your period at Rovers you would have seen many players come and go. Many of whom have been like yourself fans favourites, however unlike yourself many of these left of their own accord, one of which was Colin Hendry. During his latter period with the club he became known as Mr Rovers. Is this a true reflection that he was a Mr Rovers or was it just due to his committment on the pitch.
    SG. As far as I'm concerned he gave everything to Rovers during his time with the club.
    Is there any truth in the rumours that Colin gave a certain player a good thumping for lack of attitude and effort?
    SG. I've not heard that before, so I doubt it.
    During your period at the club, which player was the best on and off the pitch, not so much for his playing ability but for his leadership, and who was the best captain you played under?
    SG. Faz. Faz. And, for the third part, Faz.
    In years past due to Rovers finances, Rovers brought a number of players through from the youth squad, e.g Bailey, Bradshaw, Hird, Barker and now due to the transfer window we are starting to get youngsters thrown again into the first team, McEveley, Gallagher. Do you think the influx of foreign players have restricted the opportunities for youngsters to gain first team experience, and do you think the transfer window has been a benefit to the youngsters.
    SG. I dont think the influx has really restricted opportunities at Blackburn in the ways they certainly have with, for example, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea. As for the second part of the question, I dont think anything much has changed.
    Bluetooth
    Does Simon Garner ever ring up the Rovers boss to offer his advice?
    SG. No. Are you kidding?
    Does the boss ever listen?
    SG. Graeme is his own man.
    Den
    If you were given the chance to start all over again, is there anything you would do differently?
    SG. No. It was great. I've been very, very lucky to have the opportunities to fulfil my ambitions. By and large, I did just that.
    Alex sci fi
    How peed off were you with Super Atko for ruining your moment of glory by scoring that OG in the last minute against Liverpool in the FA cup after it looked like you'd scored the winner? Considering that took away the chance to see your name plastered over the morning papers and that it was entirely his mistake, what did you and the other players say to him after the match?
    SG. Not at all. All players make mistakes. I've missed chances to win games, but it's not something you do on purpose. As a team you stick together through thick and thin. And in football, there's usually more thin.
    In your book you say that contrary to popular rumour you didn't have a Rovers shirt under your WBA one when you scored against Burnley. I really thought that was true and was gutted when you said it wasn't. As that rumour was always taken as the truth have you any idea how the rumour started and what did you actually do for the celebration considering it was in front of the Burnley fans?
    SG. I wish I'd thought of it, to be honest, because it's a top idea! I was told by my chairman not to celebrate if I scored, but I couldnt resist. I just stood there gloating!
    Billinge End Blue
    I never got to the shop but how well did Roccoco in Feniscowles do in competition with Roy Marlor's, Originals and Pelle before the blaggings affected business? Do you reckon the dresser gear of the late eighties/early nineties compares favourably with today's sports casual look?
    SG. The shop did OK, but the gear today is much better.
    Do you ever meet up socially with the likes of Simon Barker, Mark Patterson or your fellow Telegraph columnist Glen Keeley these days?
    SG. No, because we all live so far apart, but I hope to see them all at my testimonial game.
    Might other players from your era be involved on the pitch in your game in May (perhaps as subs)? A glimpse of a strike partnership of John Lowey and Andy Cole would be intriguing.
    SG. I know the testimonial committee is exploring a number of as yet unannounced avenues to make it a fantastic day out for me, the players and the fans. They'll let you know, I'm sure.
    © BRFCS.com
    Prepared by Paul

    Paul

    Simon Garner Interview

    By Paul, in Players,

    AlanK
    I know he denies it in his book but did Simon have anything to do with the Burnley flypast?
    SG. No, but I know the people who were involved. I didn,t know about it until after the event. I laughed long, loud and hard. But it wasn't me.
    Oh, and can he remember talking to me at Cardiff last year?
    SG. Ah, so it was you! Er, no. Sorry.
    Steven
    1.What is the most memorable match you have played in?
    SG. Breaking the scoring record against Manchester City in 1989.
    2. Who was your biggest football influence?
    SG. My parents. They supported my ambitions and never once suggested I should think about a proper career.
    3. Who was the best striker you played alongside for Rovers?
    SG. Mike Newell he was an all-round performer and a generous, intelligent player.
    4. What do you think are the future prospects of the current Rovers side?
    SG. Very good. It's a bit of a cliché, but they do have a solid blend of youth and experience and, for my money, one of the best managers in the business.
    5. What is your biggest regret in your football career?
    SG. Not playing in the top flight for Blackburn.
    6. What is the most memorable goal that you scored for Rovers?
    SG. The record breaking goal against Manchester City. I hit it sweetly with my left foot into the top corner at the Blackburn End. It was the second of a hat-trick.
    7. Who was the best manager that you worked with at Rovers?
    SG. Bobby Saxton and Kenny Dalglish. Bobby managed to make us a genuine top-flight cntendors with no money. Kenny brought together some great players while also improving those he inherited.
    8. And who was the worst?
    SG. Jim Iley. He was a disaster.
    9. Who was the best character in the dressing room that you played alongside at Rovers, and why?
    SG. Mick Rathbone. His enthusiasm and humour were infectious.
    10.What do you really think of the standard of commentary and match analysis on Radio Rovers?
    SG. I can't receive it where I live, so I've never heard it.
    11.Who do you think will be the next emerging star to come out of the Academy.
    SG. From the reports I've had, Paul Gallacher is the man to watch.
    Baz
    Do you think you would have made it in football now and would you have coped with the demands of fitness and diet needed in today's game?
    SG. Basically yes, because you adapt to circumstances. But I doubt if I'd enjoyed the dietary element.
    Clare
    If you could have chosen any team, except Rovers, who would you have liked to play for?
    SG. Difficult one. I never had any real allegiance to a club as a child. How about England?
    Which current Premiership striker would you like to play with?
    SG. Alan Shearer. The best striker around, I think I'd have made him a lot of goals.
    Who was the best defender you played against?
    SG. Alan Hansen. A great all-round player, very difficult to get past, and he read the game very well.
    Chiswick_Col
    What gave you the most satisfaction:
    1) Scoring the winner at Turf Moor on Boxing Day, 1981
    2) Breaking the Rovers scoring record v Man City in 1989
    3) Scoring 5 v Derby in 1983
    4) Keeping a clean sheet when you kept goal against Ipswich (won 1-0)!
    SG. In order - 2, 1, 3, 4
    MC
    If Rovers were to offer you a job at the club and you could do anything you wanted would you take it? and if so, what would you like to do?
    SG. It'd be a bit difficult to commute from where I live! Staying in football has never been an ambition.
    Den
    I seem to remember you asking for a transfer at one stage. If that's true, what were your reasons, and why didn't a transfer materialise?
    SG. It's true. I thought I deserved a better contract than the one that was offered, considering the money coming into the club. But I eventually settled and the transfer didn't materialise.
    Colin
    How did you give up smoking?
    SG. With great difficulty. And a few cigars!
    Spencer
    Simon, after the testimonial - can you lend me a few quid?
    SG. Sure. But can you lend me a few quid now?
    Bob Fleming
    1. The team of the early - mid eighties did very, very well in my opinion considering that the club had no money at the time. In terms of team spirit at the club would you say that this was the over riding factor in this success?
    SG. Yes, you're right. We all stuck together - from the directors to the players to everyone concerned with the club.
    2. How close were Rovers to going out of business? It was touch and go by all accounts.
    SG. I don't know, but I guess it was pretty close. At one stage the players didnt get paid for a few weeks.
    3. Was Tony Finnigan insane?
    SG. Slightly. But dont tell him I said that.
    4. Who was the most consistent defender you came up against?
    SG. Steve Walsh, the ex-Leicester City defender. I played against him quite a bit and he was consistently a pain in the arse. And the ankles. A very tricky opponent.
    ABBEY
    Did Don Mackay ever catch you having a fag outside the ground just before kick off; i.e, when we chatted to you at Port Vale?
    SG. No. Nor at any other ground.
    Was it really you who messaged some of the members on here?
    SG. No. I cant work a computer. But I have one or two friends who can . . .
    Will you sign my Homer Simpson undies?
    SG. That depends. Are they clean?
    Can I have some of the royalties from your book as there is a photograph of me in it
    SG. Which picture?
    CAPT KAYOS
    What do you really think of Bumley?
    SG. I dont really think of Burnley at all.
    How did it feel when you scored against them?
    SG. Great. It's always good to score, but that's really special. Though they seemed to keep making it easy for me.
    Jim mk2
    1.Despite your goal-scoring record, you had a a lot of critics who said you were nothing better than a goal-hanger who could not play the game and had a poor technique. What do you say to them?
    SG. I dont think I was a goal-hanger. I made as many as I scored and I was never frightened to pass to someone in a good scoring position. As for technique, my meagre talents kept me in the professional game for 20 years.
    2. Your Rovers career ended in disappointment when Kenny Dalglish did not even put you on the bench for the Wembley play-off final in 1992. You had positive things to say about Dalglish in your overpriced book, but what do you really think of him?
    SG. I'm sorry you thought the book was overpriced. As for Kenny, he was a great player, a great manager and a great man. There were players in better form than me available on that day in 1992 and Kenny made the right decision. I had the next best thing by being one of the non-playing guys on the bench. I can honestly say it was one of the best days of my life.
    3. Do you think you would have been a better footballer if you had not smoked like a chimney and drunk like a navvy?
    SG. No. And while I've always enjoyed a drink, your description is over the top.
    4. Why did you never earn a big-money move to a First Division club? Do you think it was because you weren't good enough as a player or do you think managers wouldn't touch you because of your reputation for smoking and drinking?
    SG. It had nothing to do with my reputation, because I was hardly a bad boy. At that time, there were plenty of others around who might have looked after themselves a bit better. I thought I was good enough to play at the top level, but a deal never happened and that's life.
    5. Why do you think you deserve a second testimonial when some people might say that real Rovers legends such as Bryan Douglas and Ronnie Clayton, who earned more than 70 England caps between them, are far more deserving?
    SG. Those people may be right. I certainly wouldnt say they are less deserving than me, but that's not up to me. If anyone wanted to arrange a testimonial for Ronnie or Bryan, then I think that would be fantastic.
    6. What happened to the (good) money (compared with the man in street) you earned throughout your career? Did you blow it on fags and booze and having a good time with your mates?
    SG. No. On a mortgage, paying bills, bringing up my children. Like most people, I guess. And, again like most people, I like to socialise. Is that unusual?
    7. What happened to the money from your first testimonial? Did you blow it on fags and booze and having a good time with your mates (according to your book) rather than put it to one side for your retirement or to spend on your ex-wife and children?
    SG. I dont think you read the (overpriced) book properly. The majority went to my ex-wife.
    8. And talking about your ex-wife and children, do you think you would still be married if you had spent half as much time with them as you did living it up with your mates?
    SG. No, I wouldnt be married. It can be difficult spending as much time with people you'd like to when you work and, for the most part, live so far away. The reasons for that are, again, explained in my (overpriced) book. The connection you make is inaccurate and not relevant to the breakdown in my first marriage and, while I'm trying to answer honestly here, this is, with respect, a private matter.
    9. With reference to your time in jail, do you regret not paying your ex-wife the money she was owed as part of your divorce settlement, rather than (according to your book) blowing it on a Vauxhall Calibra and more good times with your mates?
    SG. Your presumption is again way off the mark, Jim, and I wonder how much of my (overpriced) book you actually read. I regret making the mistake which saw me go to prison. I didnt enjoy prison. It was a dreadful experience. My ex-wife received all the money she was due.
    10. Did you feel bitter when you saw multi-millionaires such as Jason McAteer, playing as if he could not care less in a Rovers shirt, when you gave the best years of your life to the Blackburn cause for a relative pittance? And if you don't feel bitter, why not? Most people would be.
    SG. More presumption, Jim. Please dont presume that my emotional make-up is the same as yours. Why should I feel bitter? I made a decent living (as you say earlier in question 6) during my career and had a brilliant time. As for Jason, I doubt he is a multi-millionaire. As for his attitude, I dont like to make sweeping judgements about people I dont know. That would make me look foolish. Wouldnt you agree?
    SteB
    What is your opinion of journalists ?
    SG. 99% are fine, but you always get the odd one who changes the words you say and then changes the meaning, which is worse still. I've only had one really bad experience, which I'd consider pretty good considering the number of times I've been interviewed.
    Did you always see eye to eye with the Rovers fans or did you find there were a few ungrateful whingers about ?
    SG. Again, 99% are fine but there's the odd one who would moan if it was free admission, free pies, free beer and Rovers were in the Champions League Final.
    Scotty
    I'd love to hear his opinions on the current squad too, especially about the Dunn saga, but I suspect he won't want to rock the boat before his testimonial.
    SG. I think the current squad is more than capable of holding their own. Perhaps Dunn needed a kick up the backside. It certainly appears to have worked, but I dont know the full story.
    Nelly bc
    What is your proudest moment for Rovers?
    SG. Breaking the scoring record.
    Moppy
    Taking Rovers out of the equation, which club did you most enjoy playing at?
    SG. Wycombe Wanderers. A fantastic style of play, a great manager, a lovely club and we did extremely well. I thoroughly enjoy going to Wycombe, which is near my home, and I am always made to feel welcome there.
    (Not sure if you will remember this)
    How did you feel when my dog got the ball off you during a training session in Witton Park, and how long did the ribbing last from the other players?
    SG. I've had a lot worse players than your dog take the ball off me. The ribbing lasted until I scored my next goal.
    Glenn
    Some of the current Rovers team have a reputation for enjoying a skinfull and can often be seen out and about in Blackburn. Some fans feel this has an adverse effect on their game. Do you think the fans should get off their back and leave them alone or has the modern game changed so much that your beer and fags training regime is no longer acceptable.
    SG. If players are performing on the pitch, they should be able to lead their own lives off it.
    In your book you mention befriending Helen Chamberlin, does her real life persona match her on screen one? Is she really that attractive close up and why haven't we seen you on the coach with her and Tim ?
    SG. Yes, she is. I've been on the couch once before and I'm waiting for another invitation.
    If you could bring one current Premiership player to Rovers, who would it be and why?
    SG. Alan Shearer. He's the best player of the Premiership era without exception, still absolutely deadly and a great leader on the pitch.
    Glenn/cont'd
    You have kindly been the first interviewee for this feature, given your knowledge of people connected with Rovers past and present, who do you feel would make an interesting interview and who do you feel would welcome such questioning ?
    SG. Ronnie Clayton must have some great stories to tell.
    You disclaimed any connection with the flypast many times now, but do you know how your name got linked with it in the first place?
    SG. Because I knew some of the people involved in it.
    FourLaneBlue
    Was there ever a time when it seemed likely that a top- flight side would sign you? What was the closest you came to leaving Rovers for one of the bigger clubs of the time or did those clubs just have a look but decide not to bite?
    SG. I was always told by the club that if someone wanted me, then they,d tell me. But I was also under contract and in my day, players tended to honour their contracts. I don't know if there was anything ever going on in the background.
    Alan75
    During your period at Rovers you would have seen many players come and go. Many of whom have been like yourself fans favourites, however unlike yourself many of these left of their own accord, one of which was Colin Hendry. During his latter period with the club he became known as Mr Rovers. Is this a true reflection that he was a Mr Rovers or was it just due to his committment on the pitch.
    SG. As far as I'm concerned he gave everything to Rovers during his time with the club.
    Is there any truth in the rumours that Colin gave a certain player a good thumping for lack of attitude and effort?
    SG. I've not heard that before, so I doubt it.
    During your period at the club, which player was the best on and off the pitch, not so much for his playing ability but for his leadership, and who was the best captain you played under?
    SG. Faz. Faz. And, for the third part, Faz.
    In years past due to Rovers finances, Rovers brought a number of players through from the youth squad, e.g Bailey, Bradshaw, Hird, Barker and now due to the transfer window we are starting to get youngsters thrown again into the first team, McEveley, Gallagher. Do you think the influx of foreign players have restricted the opportunities for youngsters to gain first team experience, and do you think the transfer window has been a benefit to the youngsters.
    SG. I dont think the influx has really restricted opportunities at Blackburn in the ways they certainly have with, for example, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea. As for the second part of the question, I dont think anything much has changed.
    Bluetooth
    Does Simon Garner ever ring up the Rovers boss to offer his advice?
    SG. No. Are you kidding?
    Does the boss ever listen?
    SG. Graeme is his own man.
    Den
    If you were given the chance to start all over again, is there anything you would do differently?
    SG. No. It was great. I've been very, very lucky to have the opportunities to fulfil my ambitions. By and large, I did just that.
    Alex sci fi
    How peed off were you with Super Atko for ruining your moment of glory by scoring that OG in the last minute against Liverpool in the FA cup after it looked like you'd scored the winner? Considering that took away the chance to see your name plastered over the morning papers and that it was entirely his mistake, what did you and the other players say to him after the match?
    SG. Not at all. All players make mistakes. I've missed chances to win games, but it's not something you do on purpose. As a team you stick together through thick and thin. And in football, there's usually more thin.
    In your book you say that contrary to popular rumour you didn't have a Rovers shirt under your WBA one when you scored against Burnley. I really thought that was true and was gutted when you said it wasn't. As that rumour was always taken as the truth have you any idea how the rumour started and what did you actually do for the celebration considering it was in front of the Burnley fans?
    SG. I wish I'd thought of it, to be honest, because it's a top idea! I was told by my chairman not to celebrate if I scored, but I couldnt resist. I just stood there gloating!
    Billinge End Blue
    I never got to the shop but how well did Roccoco in Feniscowles do in competition with Roy Marlor's, Originals and Pelle before the blaggings affected business? Do you reckon the dresser gear of the late eighties/early nineties compares favourably with today's sports casual look?
    SG. The shop did OK, but the gear today is much better.
    Do you ever meet up socially with the likes of Simon Barker, Mark Patterson or your fellow Telegraph columnist Glen Keeley these days?
    SG. No, because we all live so far apart, but I hope to see them all at my testimonial game.
    Might other players from your era be involved on the pitch in your game in May (perhaps as subs)? A glimpse of a strike partnership of John Lowey and Andy Cole would be intriguing.
    SG. I know the testimonial committee is exploring a number of as yet unannounced avenues to make it a fantastic day out for me, the players and the fans. They'll let you know, I'm sure.
    © BRFCS.com
    Prepared by Paul

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