David Dunn

3.3968891119514 (1993)
Posted by sonny 04/15/2009 @ 03:10

Tags : david dunn, soccer players, soccer, sports

News headlines
Mark Sanchez, Kellen Clemens' Agent Caught in the Middle of Jets ... - Bleacher Report
by Joe Ciolli (Scribe) Upon first glance, agent David Dunn might seem like one of the most fortunate men on the planet. After all, the New York Jets traded up to the five spot in last month's NFL draft to select his highly coveted client Mark Sanchez,...
On Abortion, Obama Is Drawn Into Debate He Hoped to Avoid - New York Times
Mr. Obama's communications adviser, Anita Dunn, said in an interview that the president was likely to “make reference to the controversy” in his speech on Sunday. “You can't ignore it,” Ms. Dunn said, “but at the same time, you can't allow it to become...
Dunn eyes new Rovers deal - SkySports
Blackburn midfielder David Dunn has admitted he hopes to extend his stay at Ewood Park. Dunn's current contract expires in 2010 and he has invited the club to offer him a new deal. The injury-plagued star insists he is in no rush to sort out his future...
Gibson Dunn, O'Melveny, Skadden on AMD / Intel Antitrust Dispute - The American Lawyer
In the US, AMD is being advised by an O'Melveny team that includes Washington, DC partners Henry Thumann and David Beddow; in Century City, partners Charles Diamond, Linda Smith and Bo Pearl; in Los Angeles, partners David Herron, Michael Maddigan,...
” -- Jets quarterback Kellen Clemens - ESPN
It'll be good." The two quarterbacks had met previously because they share the same agent, David Dunn. That could be a potentially sticky situation when Dunn is negotiating Sanchez's contract, playing one client against the other....
Brunswick considers recycling, water issues - Frederick News Post (subscription)
Thurmont improved its recycling rate from 15 percent to 30 percent when mandatory recycling was imposed last year, said David Dunn, Brunswick city administrator. Brunswick has modeled its proposed mandatory recycling ordinance on Thurmont 's....
David Dunn-Rankin column - Sun newspapers
"The Florida Report is a reasonably good collection of headlined stories from around the state. The Northern Report, which also has headlined stories, is also pretty good, but is that section's editor unaware that from here, even Georgia, Alabama,...
'Let there be light': Camera is hooked up for Hubble - Deseret News
By Marcia Dunn AP CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A pair of spacewalking astronauts overpowered a stubborn bolt and successfully installed a new piano-size camera in the Hubble Space Telescope on Thursday, the first step to making the observatory better than...
Hotel staff find home away from home in Muskoka - Muskokan
“It's fairly new, so we gotta set the A-class standard right now,” says David Dunn, a slim 24-year-old with a wide smile, who works in the housekeeping department at Red Leaves. When he left his job at the five-star Royal Plantation resort, Dunn saw...
David Bain had 'acute stress reaction' - Otago Daily Times
Joanna Dunn told the court her family had a visit from the Bain family in 1978. When she and Margaret Bain were on their own, Margaret told her that she was worried about her husband Robin. She said his depression was so extensive and was hard to...

David Dunn

David Dunn Blackburn Rovers.jpg

David John Ian Dunn (born 27 December 1979 in Great Harwood, Lancashire) is an English footballer who currently plays for Blackburn Rovers.

Dunn initially joined Blackburn Rovers as a trainee at the beginning of 1997 and made his debut during a goalless draw with Everton on September 26, 1998. Dunn came off the bench after 70 minutes, but was taken off again on 81 minutes, due to the sending off of a Blackburn player. Whilst Dunn was a trainee at Blackburn he cleaned former Rovers keeper Christian McCrone's boots.

Dunn's first goal came in a 3-1 victory against Aston Villa on February 26, 1999, but the team was subsequently relegated in this, his first full season.

His best season in a Blackburn shirt would appear to be 2000-01, when he played a big role in helping the club to automatic promotion from Division 1. He reached double figures in terms of goals, and continued his good form in 2001-02 when the club won the League Cup.

Dunn starred in Rovers return to the Premier League, putting in a string of impressive performances, notably in the 7-1 battering of West Ham and the thrilling 3-3 draw at Arsenal, where he managed to score two goals, one a last minute equalizer. Many pundits demanded he gain international recognition for his fantastic form, so it was a surprise when he was overlooked by then-England manager Sven-Göran Eriksson for many friendlies.

Dunn was at one time dubbed "the New Gazza", a testament to his flair and technical ability. A string of fine performances in 2001 put Dunn in contention for a call-up to the England squad, but he did not win his first cap until September 2002, when he replaced Kieron Dyer. He impressed against Portugal but has not been given another chance on the big stage since.

Dunn began the 2002/2003 season in dazzling form but a loss of form and being made to play on the right wing did not help his cause and he fell out with then-Blackburn manager Graeme Souness. Subsequently, Dunn was ready to move on to another club in the summer of 2003.

Blackburn initially rejected offers from a number of clubs, but Birmingham's revised bid of £5.5 million was accepted, and Dunn moved to the West Midlands in time for the start of the 2003-04 season.

After signing a four-year contract, Dunn's Birmingham career started brightly with a debut goal in the 1-0 victory over Tottenham on 16 August 2003.

A niggling hamstring sustained in February 2004 meant that Dunn spent much of the second half of that season on the sidelines. The beginning of 2004-05 again saw Dunn quickly re-establishing himself in the heart of the Birmingham midfield and chipping in with some vital goals. A recurrence of Dunn's hamstring problems in November 2004 limited him to just a handful of performances for the remainder of 2004-05 and kept him out of the side until midway through 2005-06.

Ultimately, Birmingham were relegated from the Premier League with Dunn still not returning to fitness.

In October 2006, Dunn was linked with a return to Blackburn in the upcoming transfer window. However, both Dunn and Rovers manager Mark Hughes denied this.

In January 2007, Dunn looked set to return to Lancashire in a transfer to Bolton after manager Sam Allardyce negotiated a fee for the midfielder, but on January 17, it was revealed that Dunn had turned his back on Bolton, having already passed his medical, in favour of a return to hometown club Blackburn for an undisclosed fee believed to be £2.2million. Sam Allardyce was "extremely disappointed" by the move.

He managed to play a small part in the remainder of the 2006/2007 season and managed to earn a free kick against Sheffield United which led to Rovers scoring a last minute winner. Incredibly, Sheffield United would have avoided relegation had they managed to earn one more point that season.

Dunn has the nickname 'sick note' because he is always injured or something is stopping him from playing. However in the 2007/2008 season he surprised former clubs, managers and fans alike by playing well over 30 games for Rovers.

Dunn has one daughter, Mia, with his ex-fiancee, Emmerdale actress Sammy Winward.

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David Dunn (Governor)

David Dunn (January 17, 1811 – February 17, 1894) was an American Democratic politician and lawyer. He served as acting Governor of Maine in 1884.

David Dunn was born in Cornish, Maine on January 17, 1811.

Dunn studied law under then future Governor, "Squire" John Fairfield, of Saco. He was admitted to the bar in 1833 and shortly thereafter opened up a practice at Poland Corner.

He represented the town of Poland in the Maine House of Representatives from 1840 to 1844 and was Speaker in 1843 and 1844. In that capacity Dunn served for three days as acting Governor in 1844 when President of the Senate, Edward Kavanagh, resigned as acting Governor.

The game of political musical chairs continued with Dunn resigning and the new President of the Senate, John W. Dana, acting as Governor until newly elected Hugh J. Anderson was sworn in.

In 1845 Dunn was elected to the Maine Senate and served as its President following the resignation of Stephen Chase of Fryeburg in 1846.

A nineteenth century writer compiling short biographies of the leading citizens of Poland referred to Dunn as: "an ardent Democrat, to which party he still adheres with a tenacity seldom witnessed." Dunn was rewarded for his tenacity by the Buchanan administration which appointed him to a Clerkship in the Post Office in Washington, D.C., which he held from 1857 to 1861.

Following his return to Maine he practiced law in Mechanic Falls. He died on February 17, 1894 at the age of eighty-three.

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David Dunn (American football)

David Dunn (born June 10, 1972 in San Diego, California) is a former American football wide receiver and return specialist in the National Football League. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the fifth round of the 1995 NFL Draft. He played college football at Fresno State.

Dunn also played for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, and Oakland Raiders.

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Graeme Souness

Graeme James Souness (pronounced /ˈsuːnɨs/) (born 6 May 1953 in Edinburgh) is a Scottish former professional football player and manager. He is perhaps best known as the former captain of the successful Liverpool team of the early 1980s, and as a manager notably with Rangers, Liverpool, Benfica, Galatasaray, Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United.

Souness was born on the same day (6 May 1953) and in the same city (Edinburgh) as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. He was raised in the Saughton Mains area of Edinburgh. As with other tough-tackling Scottish midfielders such as Dave Mackay and Billy Bremner, journalists have regularly attributed Souness's rumbustious playing style to his modest upbringing. As a teenager Souness played for local boys club North Merchiston.

Souness's career began as an apprentice at Tottenham Hotspur under Bill Nicholson. He signed professional forms as a 15 year-old in 1968. Frustrated at a lack of first team opportunities, the teenage Souness reputedly informed Nicholson that he was the best player at the club. Souness made one solitary appearance for Spurs in the UEFA cup as a substitute.

During the summer of 1972, Souness played in the North American Soccer League for the Montreal Olympique. He appeared in 10 of his team’s 14 games, and was named in the league’s All-Star team for that season.

Back in England, Souness had played just once for Spurs prior to a £30,000 move to Middlesbrough in 1972. His debut came on 6 January 1973 in a 2-1 league defeat to Fulham at Craven Cottage. His first goal came on 11 December 1973 in a 3-0 league victory over Preston North End at Ayresome Park.

Souness's tenacious style began to garner increasing acclaim during his time at Middlesbrough. His first season saw Middlesbrough finish fourth, two places and 14 points short of promotion. In May 1973, the recently retired Jack Charlton was appointed to his first managerial post. Promotion as champions of the Second Division followed. Souness's growing influence was demonstrated in a hat-trick in the season's final fixture, an 8-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday.

Souness's playing career is best remembered for his seven seasons at Liverpool, where he won five League Championships, three European Cups and four League Cups.

His time at Anfield began in 1978 as a replacement for veteran Ian Callaghan. After winning his first European Cup in 1977, Liverpool manager Bob Paisley sought reinforcements by signing three Scottish players, all of whom were to contribute substantially to further success. Central defender Alan Hansen arrived from Partick Thistle for £110,000. Kenny Dalglish - an established Scottish international - signed from Celtic for a then British record fee of £440,000. Souness formed the final part of the Scottish triumvirate, leaving Middlesbrough in acrimonious circumstances for a club-record fee of £350,000 on 10 January 1978.

Souness's Liverpool debut came in a 1-0 league victory over West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns on 14 January 1978. His first goal - a characteristic volley just inside the penalty box, eventually awarded fans' goal of the season - came in a 3-1 win over bitter rivals Manchester United at Anfield on 25 February 1978.

Souness played a critical role in Liverpool's retention of the European Cup against FC Bruges at Wembley, providing the pass for Dalglish to score the game's only goal.

Sustained success followed. Souness's first League title medals were won in seasons 1978-79 and 1979-80. A second European Cup medal for Souness arrived in 1981 with a 1-0 victory over Real Madrid - the culmination of a campaign in which Souness scored a hat-trick in the quarter-final against CSKA Sofia.

This burst of success prompted Paisley to award Souness the club captaincy for season 1981-82, to the chagrin of the incumbent Phil Thompson. Under Souness's captaincy, two trophies followed as Liverpool regained the League championship and retained the League Cup - trophies that were successfully defended in season 1982-83. Souness relinquished his right as captain to lift the League Cup at Wembley after the 2-1 win over Manchester United in 1983, insisting that Paisley collected the trophy in his retirement season.

In 1983-84, Souness lifted three trophies as Liverpool again retained the League title and League Cup, with Souness scoring the winning goal in the replayed final of the latter against rivals Everton. The European Cup was regained after a penalty shoot-out win over AS Roma, with Souness scoring one of the penalties in the shootout.

Souness's Liverpool career ended in 1984 after 358 appearances and 56 goals.

Souness left Liverpool in 1984, joining Unione Calcio Sampdoria SpA for a fee of £650,000. Souness and England international Trevor Francis - a player at the Genoa-based club since 1982 - added experience to an emerging group of future Italian internationals, including Roberto Mancini, Pietro Vierchowod and Gianluca Vialli. In his first season, Sampdoria won the Coppa Italia with a 3-1 victory over Serie A rivals AC Milan, securing the trophy for the first time in the club's history.

Souness's career in Italy ended in 1986 as he took up the position of player-manager at Rangers.

While a Middlesbrough player, Souness received his first international cap for Scotland on 30 October 1974 in a 3-0 friendly victory over East Germany at Hampden Park. By the time Souness was selected by manager Ally McLeod for the Scotland squad for the World Cup in Argentina in 1978, however, he had been awarded only six caps. His move to Liverpool, and a greatly increased profile, saw growing demands for the award of regular place.

A defeat and a draw in Scotland's first two World Cup group games against Peru and Iran saw calls for Souness, recovered from injury, to play in the critical final group match against the Netherlands. Replacing an established midfield, Souness contributed to a 3-2 victory that nevertheless saw Scotland eliminated from the tournament on goal difference.

Souness played in two further World Cups. The first, in 1982 in Spain, saw Souness play all three group games. His first international goal arrived in the final match prior to elimination, a 2-2 draw with USSR in Malaga.

A final World Cup appearance came in 1986 in Mexico, at a time when Souness had already been appointed Rangers player-manager. Souness played in defeats to Denmark and West Germany. He was omitted by caretaker manager Alex Ferguson for Scotland's final game against Uruguay.

Souness's Scotland career ended after the World Cup after 54 appearances and four goals in almost 12 years.

Souness was appointed Rangers' first player-manager in April 1986, signing from Sampdoria for a fee of £300,000 and succeeding Jock Wallace. Financed initially by the club's then owner, Lawrence Marlborough, Souness and club chairman David Holmes embarked upon a bold strategy of reclaiming the footballing ascendancy that Rangers had periodically enjoyed in Scotland. Souness's appointment came after several years of under-performance. The league championship had last been won in season 1977-78, and the early 1980s saw Scottish football dominated by the 'New Firm' of Aberdeen and Dundee United, together with Celtic.

What came popularly to be termed the 'Souness Revolution' began with a slew of major signings from English clubs. Significantly, this reversed the historic pattern of Scotland's most able footballers playing in England. Souness's first season saw the arrival of players such as Terry Butcher, captain of Ipswich Town and an established England international, and Chris Woods of Norwich City, England's second-choice goalkeeper. Subsequent seasons saw the arrival of other English internationals, such as Trevor Steven, Gary Stevens, Trevor Francis and Ray Wilkins. Souness was able to offer the lure of European club competition, at a time - 1985-90 - when English clubs were banned from Europe in the wake of the Heysel Stadium disaster. Rangers profited from this by embarking upon a signing policy which drew on their relative wealth to compete, for the first time, directly with England's most powerful clubs.

Souness's revitalised Rangers quickly began to dominate Scottish football. In his first season, 1986-87 they won the Championship and the League Cup, beating Celtic 2-1 in the Final. Two more Championships were to follow, this time in successive seasons (1988-89 and 1989-90), and a further two League Cup victories, over Aberdeen 3-2 in 1988-89 and Celtic 2-1 in 1990-91. Souness left Rangers, to take over as manager of Liverpool, in 1991, replaced by his assistant, Walter Smith, four games prior to the end of what was to become another championship-winning season.

Souness's time at Ibrox was marked by persistent controversy. His most noteworthy act was the controversial signing of Mo Johnston in 1989. Rangers - historically a team supported by Protestants - were widely held to have implemented for most of the twentieth century a policy of refusing to sign Roman Catholics. Although several previous Rangers players came from Catholic backgrounds (including, at the time of Johnston's signing, John Spencer), their religious background was not made public and none of them were high-profile players. Johnston's arrival at Ibrox was significant because it signaled a very public end to a discriminatory signing policy. It was also significant because Johnston, a former Celtic player and coveted Scottish international, had days earlier at a press conference at Celtic Park publicly announced his decision to return to his former club.

Further controversy centred on Souness's dealings with the Scottish Football Association and Scottish League hierarchies. A succession of confrontational after-match comments pitched Souness regularly at loggerheads with both organisations, prompting touchline bans which Souness circumvented in characteristically provocative fashion by naming himself as a substitute, allowing access as a player to the dugout. Souness was later to claim that conflict with officialdom was one of the principal factors precipitating his departure from Ibrox.

Souness's appointment as Rangers' manager garnered most attention, but his arrival as a player was also of significance. Souness arrived at Ibrox with a reputation as one of Europe's leading midfielders - a view evidenced by his success at Liverpool and, to a lesser extent, with Sampdoria. His signing was unusual in that Scottish clubs had rarely been able to sign top-quality internationals, including Scots, from other leagues.

Souness's playing career at Ibrox began inauspiciously. His competitive debut - in the opening game of the 1986-87 season, against Hibernian in his hometown of Edinburgh - saw him sent off after two yellow cards in the first 34 minutes. Souness later self-deprecatingly argued that his second booking, for a foul on George McCluskey, had been awarded because "my boot ran up his leg!". Disciplinary problems - something that had recurred periodically throughout Souness's career - resurfaced on a number of occasions during his time as a player at Rangers.

Souness made 49 appearances for Rangers. Much of his time as player was blighted by injury. His final appearance as a player was at Ibrox in a 2-0 victory over Dunfermline Athletic in Rangers' last home game of the 1989-90 season, when he brought himself on for the final 20 minutes.

In 1990, when Rangers visited McDiarmid Park to take on St. Johnstone, the Glasgow club left their dressing room in such a state that St. Johnstone tea-lady Aggie Moffat was moved to ask, "Would you leave your home like that?" This led to Souness enquiring as to Moffat's ability to tidy up. A verbal ear-bashing from Moffat ensued.

The four years which followed were uneventful for Souness and relatively disastrous for Liverpool. There was little success on the field, with only a 2-0 victory in the 1992 FA Cup final over Second Division Sunderland, but poor tactics, ill-judged transfer dealings and poor man management brought one of the bleakest spells in the history of one of Europe's most successful clubs of all time.

Rumours about squabbles in the dressing room between the players and Souness were rife, with Ian Rush famously telling a Sky Sports interviewer that 'teacups being thrown' were nothing new. One of the few successes, barring the FA Cup triumph, that Souness enjoyed while manager of Liverpool was the fact that he had blooded several new prodigious young talents like Steve McManaman and Robbie Fowler allowing them to play and develop in the first team. Both went on to be highly successful for both club and country.

Souness had major heart surgery in 1992, and led his players out at Wembley for the FA Cup final just days after leaving hospital. But there had been controversy over the semi-final against Portsmouth, which Liverpool needed a replay and penalties to win.

In the event of a victory for Liverpool, an interview was due to be published in The Sun, a British tabloid, with Souness celebrating the win and his own successful surgery. The photograph which accompanied the interview was of Souness, in his hospital ward, kissing his girlfriend with joy at his own recovery and his team's win.

The interview was due to go in alongside the match report on 14 April 1992 but the late end to the game meant that the deadline for publication was missed and the report, with interview and photograph, went in on 15 April instead - the third anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.

Liverpool fans reacted with fury after seeing that the interview was conducted with The Sun - a newspaper which had been boycotted by many people on Merseyside for the intervening years over its reporting of the events at Hillsborough. Although he apologised profusely at the time, Souness has since said that he probably should have resigned.

He made a full recovery from his heart operation and stayed at Liverpool until January 1994. He quit after an FA Cup defeat against Bristol City and was replaced by Roy Evans.

He went to manage Galatasaray in Turkey, and again managed to court controversy with local issues - nearly sparking a riot after placing a large Galatasaray flag into the centre circle of the pitch of hated rivals Fenerbahçe after Galatasaray had beaten them in the Turkish Cup final on 24 April 1996. The iconic image of the victor planting the flag drew comparisons with Turkish hero Ulubatli Hasan, who was killed as he planted the Ottoman flag at the end of the Siege of Constantinople. This earned Souness the nickname 'Ulubatlı Souness'.

Souness then returned to England to manage Southampton, but after one season he resigned, citing differences with chairman Rupert Lowe. Probably his most memorable moment was signing Senegalese player Ali Dia, supposedly on the recommendation of former FIFA World Player of the Year and former Liberian striker George Weah. This proved to be a hoax, as when Ali Dia played his only game in the English Premiership as a substitute for Matt Le Tissier, he performed amazingly poorly, and was later substituted himself.

After his stint at Southampton, Souness went back to Italy to become the coach at Torino. When he arrived it was clear he would have no say in what players he could buy or sell, as the club's owner made those decisions. Souness lasted just four months before being fired.

In 1997, Souness was signed by S.L. Benfica's new chairman Vale e Azevedo, who promised to return the club to its old glories. The Scottish manager brought several British players from the Premier League (defenders Steve Harkness and Gary Charles, midfielders Michael Thomas and Mark Pembridge and forwards Dean Saunders and Brian Deane)as well as refusing to sign emerging talent Deco. After two unsuccessful seasons, Souness was sacked. All of Benfica's British footballers (including the previously signed left-back Scott Minto) would also leave the club.

He then became manager of Blackburn Rovers, earning promotion back to the Premiership in his first full season. During his four year spell at Blackburn he initially got the very best out of talented youngsters such as Damien Duff, David Dunn and Matt Jansen; brought Henning Berg back to the club and signed big name players like Andy Cole, Tugay, Brad Friedel and Dwight Yorke. Cole and Jansen scored in Blackburn's 2-1 League Cup victory over Tottenham Hotspur in 2002.

He then guided Blackburn to a top 6 finish before a disappointing final season in 2003-2004 in which the club struggled, although they avoided relegation. After less than one month of the following season many Blackburn fans had begun to express grave doubts in Souness' handling of the club. His authoritarian methods had led to the alienation or departure of Yorke, Cole, Dunn, Gillespie and Berg. He could not be blamed for the long term loss of Matt Jansen to a motorbike accident or Damien Duff's departure to Chelsea. None of these players however were sufficiently replaced. Vratislav Gresko, Lorenzo Amoruso and Corrado Grabbi were all flops, Barry Ferguson struggled to settle in England, whilst Steven Reid and Brett Emerton were also disappointing - although both shone for Blackburn after Souness' departure.

Souness left Blackburn in 2004 to become manager of Newcastle United.

Souness quickly fell out with a number of players including Welsh international Craig Bellamy who left the club to join Souness's former employers, Blackburn, after being farmed out on loan to Celtic. Laurent Robert, Olivier Bernard and Jermaine Jenas are also believed to have left the club on bad terms with Souness. The team finished 14th in the league and despite making it to the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup and the FA Cup, Souness found himself under mounting pressure from Toon supporters.

Newcastle began the 2005-06 season in poor form but Souness was hoping that the purchase of Michael Owen from Real Madrid on 30 August for an estimated club-record fee of £17 million would help to turn the club's fortunes around. Newcastle recorded a win in the Tyne-Wear derby against Sunderland (3-2), and went on to win their next three games keeping three clean sheets. Souness seemed to be tightening-up Newcastle in defence, with six clean sheets in Newcastle's first 12 games of the season (as many as the whole of the preceding campaign).

Souness's decision to pair two of the best England strikers in Alan Shearer and Michael Owen initially appeared shrewd. But to Souness's and the club's misfortune, Michael Owen cracked the fifth metatarsal of his right foot when he clashed with England team-mate Paul Robinson during a 2-0 defeat at Tottenham on 30 December 2005 and was out of action for three months, adding to the manager's injury woes.

Criticism of Souness's apparent lack of long term planning centred on a threadbare squad and a consequent vulnerability to injury. Expensive signings such as Jean-Alain Boumsong for £8 million and Albert Luque for £10 million failed to make an impression.

By the end of his reign as Newcastle boss, Souness was deeply unpopular with the Newcastle fans, as evidenced by the frequency and vociferousness of "Souness Out" chants. By the beginning of February 2006, Newcastle United were placed 15th in the Premiership league table and sliding dangerously towards a relegation battle, despite the spending of £50m since Souness's arrival. Despite club captain Alan Shearer's publicly voiced loyalty and confidence in Souness's management of the team, results were not going in United's favour and sports media consistently questioned his position at the club. On 2 February 2006, Newcastle United announced Graeme Souness had been released from his manager position by Chairman Freddy Shepard and replaced by United's Youth Academy Director Glenn Roeder.

In the club's DVD season review for the 2005–06 season, goalkeeper Shay Given and defender Robbie Elliott, acknowledged that Souness was under pressure at the club as a result of injuries to the squad and admitted that some players were to blame for their lack of all round effort, but also admitted there was a bad atmosphere at the training ground, with Souness seeming to favour some players over others. Alan Shearer acknowledged that the fans never really accepted Souness, as well as several injuries being instrumental in damaging the team's confidence.

In June 2006, the chairman of Crystal Palace, Simon Jordan claimed he wished to discuss with Souness a role in managing the club following the departure of Iain Dowie. His arrival however never materialised.

He looked to be the front runner for the Bolton Wanderers manager's job following the departure of his former Liverpool team-mate Sammy Lee in October 2007 but later pulled out of the running when it became apparent that the job was set to be given to Gary Megson.

In January 2008, Souness announced he would be willing to return to Newcastle United as manager, following the departure of Sam Allardyce and the arrival of the club's new ownership and board. However, United only interviewed Harry Redknapp and Kevin Keegan for the position, with Kevin Keegan soon after being appointed with the job; Souness's interest has never been publicly acknowledged by the club.

Following the sacking of Blackburn Rovers manager Paul Ince on 16 December 2008, Souness was heavily linked with a return to the club as manager. However, Sam Allardyce was appointed as the new manager on 17 December, after Souness claimed to have had no contact at all from Blackburn about the position.

Souness is currently employed as a television analyst on Ireland's RTÉ, having been dismissed as manager of the English Premier League side Newcastle United on 2 February 2006. He also appears regularly as a pundit on Sky Sports, principally on coverage of the Champions League.

Souness has been reportedly looking to purchase and run a football club. In January 2007, he was reported by the Daily Mirror to be heading a £20million consortium to take over Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club. He attended a Wolves game as a VIP guest, and made a formal offer for the club, asking to see the club's finances. Wolves' chief executive Jez Moxey initially denied this offer, but Souness insisted to the Express & Star newspaper that he had made an offer for the club. The bid was rejected by the Wolves board, who felt it undervalued the club. Souness did not make a repeat offer for the club and it was later sold to another investor.

In 1985, Souness wrote an autobiography called No Half Measures. In 1999 he wrote another book chronicling his post-playing career up to and including his spell at Southampton, entitled Souness: The Management Years.

Souness has been married to Karen Souness, his second wife, since 1994. Together, the couple have a son, James. Souness also has three children - Chantelle, Fraser, and Jordan - from his previous marriage and two stepchildren - Daniel and Lauren - from Karen's previous relationship.

Souness's political views have, at various points in his career, generated comment.

In 1982, Souness and team-mate Sammy Lee made cameo appearances, as themselves, in an episode of the BBC's Liverpudlian drama series Boys From The Blackstuff. Written by Alan Bleasdale, the series offered a critique of Thatcherism - and in particular the large-scale unemployment then evident in urban Britain - apparently at odds with Souness's own Conservative politics.

Souness is an opponent of independence for Scotland and a supporter of the Union with England. In 2007, in the lead-up to elections to the Scottish Parliament, Souness was one of 15 prominent current and former footballers named in a newspaper advertisement as opponents of independence.

In 1998 Souness was included in the Football League 100 Legends list.

A poll of 110,000 Liverpool supporters - 100 Players Who Shook The Kop, saw Souness placed the ninth most popular player in the club's history.

Souness is one of 71 players elected to Rangers' official Hall of Fame.

Souness is one of 24 players qualifying for the Scottish national team Hall of Fame.

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Blackburn Rovers F.C.

Chart showing the progress of Blackburn Rovers F.C. through the English football league system from the inaugural season in 1888–89 to 2007–08 when Blackburn came seventh in the Premier League

Blackburn Rovers Football Club is an English Premier League football club based in the town of Blackburn, Lancashire. It is one of only three teams to be founder members of both the Football League and the Premier League, the others being Aston Villa and Everton.

Blackburn Rovers Football Club was established in 1875, and in 1888 became a founding member of The Football League. In 1890 Rovers moved to its permanent home at Ewood Park. Until the formation of the Premier League in 1992, the majority of the club's success was pre-1930 when they won the league and FA Cup on several occasions. Their relegation in 1966 was followed by 26 successive seasons of football outside the top flight.

In 1992, Blackburn were promoted to the new Premier League a year after being taken over by local steel baron Jack Walker, who installed Kenny Dalglish as manager. In 1995, Blackburn became league champions, having spent millions of pounds on players like Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton. However, the title-winning team was quickly split up and, in 1999, the club were relegated. They were promoted back to the Premiership two years later, just after Walker's death, and have been in the top flight ever since. During this time they have qualified for the UEFA Cup four times: once as League Cup winners, twice as the Premiership's sixth-placed team and once via the Intertoto Cup.

The club's Latin motto "Arte et labore", which was used by the town council before the club were formed, literally translated means "by art and by labour".

The club Blackburn Rovers was the idea of John Lewis and Arthur Constantine during a seventeen-man meeting at the Leger Hotel, Blackburn on the 5 November 1875. The club's first secretary was Walter Duckworth, and Lewis was its first treasurer. Many of the initial members were wealthy and well-connected, and this helped the club survive and rise beyond the large number of other local teams around at the time. Blackburn has had a particular strong history of football, Rovers weren't the town's only side in the 19th century; other rivals included Blackburn Olympic F.C. (1883 winners of the FA Cup) and Blackburn Park Road F.C., among others.

The first match played by Blackburn Rovers took place in Church, Lancashire on 18 December 1875 -- and was a 1-1 draw. Although the make-up of the team was not recorded it is generally thought to be: Thomas Greenwood (goal), Jack Baldwin, Fred Birtwistle, (full-backs), Arthur Thomas, J. T. Sycelmore (half-backs), Walter Duckworth, John Lewis, Thomas Dean, Arthur Constantine, Harry Greenwood, Ed Youngson (forwards), in a 2-2-6 formation.

At the time, the club had no ground of its own and no gate receipts. The only income came from members' subscriptions, which totalled £2 8s 0d during the first season.

During the 1876–77 season, Rovers finally gained a ground of its own by renting a piece of farmland at Oozehead, on the west side of town facing Preston New Road. The ground was little more than a meadow with a pool in the middle that had to be covered with planks and turf for matches. But it did allow the club to collect gate receipts totalling 6s 6d for the season. Occasional games were also played at Pleasington Cricket Ground.

Subsequently Blackburn Rovers rented Alexandra Meadows, the home of the East Lancashire Cricket Club, for their matches. The inaugural game at Alexandra Meadows was played against Partick Thistle, the most prestigious club Rovers had played until then. The result was a 2–1 win for Blackburn, with two goals from Richard Birtwistle.

On 28 September 1878, Blackburn Rovers became one of 23 clubs to form the Lancashire Football Association. On 1 November, 1879 the club played in the F.A. Cup for the first time, beating the Tyne Association Football Club 5–1. Rovers were eventually put out of the competition in the third round after suffering a heavy 6–0 defeat by Nottingham Forest.

Controversy erupted during 1880 when the club used players not from Blackburn to fill in for unavailable team members — this violated what, at the time, was considered an important principle of the LFA. The situation became worse at the start of the 1881 season when a Darwen player transferred to Blackburn Rovers. The move caused a great deal of bitterness between the clubs and local populations. Accusations of professionalism began to fly, with Darwen accusing Blackburn Rovers of offering the player in question, Fergie Suter, improved terms. However, Suter had initially moved to Darwen from Scotland and given up his trade as stonemason to play for the club. So the professional/amateur divide was already blurred. Nevertheless, subsequent matches between Blackburn Rovers and Darwen were fractious affairs both on and off the pitch. The teams were drawn against each other in the fourth round of the Lancashire Cup, and the clubs refused to agree on a date for the match. As a result the LFA ejected both teams from the competition. This type of controversy would only be resolved five years later in 1885 with the legalisation of professionalism.

During the 1881–82 season, the club continued to rent the facilities at Alexandra Meadows, but began to look towards a move elsewhere. As the leading club in the area, it was felt that Rovers needed its own ground. A ground was leased at Leamington Street and £500 was spent on a new grandstand capable of seating 600-700 spectators. Boards were placed around the pitch to help prevent a repeat of the crowd troubles with Darwen, and a large ornate entrance arch was erected bearing the name of the club and ground.

On 25 March 1882 the club won through to the final of the F.A. Cup against the Old Etonians. Blackburn Rovers was the first provincial team to reach the final, but the result was a 1–0 defeat by the Old Etonians. There was no repeat of the previous season's success during the 1882–83 season, when Rovers suffered a bitter defeat 1–0 at the hands of Darwen in the second-round. Local rivals Blackburn Olympic went on to be the first provincial team to actually win the F.A. Cup. Rovers finally won the F.A. Cup on 29 March 1884 at the Kennington Oval, with a 2–1 victory over the Scottish team Queen's Park F.C. Had it not been for this cup success the club would have folded leaving Blackburn Olympic the primary team in Blackburn. The same teams played the F.A. Cup final again the next season, with Blackburn Rovers again emerging victorious, with a 2–0 score. Rovers repeated this success yet again the next season, winning the final against West Bromwich Albion. For this three-in-a-row of F.A. Cup victories, the club was awarded a specially commissioned silver shield and given the unique privilege of displaying the club crest on its corner flags.

The 1885–86 season was the birth of the legal professional footballer, and Blackburn Rovers spent £615 on player wages for the season. Despite the new professionalism, it was a disappointing season for the club — an unusually high number of defeats would culminate in Rovers losing its three-year grip on the F.A. Cup when it lost 2–0 in the second round to the Scottish club Renton on 4 December 1886 at the Leamington Street ground. Further defeats followed in the other major cups that season.

On 2 March 1888, William McGregor, a Birmingham shopkeeper and a committee member of Aston Villa Football Club, sent a letter to five clubs — Blackburn Rovers among them — suggesting that twelve of the leading clubs should organise a series of home and away matches between themselves. With the introduction of professional players, it seemed natural that better organisation should be brought to the complex and chaotic system of friendly and competitive matches prevalent at the time. On 22 March 1888 John Birtwistle represented Blackburn Rovers at a meeting of a number of clubs at the Anderton Hotel in London. This meeting, and subsequent ones, led to the creation of the Football League, with Blackburn Rovers as part of it. Rovers finished the inaugural season of the league in fourth place, and unbeaten at home.

Blackburn Rovers again reached the F.A. Cup final on 29 March 1890 at the Kennington Oval. The club claimed the trophy, for the fourth time, by beating Sheffield Wednesday a hefty 6-1 — with left forward William Townley scoring three goals and becoming the first player to achieve a hat-trick in the F.A. Cup final. The summer of 1890 brought yet another significant event in the history of Blackburn Rovers with the decision to move again. The choice of new home was Ewood Park, and it remained the club's home for the next century or more.

Ewood Park was built in 1882, the idea of four local businessmen, and it had hosted a number of sporting events. In 1890 Blackburn Rovers purchased the ground and spent a further £1000 on refurbishments to bring it up to standard. The first match was played on 13 September 1890 against Accrington, with a 0-0 draw result.

The 1890-1891 season saw Blackburn Rovers win the F.A. Cup for fifth time against Notts County F.C. with a 3-1 victory — but this success marked beginning of a downturn in the fortunes of the club, and a long lean period would follow. During the 1896-1897 season the club stayed in the first division only as the result of a decision to increase the number of teams. The season did, however, mark the beginning of Bob Crompton's 50-year association with the club, both as a player and eventually as an F.A. Cup winning manager.

The final years of the 19th century brought little success for Blackburn Rovers and several narrow escapes from relegation.

Blackburn Rovers continued to struggle during the early years of the 20th century, but the results began a gradual improvement. Major renovations were made to Ewood Park: in 1905 the Darwen End was covered at a cost of £1680 and the new Nuttall Stand was opened on New Year's Day 1907. During the first three decades of the 20th century, Blackburn Rovers were still considered a top side in the English league. They were league champions in 1912 and 1914, and F.A Cup winners in 1928, but the F.A Cup win was their last major trophy for nearly 70 years.

Blackburn Rovers maintained a respectable mid-table position in the First Division until they were finally relegated (along with Aston Villa) from the top flight (for the first time since the foundation of the league) in the 1935–36 season. Their final match prior to relegation was a triumph. By the last game of the season, they were already certain to be relegated, but at Villa Park, they beat the home side, thus dragging the only other team of the original Football League who had never been relegated, Aston Villa, with them. They struggled in the second division for the next two seasons, until winning the Second Division title in the final season before the war.

When the league resumed after the war, Blackburn Rovers were relegated in their second season (1947–48) and remained in the second division for the following ten years. After promotion in 1958, they again returned to the mid-table position they had occupied in the earlier part of the century. During this time, they seldom made a serious challenge for a major trophy - although they did reach the 1960 FA Cup final when managed by Scot Dally Duncan. Rovers lost this game 3-0 to Wolverhampton Wanderers after playing most of the game with only 10 men on the field. Full back Dave Whelan was lost during the game to a broken leg, the game being played in the days before substitutes were allowed. Despite losing, cup final man of the match was future Scotland manager Ally MacLeod (left winger MacLeod scored 47 goals in 193 appearances for Rovers). During the 1960s Blackburn Rovers had several players who made it into national teams. They were again relegated from the First Division in 1966 and began a 26-year exile from the top division.

During the 1970s, Blackburn Rovers bounced between the Second and Third Divisions, winning the Third Division title in 1975, but never mounted a challenge for promotion to the First Division despite the efforts of successive managers to put the club back on track. They went up as runners up in the Third Division in 1980 and have remained in the upper two tiers of the English league ever since. In 1988-89 they mounted their first serious promotion challenge for many years, and reached the Second Division playoff final in its last-ever season of the home-away two-legged format - but lost to Crystal Palace. A defeat in the 1989-90 Second Division playoff semi-finals brought more frustration to Ewood Park, but the following season saw the club taken over by local steelworks owner and lifelong supporter Jack Walker (1929-2000).

Jack Walker's takeover was too late to save Rovers from finishing a dismal 19th in the Second Division at the end of the 1990–91 season, but the new owner had made millions of pounds available to spend on new players. Blackburn Rovers began the 1991–92 season with Don Mackay still manager, but he was soon sacked to make way for Kenny Dalglish - who had resigned as Liverpool manager some months earlier, after a six-year spell in charge had yielded five major trophies. Dalglish made several substantial signings during the season. After his appointment Rovers climbed the league, eventually opening up a significant gap at the top of the table. It seemed a foregone conclusion that Rovers would win the Second Division title, but an unexpected twist followed. Rovers lost six games in a row, causing them to fall out of the play-off places, but Rovers fought back and a 3-1 victory at Plymouth got Rovers to the final play off place. The club had got to the play-offs three times previously without success. The semi-final was against Derby County but Blackburn Rovers got off to a bad start as Derby went into a two nil lead. Rovers recovered strongly in the second half to win 4-2. A 2-1 Derby win in the second leg couldn't stop Blackburn Rovers reaching the play-off final at Wembley where they beat Leicester City 1-0 thanks to a Mike Newell penalty. Newell, a former Leicester striker, had missed most of the 1991-92 season due to a broken leg, but his stylish comeback was enough to book Blackburn Rovers place in the new Premier League for 1992-93 - ending 26 years outside the top flight.

Rovers made headlines in the summer of 1992 by paying an English record fee of £3.5million for the 22-year-old Southampton and England centre forward Alan Shearer. Other expensive signings during the 1992-93 season included Chelsea defender Graeme Le Saux, Middlesbrough winger Stuart Ripley and Coventry striker Kevin Gallacher. An impressive Blackburn side remained in the title challenge for most of the season before finishing fourth in the final table, that season not quite enough for UEFA Cup place. Leeds midfielder David Batty and Southampton goalkeeper Tim Flowers were two key signings who helped Blackburn progress in 1993-94 and finish Premiership runners-up to arch rivals Manchester United. Rovers broke the English transfer fee record again a few weeks later when paying Norwich City £5million for 21-year-old striker Chris Sutton. Sutton's prolific striking partnership with Alan Shearer would be dubbed the "SAS", an acronym for "Sutton and Shearer" and the elite British special forces unit the SAS. Blackburn Rovers scored the 1000th goal in Premier League history. Mike Newell was on target in April 1993 in a 3-1 win at Nottingham Forest.

Early exits from the UEFA Cup, F.A Cup and League Cup were frustrating for Rovers in 1994–95, but turned out for the best as they could concentrate on the league and the challenge with arch rivals Manchester United for the Premiership title. During the season Blackburn Rovers suffered two highly controversial defeats by Manchester United. Firstly Henning Berg was wrongly sent off at Ewood Park with Rovers leading 1–0 as TV replays clearly showed he had won the ball from Lee Sharpe, with Eric Cantona equalising with the resulting penalty and Manchester United going on to win 4–2, and secondly an equaliser from captain Tim Sherwood was disallowed controversially at Old Trafford when Alan Shearer was ruled to have fouled Roy Keane in the build up, with United taking the game 1–0. Rovers led for most of the season but a 2–1 defeat at Dalglish's old club Liverpool on the final day of the season looked to have blown the club's dreams to pieces. But the news came through that their arch rivals Manchester United could only manage a 1–1 draw at West Ham United and the league title was back at Blackburn Rovers for the first time since 1914. Jack Walker's dream had come true: within five years of buying the club, he had taken them from strugglers in the old Second Division to champions of the Premier League.

Kenny Dalglish moved upstairs to the position of Director of Football at the end of the championship season, and handed over the reins to his assistant Ray Harford.

Blackburn Rovers made a poor start to the 1995-96 season, and found themselves in the bottom half for most of the first half of the season. Rovers also struggled in the Champions League and finished bottom of their group with just four points. A 7-0 victory over Nottingham Forest on the day of the official opening of the redeveloped Ewood Park and a 4-1 win over Rosenborg (including a nine minute Mike Newell hat-trick, which is still the fastest hat-trick in Champions League history) were two highlights of an otherwise disappointing seasons. Alan Shearer was instrumental again, becoming the first striker to score more than 30 Premiership goals in three successive seasons. Blackburn Rovers improved as the season went on, finishing seventh in the Premiership and narrowly missing out on a UEFA Cup place.

Alan Shearer was top goalscorer at Euro 96 and was linked to domestic and international clubs. The main talk in the national media was of Shearer joining hated rivals Manchester United. However Shearer was sold to hometown club Newcastle United for a then world record fee of £15million in the summer of 1996, and Rovers were unable to find a suitable replacement.

A terrible start to the 1996-97 Premiership campaign saw Harford resign in late October with the club bottom of the division, having failed to win any of their first ten games. Relegation looked a real possibility, just two seasons after winning the league. The club immediately began the process of recruiting his replacement.

On 16 December 1996 with Rovers hovering above the relegation zone, it was announced at an Ewood Park press conference that Sven-Göran Eriksson had signed an "unconditional contract" with Rovers to take over as manager at the end of the season on 1 July 1997 when his contract with Italian Serie A club U.C. Sampdoria expired. The Swede had already visited Ewood Park and the club training facilities at Brockhall as well as sending representatives to watch Rovers' Premiership clashes on his behalf.

It was hoped that the signing of Eriksson would usher in a new era of success after the continuing difficulties following Ray Harford's disappointing tenure as manager. "Not only do I want us to be a top club in this country, I want European football to be the norm for us", said club owner Jack Walker. "If we get support as high as we want it and the public back us in every way they can then we could even consider the Walkersteel Stand". Eriksson's move to Lancashire would not come to fruition, however.

Roy Hodgson joined the club from Inter Milan in the summer of 1997, and appeared to have had a positive effect on the club. He marked his arrival with the signings of highly rated Swedish striker Martin Dahlin and promising defender Stephane Henchoz. Chris Sutton and Kevin Gallacher led a prolific attack, and were able to help the team overcome the disappointing form of Dahlin, who struggled with a back injury. UEFA cup football was secured with a 6th place finish, and there were plenty of entertaining games, such as a 4-3 defeat to Leeds which saw all 7 goals coming within the first 32 minutes, and a 5-3 success over Leicester at Ewood Park. Although some of these results went against them, it summed up Hodgson's newly installed attacking ideology. With European football coming up, and the prospect of a title challenge on the horizon, things looked promising at the start of the 1998/99 season.

However, Rovers made a poor start to the campaign and Hodgson was sacked in December less than an hour after a 2-0 home defeat to bottom side Southampton, a result that locked Rovers in the relegation zone. The £7.5m signing of young Southampton striker Kevin Davies was a disaster, with Davies only netting once, against Charlton in a rare win, in 24 games. To make matters worse, team captain and midfield enforcer Tim Sherwood was sold to Tottenham Hotspur, leaving the side without a leader. Brian Kidd, the hugely successful Manchester United assistant manager, was named as Hodgson's successor. However, he could not save them as the club slipped away, relegation was confirmed with a scoreless draw at home to Manchester United in the penultimate game of the season. So, just 4 years after lifting the Premiership title, Blackburn Rovers were now back in the second tier of English Football.

1999–00 was a massive disappointment for Rovers, who began the season as promotion favourites. Brian Kidd was sacked in October with the club hovering just above the Division One relegation zone, and first-team coach Tony Parkes was named caretaker manager once again. Parkes was eventually given the job on full-time time basis until the end of the season, but only remained in charge until March when the club appointed Graeme Souness as their new manager. The final humiliation of the season came in the form of a 1-4 home defeat to Manchester City, a result that secured them promotion, something Rovers should have but did not achieve.

Jack Walker died just after the start of the 2000–01, and the club dedicated its promotion challenge in memory of their benefactor. Fittingly, they returned to the Premiership after a much improved season, albeit that they finished second to Fulham. Blackburn Rovers relied on the form of their young stars Matt Jansen, Damien Duff and David Dunn and on the performances of goalkeeper Brad Friedel, whom Souness had previously coached at Galatasaray and whom he signed on a free transfer when he arrived at Rovers.

A statue now stands in the shadows of the Blackburn End, as a permanent tribute to Jack Walker.

The following season, Souness signed Dwight Yorke from Manchester United, as Matt Jansen was involved in a motor cycle accident during pre-season that left him with serious head injuries. Blackburn Rovers progress continued as they finished sixth on the last day, with an impressive 4–0 win away at Tottenham, to qualify for the UEFA Cup for the second season running. Again it was Duff and Dunn who shone brightest, while goalkeeper Brad Friedel was one of the league's best players, However, the club had to be content with a disappointing exit from the UEFA Cup to eventual finalists Celtic, despite this, the club went into the 2003-04 with great expectations.

At the start of 2003–04 the sale of fan favourites Damien Duff and David Dunn meant that Rovers were always going to struggle to emulate the previous season's form. With transfer funds would be available, Souness replaced Duff with the highly rated Australian winger Brett Emerton from Feyenoord and Stephen Reid, while Lorenzo Amoruso, the Rangers defender, was also signed. Henning Berg was among the other departures. The season started promisingly, as newly promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers were defeated 5-1 at Ewood. The signing of Rangers captain Barry Ferguson for £7.5 million prompted talk of a surprise title challenge. However, results dipped, and the club began a long sequence of home defeats that left them in towards relegation danger. Souness's job was put on the line, and the club eventually were left needing a late turnaround, inspired by little known striker Jon Stead, to avoid relegation back to the English first division. 15th place was secured by a run of 4 wins from the final 6 games, sparked by a 4-3 victory at Fulham.

Souness left just after the start of 2004-05 to take charge at Newcastle. Rovers appointed Welsh national coach Mark Hughes as his successor, a key player in the club's promotion and League Cup successes a few seasons earlier. Hughes secured Rovers Premiership survival for the 2004–05 season as well as an FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal, with Rovers finishing 15th once again, with Hughes's arrival coinciding with the team becoming one of the most solid teams in the league, thanks to astute signings such as Ryan Nelsen and Aaron Mokoena, and good motivational skills. He was able to strengthen the setup for 2005–06 with the £3.2 million transfer of much sought-after Wales international striker Craig Bellamy from Newcastle United. Following a 1–0 victory over league champions Chelsea F.C., Blackburn Rovers secured the 6th place in the league and a spot in the UEFA Cup for the 2006–07 season - their third European qualification in five years, and their sixth foray into Europe since 1994.

After qualifying for Europe, Rovers signed South African striker Benni McCarthy from Porto as a replacement for the departing Craig Bellamy. Blackburn Rovers finished top of their group and were drawn against Bayer Leverkusen; they suffered a narrow 3–2 defeat in the first leg of their tie against Bayer Leverkusen, but a 0–0 draw in the second leg saw them bow out of the competition. The club was busy during the January transfer window, signing David Dunn, Stephen Warnock, Christopher Samba and Bruno Berner. Rovers reached the Semi Final of the FA Cup in 2007, they defeated Everton, Luton, Arsenal (after replay) and Manchester City. However they would go on to be defeated by Chelsea in the semi-final, with the game going into extra time. Rovers finished the season 10th in the league, with McCarthy netting 18 league goals. The club also qualified for the Intertoto Cup, which they successfully came through.

To prepare for the 2007–08 season Rovers invested in three new players, signing Paraguay international Roque Santa Cruz from Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich, Dutch under-21 star Maceo Rigters and young goalkeeper Gunnar Nielsen. Blackburn would be knocked out of the UEFA Cup by Greek team Larissa, and also suffer a defeat to Coventry, in the FA Cup. Rovers confirmed an application to the following season's Intertoto competition. However, Blackburn lost 4-1 to Birmingham City on the final day of the season to deny them the Intertoto spot, which went to Aston Villa. Rovers ended in a respectable 7th. position in the Premiership, their third consecutive top half finish.

In May 2008, Mark Hughes left Blackburn Rovers Football Club the club for the vacancy at Manchester City . Several names were mooted to replace Hughes, including former players Mike Newell and Alan Shearer. Other managers linked included former England Manager Steve McClaren and former Rangers boss Dick Advocaat, former Newcastle United and Bolton Wanderers manager Sam Allardyce and Paul Ince, who took Milton Keynes Dons to the League Two title in 2007–08, was also linked with the manager's job. On 22 June 2008, it was officially confirmed by the Blackburn Rovers website that Ince had indeed been brought in to manage Rovers, signing a three-year deal with the club. Ince's first job was to persuade some of the wantaway players to stay.. On 4 July, Ince signed experienced coach Archie Knox.

Before the start of the 2008–09 season, regular goalkeeper Brad Friedel (Aston Villa) and England international winger David Bentley (Tottenham Hotspur) left the club for a combined fee of around £19.5 million. Goalkeeper Paul Robinson then became Ince's first signing on the 25 July for a fee of £3.5 million.

Although the 2008/2009 Barclays Premier League Season began well for Ince and Blackburn, with a win over Everton, other results weren't as good and on December 16, following a run of eleven games without a win, Ince was relieved of his duties at Blackburn. The next day, it was announced that Sam Allardyce had been appointed as Ince's replacement at Blackburn Rovers on a three-year contract.

In January 2008, the Dan Williams-led consortium interested in taking the club over withdrew interest. The club are prepared to sell and other groups are still interested.

On Sunday 20 April 2008, Blackburn Rovers were yet again linked with another consortium led bid. This time from new JJB Sports owner Chris Ronnie, and an Icelandic based consortium. Whether this will lead to a formal bid being presented to the Walker Trustees, is still yet to be seen.

However, on 6 July, it was revealed that Ronnie had pulled out of a bid to buy the club, and that Chowdery had a bid of £30 million pounds rejected.

The Rovers kit have always been fundamentally the same; two team colours split across the shirt. One sleeve and one side of the shirt would be each colour. The shorts started white and the socks dark blue. Although the sock pattern and colours would change, everything else, for the most part, hasn't been touched since 1905. Since changing to white shorts in recent years, the home kits have had dark blue shorts since 1904, when they were changed for a year, then rejected and changed back. Blackburn Rovers colours for 2007-08 as voted for by fans. For 2007-08 the traditional blue and white remains, however the away kit is a brand new idea using the existing away colours (black & red) for the first time in a halved formation.

During the 07-08 season the club were sponsored by Bet24 and their technical sponsors were Umbro. 12 March 2008 The club announced that Crown Paints would be their new club sponsor as of 2008–09, the Lancashire based company signed a three year deal with the club. For the 08/09 season, the club decided to relegate the Black and Red halved kit to being their 3rd kit, and decided to go with an all Black (shirt and shorts) kit as their away kit, with a small blue and white halved patch directly underneath the chin at the top of the shirt.

Blackburn played at Leamington Road from 1881 until 1890, when they moved to their current home, Ewood Park. Ewood is the oldest consecutive home of a Premier League team, Blackburn having been there longer than Chelsea and Liverpool have been at their present homes, even though their stadia were constructed first. This stadium sits on the bank of the River Darwen in Blackburn, Lancashire. Blackburn is one of only two football clubs (the other being the Wanderers) to win the FA Cup for three seasons in a row, retaining the exclusive right to place their club logo on the corner flags, despite these victories being achieved at their previous stadium. Ewood Park is also the only football ground in the Premier League to have a multi-faith prayer room.

Blackburn Rovers supporters have formed several support clubs related to the team, and almost all of them are partially focused on making trips to Ewood Park easier. In addition, although Rovers home games are the least attended in the Premiership for the size of the stadium, on average nearly an amount equal to a fifth of Blackburn (pop. approximately 100,000). Blackburn also have a very vocal support group when it comes to big decisions being made for the club, a support group created on a media site, objecting to the appointment of Sam Allardyce as replacement for outgoing boss Mark Hughes for instance.

There are also several official/non-official Rovers messageboards which are frequented by supporters from all over the world!

In January 2006 Blackburn Rovers Supporters Football Club (BRSFC) was formed by a group of Blackburn Rovers supporters through the clubs official message board. This team is not one of a group of breakaway teams such as FC United of Manchester (Manchester United) which was created by disgruntled fans in the wake of Malcolm Glazer's takeover at Old Trafford. BRSFC enjoys an affiliation with Blackburn Rovers Football Club and are registered with the Lancashire Football Association .

BRSFC are currently in an Internet based supporters league called The Northern Football Supporters League (NFSL) which features similar supporter run teams. Blackburn Rovers season ticket holders Warren Wolstencroft, Andrew Berry and Michael Nuttall currently run the team.

The table below shows Blackburn Rovers's final standings in past seasons.

62,255 v Bolton Wanderers, FA Cup 6th round, 2 March 1929.

£17m from Chelsea for Damien Duff in July 2003.

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History of Blackburn Rovers F.C.

Blackburn Rovers cup winners in 1883–84. The first FA Cup win for the team. The photograph includes the East Lancashire Charity Cup; the FA Cup and the Lancashire Cup. Back row (left to right): J. M. Lofthouse, H. McIntrye, J. Beverly, Kurt Edwards, F. Suter, J. Forrest, R. Birtwistle (umpire) Front row (left to right): J. Douglas, J. E. Sowerbutts, J. Brown, G. Avery, J. Hargreaves.

This is the history of the English football club Blackburn Rovers, from formation to present.

The club Blackburn Rovers was the idea of John Lewis and Arthur Constantine during a seventeen-man meeting at the Leger Hotel, Blackburn on the 5th November 1875. The club's first secretary was Walter Duckworth, and Lewis was its first treasurer. Many of the initial members were wealthy and well-connected, and this helped the club survive and rise beyond the large number of other local teams around at the time. Blackburn has had a particular strong history of football, Rovers weren't the town's only side in the 19th century; other rivals included Blackburn Olympic F.C. (1883 winners of the FA Cup) and Blackburn Park Road F.C., among others.

The first match played by Blackburn Rovers took place in Church, Lancashire on 18 December, 1875 -- and was a 1-1 draw. Although the make-up of the team was not recorded it is generally thought to be: Thomas Greenwood (goal), Jack Baldwin, Fred Birtwistle, (full-backs), Arthur Thomas, J. T. Sycelmore (half-backs), Walter Duckworth, John Lewis, Thomas Dean, Arthur Constantine, Harry Greenwood, Ed Youngson (forwards), in a 2-2-6 formation.

At the time, the club had no ground of its own and no gate receipts. The only income came from members' subscriptions, which totalled £2 8s 0d during the first season.

During the 1876–77 season, Rovers finally gained a ground of its own by renting a piece of farmland at Oozehead, on the west side of town facing Preston New Road. The ground was little more than a meadow with a pool in the middle that had to be covered with planks and turf for matches. But it did allow the club to collect gate receipts totalling 6s 6d for the season. Occasional games were also played at Pleasington Cricket Ground.

Subsequently Blackburn Rovers rented Alexandra Meadows, the home of the East Lancashire Cricket Club, for their matches. The inaugural game at Alexandra Meadows was played against Partick Thistle, the most prestigious club Rovers had played until then. The result was a 2–1 win for Blackburn, with two goals from Richard Birtwistle.

On 28 September 1878, Blackburn Rovers became one of 23 clubs to form the Lancashire Football Association. On 1 November 1879 the club played in the F.A. Cup for the first time, beating the Tyne Association Football Club 5–1. Rovers were eventually put out of the competition in the third round after suffering a heavy 6–0 defeat by Nottingham Forest.

Controversy erupted during 1880 when the club used players not from Blackburn to fill in for unavailable team members — this violated what, at the time, was considered an important principle of the LFA. The situation became worse at the start of the 1881 season when a Darwen player transferred to Blackburn Rovers. The move caused a great deal of bitterness between the clubs and local populations. Accusations of professionalism began to fly, with Darwen accusing Blackburn Rovers of offering the player in question, Fergie Suter, improved terms. However, Suter had initially moved to Darwen from Scotland and given up his trade as stonemason to play for the club. So the professional/amateur divide was already blurred. Nevertheless, subsequent matches between Blackburn Rovers and Darwen were fractious affairs both on and off the pitch. The teams were drawn against each other in the fourth round of the Lancashire Cup, and the clubs refused to agree on a date for the match. As a result the LFA ejected both teams from the competition. This type of controversy would only be resolved five years later in 1885 with the legalisation of professionalism.

During the 1881–82 season, the club continued to rent the facilities at Alexandra Meadows, but began to look towards a move elsewhere. As the leading club in the area, it was felt that Rovers needed its own ground. A ground was leased at Leamington Street and £500 was spent on a new grandstand capable of seating 600-700 spectators. Boards were placed around the pitch to help prevent a repeat of the crowd troubles with Darwen, and a large ornate entrance arch was erected bearing the name of the club and ground.

On 25 March 1882 the club won through to the final of the F.A. Cup against the Old Etonians. Blackburn Rovers was the first provincial team to reach the final, but the result was a 1–0 defeat by the Old Etonians. There was no repeat of the previous season's success during the 1882–83 season, when Rovers suffered a bitter defeat 1–0 at the hands of Darwen in the second-round. Local rivals Blackburn Olympic went on to be the first provincial team to actually win the F.A. Cup. Rovers finally won the F.A. Cup on 29 March 1884 at the Kennington Oval, with a 2–1 victory over the Scottish team Queen's Park F.C. Had it not been for this cup success the club would have folded leaving Blackburn Olympic the primary team in Blackburn. The same teams played the F.A. Cup final again the next season, with Blackburn Rovers again emerging victorious, with a 2–0 score. Rovers repeated this success yet again the next season, winning the final against West Bromwich Albion. For this three-in-a-row of F.A. Cup victories, the club was awarded a specially commissioned silver shield and given the unique privilege of displaying the club crest on its corner flags.

The 1885–86 season was the birth of the legal professional footballer, and Blackburn Rovers spent £615 on player wages for the season. Despite the new professionalism, it was a disappointing season for the club — an unusually high number of defeats would culminate in Rovers losing its three-year grip on the F.A. Cup when it lost 2–0 in the second round to the Scottish club Renton on 4 December 1886 at the Leamington Street ground. Further defeats followed in the other major cups that season.

On 2 March 1888, William McGregor, a Birmingham shopkeeper and a committee member of Aston Villa Football Club, sent a letter to five clubs — Blackburn Rovers among them — suggesting that twelve of the leading clubs should organise a series of home and away matches between themselves. With the introduction of professional players, it seemed natural that better organisation should be brought to the complex and chaotic system of friendly and competitive matches prevalent at the time. On 22 March 1888 John Birtwistle represented Blackburn Rovers at a meeting of a number of clubs at the Anderton Hotel in London. This meeting, and subsequent ones, led to the creation of the Football League, with Blackburn Rovers as part of it. Rovers finished the inaugural season of the league in fourth place, and unbeaten at home.

Blackburn Rovers again reached the F.A. Cup final on 29 March 1890 at the Kennington Oval. The club claimed the trophy, for the fourth time, by beating Sheffield Wednesday a hefty 6-1 — with left forward William Townley scoring three goals and becoming the first player to achieve a hat-trick in the F.A. Cup final. The summer of 1890 brought yet another significant event in the history of Blackburn Rovers with the decision to move again. The choice of new home was Ewood Park, and it remained the club's home for the next century or more.

Ewood Park was built in 1882, the idea of four local businessmen, and it had hosted a number of sporting events. In 1890 Blackburn Rovers purchased the ground and spent a further £1000 on refurbishments to bring it up to standard. The first match was played on 13 September 1890 against Accrington, with a 0-0 draw result.

The 1890-1891 season saw Blackburn Rovers win the F.A. Cup for fifth time against Notts County F.C. with a 3-1 victory — but this success marked beginning of a downturn in the fortunes of the club, and a long lean period would follow. During the 1896-1897 season the club stayed in the first division only as the result of a decision to increase the number of teams. The season did, however, mark the beginning of Bob Crompton's 50-year association with the club, both as a player and eventually as an F.A. Cup winning manager.

The final years of the 19th century brought little success for Blackburn Rovers and several narrow escapes from relegation.

Blackburn Rovers continued to struggle during the early years of the 20th century, but the results began a gradual improvement. Major renovations were made to Ewood Park: in 1905 the Darwen End was covered at a cost of £1680 and the new Nuttall Stand was opened on New Year's Day 1907. During the first three decades of the 20th century, Blackburn Rovers were still considered a top side in the English league. They were league champions in 1912 and 1914, and F.A Cup winners in 1928, but the F.A Cup win was their last major trophy for nearly 70 years.

Blackburn Rovers maintained a respectable mid-table position in the First Division until they were finally relegated (along with Aston Villa) from the top flight (for the first time since the foundation of the league) in the 1935-36 season. Their final match prior to relegation was a triumph. By the last game of the season, they were already certain to be relegated, but at Villa Park, they beat the home side, thus dragging the only other team of the original Football League who had never been relegated, Aston Villa, with them. They struggled in the second division for the next two seasons, until winning the Second Division title in the final season before the war.

When the league resumed after the war, Blackburn Rovers were relegated in their second season (1947-48) and remained in the second division for the following ten years. After promotion in 1958, they again returned to the mid-table position they had occupied in the earlier part of the century. During this time, they seldom made a serious challenge for a major trophy - although they did reach the 1960 FA Cup final when managed by Scot Dally Duncan. Rovers lost this game 3-0 to Wolverhampton Wanderers after playing most of the game with only 10 men on the field. Full back Dave Whelan was lost during the game to a broken leg, the game being played in the days before substitutes were allowed. Despite losing, cup final man of the match was future Scotland manager Ally MacLeod (left winger MacLeod scored 47 goals in 193 appearances for Rovers). During the 1960s Blackburn Rovers had several players who made it into national teams. They were again relegated from the First Division in 1966 and began a 26-year exile from the top division.

During the 1970s, Blackburn Rovers bounced between the Second and Third Divisions, winning the Third Division title in 1975, but never mounted a challenge for promotion to the First Division despite the efforts of successive managers to put the club back on track. They went up as runners up in the Third Division in 1980 and have remained in the upper two tiers of the English league ever since. In 1988-89 they mounted their first serious promotion challenge for many years, and reached the Second Division playoff final in its last-ever season of the home-away two-legged format - but lost to Crystal Palace. A defeat in the 1989-90 Second Division playoff semi-finals brought more frustration to Ewood Park, but the following season saw the club taken over by local steelworks owner and lifelong supporter Jack Walker (1929-2000).

Jack Walker's takeover was too late to save Rovers from finishing a dismal 19th in the Second Division at the end of the 1990-91 season, but the new owner had made millions of pounds available to spend on new players. Blackburn Rovers began the 1991-92 season with Don Mackay still manager, but he was soon sacked to make way for Kenny Dalglish - who had resigned as Liverpool manager some months earlier, after a six-year spell in charge had yielded five major trophies. Dalglish made several substantial signings during the season. After his appointment Rovers climbed the league, eventually opening up a significant gap at the top of the table. It seemed a foregone conclusion that Rovers would win the Second Division title, but an unexpected twist followed. Rovers lost six games in a row, causing them to fall out of the play-off places, but Rovers fought back and a 3-1 victory at Plymouth got Rovers to the final play off place. The club had got to the play-offs three times previously without success. The semi-final was against Derby County but Blackburn Rovers got off to a bad start as Derby went into a two nil lead. Rovers recovered strongly in the second half to win 4-2. A 2-1 Derby win in the second leg couldn't stop Blackburn Rovers reaching the play-off final at Wembley where they beat Leicester City 1-0 thanks to a Mike Newell penalty. Newell, a former Leicester striker, had missed most of the 1991-92 season due to a broken leg, but his stylish comeback was enough to book Blackburn Rovers place in the new Premier League for 1992-93 - ending 26 years outside the top flight.

Rovers made headlines in the summer of 1992 by paying an English record fee of £3.5million for the 22-year-old Southampton and England centre forward Alan Shearer. Other expensive signings during the 1992-93 season included Chelsea defender Graeme Le Saux, Middlesbrough winger Stuart Ripley and Coventry striker Kevin Gallacher. An impressive Blackburn side remained in the title challenge for most of the season before finishing fourth in the final table, that season not quite enough for UEFA Cup place. Leeds midfielder David Batty and Southampton goalkeeper Tim Flowers were two key signings who helped Blackburn progress in 1993-94 and finish Premiership runners-up to arch rivals Manchester United. Rovers broke the English transfer fee record again a few weeks later when paying Norwich City £5million for 21-year-old striker Chris Sutton. Sutton's prolific striking partnership with Alan Shearer would be dubbed the "SAS", an acronym for "Sutton and Shearer" and the elite British special forces unit the SAS. Blackburn Rovers scored the 1000th goal in Premier League history. Mike Newell was on target in April 1993 in a 3-1 win at Nottingham Forest.

Early exits from the UEFA Cup, F.A Cup and League Cup were frustrating for Rovers in 1994-95, but turned out for the best as they could concentrate on the league and the challenge with arch rivals Manchester United for the Premiership title. During the season Blackburn Rovers suffered two highly controversial defeats to Manchester United. Firstly Henning Berg was wrongly sent off at Ewood Park with Rovers leading 1-0 as TV replays clearly showed he had won the ball from Lee Sharpe, with Eric Cantona equalising with the resulting penalty and Manchester United going on to win 4-2, and secondly an equaliser from captain Tim Sherwood was disallowed controversially at Old Trafford when Alan Shearer was ruled to have fouled Roy Keane in the build up, with United taking the game 1-0. Rovers led for most of the season but a 2-1 defeat at Dalglish's old club Liverpool on the final day of the season looked to have blown the club's dreams to pieces. But the news came through that their arch rivals Manchester United could only manage a 1-1 draw at West Ham United and the league title was back at the famous Blackburn Rovers for the first time since 1914. Jack Walker's dream had come true: within five years of buying the club, he had taken them from strugglers in the old Second Division to champions of the Premier League.

Kenny Dalglish moved upstairs to the position of Director of Football at the end of the championship season, and handed over the reins to his assistant Ray Harford (1945-2003).

Blackburn Rovers made a poor start to the 1995-96 season, and found themselves in the bottom half for most of the first half of the season. Rovers also struggled in the Champions League and finished bottom of their group with just four points. A 7-0 victory over Nottingham Forest on the day of the official opening of the redeveloped Ewood Park and a 4-1 win over Rosenborg (including a nine minute Mike Newell hat-trick, which is still the fastest hat-trick in Champions League history) were two highlights of an otherwise disappointing seasons. Alan Shearer was instrumental again, becoming the first striker to score more than 30 Premiership goals in three successive seasons. Blackburn Rovers improved as the season went on, finishing seventh in the Premiership and narrowly missing out on a UEFA Cup place.

Alan Shearer was top goalscorer at Euro 96 and was linked to domestic and international clubs. The main talk in the national media was of Shearer joining hated rivals Manchester United. Blackburn Rovers, Alan Shearer (many Rovers fans didn't forgive Shearer for several years due to his denials) and the Lancashire Evening Telegraph constantly slammed the rumours especially the links with Manchester United. Local journalist Peter White stated that the club should never be forgiven should Shearer be allowed to join Manchester United.

However Shearer was sold to hometown club Newcastle United for a then world record fee of £15million in the summer of 1996, and Rovers were unable to find a suitable replacement.

It was clear that while Shearer was allowed to join Newcastle that Jack Walker would never have allowed him to join Manchester United. The chairman of Manchester United, Martin Edwards admitted this.

A terrible start to the 1996-97 Premiership campaign saw Harford resign in late October with the club bottom of the division, having failed to win any of their first ten games. Relegation looked a real possibility, just two seasons after winning the league. The club immediately began the process of recruiting his replacement. Meanwhile caretaker manager Tony Parkes turned the club's fortunes around and they eventually finished in a secure 13th place in the final table.

On 16 December 1996 with Rovers hovering above the relegation zone, it was announced at an Ewood Park press conference that Sven-Göran Eriksson had signed an "unconditional contract" with Rovers to take over as manager at the end of the season on 1 July 1997 when his contract with Italian Serie A club U.C. Sampdoria expired. The Swede had already visited Ewood Park and the club training facilities at Brockhall as well as sending representatives to watch Rovers' Premiership clashes on his behalf.

It was hoped that the signing of Eriksson would usher in a new era of success after the continuing difficulties following Ray Harford's disappointing tenure as manager. "Not only do I want us to be a top club in this country, I want European football to be the norm for us", said club owner Jack Walker. "If we get support as high as we want it and the public back us in every way they can then we could even consider the Walkersteel Stand".

Eriksson's move to Lancashire would not come to fruition, however. Eriksson went back on his word much to the anger of Jack Walker. He would instead go on to join Lazio in 1997, with whom he would later win the Italian Championship and UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.

Roy Hodgson joined the club from Inter Milan in the summer of 1997, and appeared to have had a positive effect on the club. He marked his arrival with the signings of highly rated Swedish striker Martin Dahlin and promising defender Stephane Henchoz. Rovers were one of the league's most entertaining sides, scoring 57 goals in 38 games, including seven in one game against Sheffield Wednesday at Ewood Park. Chris Sutton and Kevin Gallacher led a prolific attack, and were able to help the team overcome the disappointing form of Dahlin, who struggled with a back injury. UEFA cup football was secured with a 6th place finish, and there were plenty of entertaining games, such as a 4-3 defeat to Leeds which saw all 7 goals coming within the first 32 minutes, and a 5-3 success over Leicester at Ewood Park. Although some of these results went against them, it summed up Hodgson's newly installed attacking ideology. With European football coming up, and the prospect of a title challenge on the horizon, things looked promising at the start of the 1998/99 season.

However, Rovers made a poor start to the campaign and Hodgson was sacked in December less than an hour after a 2-0 home defeat to bottom side Southampton, a result that locked Rovers in the relegation zone. A series of injuries to key players, such as Tim Flowers and Sutton, combined with the failure of a number of costly signings, meant the Ewood Park side were firmly in trouble. The £7.5m signing of young Southampton striker Kevin Davies was a disaster, with Davies only netting once, against Charlton in a rare win, in 24 games. To make matters worse, team captain and midfield enforcer Tim Sherwood was sold to Tottenham Hotspur, leaving the side without a leader. Brian Kidd, the hugely successful Manchester United assistant manager, was named as Hodgson's successor. The popular coach had initial good success, taking his team out of the relegation zone and winning the Manager of the Month award for February. However, the turning point was a bitterly disappointing 3-3 draw versus Southampton at the Dell, when they had led 3-1. The club slipped away, despite a memorable and morale raising 3-0 away win at title challengers Aston Villa, and relegation was confirmed with a scoreless draw at home to Manchester United in the penultimate game of the season. Kidd was left with a battered and bloated squad, with the club having spent heavily and desperately over the campaign. Nathan Blake, Christian Dailly, Jason McAteer, Keith Gillespie, Sebastien Perez and Lee Carsley, mid season arrivals all, had failed to impress. So, just 4 years after lifting the Premiership title, Blackburn Rovers were now back in the second tier of English Football. They are, to date, the only side to both win and be relegated from the English Premier League.

1999–00 was a massive disappointment for Rovers, who began the season as promotion favourites. Brian Kidd was sacked in October with the club hovering just above the Division One relegation zone, and first-team coach Tony Parkes was named caretaker manager once again. Parkes was eventually given the job on full-time time basis until the end of the season, but only remained in charge until March when the club appointed Graeme Souness as their new manager. The final humiliation of the season came in the form of a 1-4 home defeat to Manchester City, a result that secured them promotion, something Rovers should have but did not achieve.

Jack Walker died just after the start of the 2000–01, and the club dedicated its promotion challenge in memory of their benefactor. Fittingly, they returned to the Premiership after a much improved season, albeit that they finished second to Fulham. Blackburn Rovers relied on the form of their young stars Matt Jansen, Damien Duff and David Dunn and on the performances of goalkeeper Brad Friedel, whom Souness had previously coached at Galatasaray and whom he signed on a free transfer when he arrived at Rovers. With timely contributions from future manager Mark Hughes and others, second place was secured. They returned to the Premiership with a strong team and harboured optimistic dreams of returning to their best.

In 2001–02, the club marked their first season back in the Premiership with a tenth-place finish and their record signing, an £8m swoop for Manchester United's Andy Cole. More significantly, Blackburn Rovers won their first-ever League Cup by beating Tottenham Hotspur 2–1 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff - where Cole proved his worth by scoring the winning goal in the 69th minute after Matt Jansen had put Rovers in front. The Jansen and Cole partnership excited the Ewood Park faithful after the latter's arrival in January, and both were disappointed not to make the 2002 England World Cup squad. Before the season began, Turkish playmaker Tugay Kerimoglu, Italian hotshot Corrado Grabbi and full back Lucas Neill were signed to strengthen an already solid squad. With David Dunn and Damien Duff both shining, the season was a memorable one. A mid season slump during the Worthington Cup campaign was arrested, and despite the poor form of new boy Grabbi, the team established themselves as a strong side of high entertainment value. This was underlined by another seven goal haul, as they destroyed West Ham United 7-1 in October. Their cup success meant a place in the UEFA Cup for 2002-03.

The following season, Souness signed Dwight Yorke from Manchester United, thus reuniting the Trinidad & Tobago international with former United strike partner Cole, a duo which had been massively successful for Manchester United during the late nineties. The signing was equally necessary though, as Matt Jansen was involved in a motor cycle accident during pre-season that left him with serious head injuries. He would play little part in the campaign. The lack of form from Grabbi and Egil Ostenstad, coupled with the retirement of veteran Mark Hughes meant new attackers were needed. Blackburn Rovers progress continued as they finished sixth on the last day, with an impressive 4–0 win away at Tottenham, to qualify for the UEFA Cup for the second season running. Again it was Duff and Dunn who shone brightest, while goalkeeper Brad Friedel was one of the league's best players, as the American stopper provided a series of vital and breathtaking performances throughout the season. Highlights including a league double over defending champions Arsenal, a deserved victory over Manchester United at home, and the 5-2 thrashing of Newcastle United. The signing of legendary Turkish striker Hakan Sukur in December proved their growing calibre and prestige. However, the club had to be content with a disappointing exit from the UEFA Cup to eventual finalists Celtic, and the form of Yorke and Cole in attack was not as good as expected. Despite this, the club went into the 2003-04 with great expectations.

At the start of 2003–04 the sale of fan favourites Damien Duff and David Dunn meant that Rovers were always going to struggle to emulate the previous season's form, and there was anger from fans at their sales. In particular, Dunn, who had demanded a transfer after falling out with his manager. That his cut price £5.6 million move was to the lower placed Birmingham City merely compounded the frustration. The £17 million raised from Duff's sale to Chelsea meant that transfer funds would be available. Souness replaced Duff with the highly rated Australian winger Brett Emerton from Feyenoord, while Lorenzo Amoruso, the Rangers defender, was also signed. Stephen Reid, Markus Babbel and Dino Baggio were also drafted in, the latter two on season long loan deals, while Henning Berg was among the departures.

The season started promisingly, despite the gloom, as newly promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers were defeated 5-1 at Ewood. Emerton and Amoruso shone, and there were talks of a title challenge. A last gasp equaliser at Bolton Wanderers helped morale, as did the signing of Rangers captain Barry Ferguson for £7.5 million. However, results dipped, and the club began a long sequence of home defeats that left them in relegation danger. Souness's job was put on the line, and the club eventually were left needing a late turnaround, inspired by little known striker Jon Stead, to avoid relegation back to the English first division. 15th place was secured by a run of 4 wins from the final 6 games, sparked by a 4-3 victory at Fulham, and also included three 1-0 wins over Leicester, Everton and Manchester United. Stead scored the winner in three of these games, and grabbed 6 overall. The poor form of key players like Dwight Yorke, Emerton and Andrew Cole were cited as causes of the slip up while star signing Ferguson missed half the season with a knee injury. However, given Stead's form, better times were expected of the following season.

Souness left just after the start of 2004-05 to take charge at Newcastle. Rovers appointed Welsh national coach Mark Hughes as his successor, a key player in the club's promotion and League Cup successes a few seasons earlier. Hughes secured Rovers Premiership survival for the 2004–05 season as well as an FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal, with Rovers finishing 15th once again, with Hughes's arrival coinciding with the team becoming one of the most solid teams in the league, thanks to astute signings such as Ryan Nelsen and Aaron Mokoena, and good motivational skills. He was able to strengthen the setup for 2005–06 with the £3.2 million transfer of much sought-after Wales international striker Craig Bellamy from Newcastle United. Following a 1–0 victory over league champions Chelsea F.C., Blackburn Rovers secured the 6th place in the league and a spot in the UEFA Cup for the 2006–07 season - their third European qualification in five years, and their sixth foray into Europe since 1994. Striker Craig Bellamy repaid the faith shown in him by Hughes, as he scored 17 goals, 13 in the league in only 22 starts, including vital goals in the 3–2 wins over Middlesbrough and the 2–2 draw at Portsmouth. Morten Gamst Pedersen, who was signed by Graeme Souness but nurtured by Hughes to become a star, shined and attracted interest from a number of big teams for his performances and set pieces, including his two goals that won the game in a historic 2–1 win over arch rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford.

After qualifying for Europe, Rovers signed South African striker Benni McCarthy from Porto as a replacement for the departed Craig Bellamy. Blackburn Rovers suffered a disappointing start to the season with just one point picked up from a possible nine. On 25 August 2006 the UEFA Cup draw pitted Rovers against Red Bull Salzburg. The return leg saw Rovers advance to the next round, courtesy of a 2–0 victory (a 4–2 aggregate win) with a goal from McCarthy and a spectacular 30-yard volley from David Bentley. Rovers were then drawn into Group E of the UEFA Cup group stages alongside Wisła Kraków, FC Basel, Feyenoord Rotterdam, and AS Nancy. Blackburn Rovers finished top of their group and were drawn against Bayer Leverkusen; they suffered a narrow 3–2 defeat in the first leg of their tie against Bayer Leverkusen, but a 0–0 draw in the second leg saw them bow out of the competition. The club was busy during the January transfer window, signing David Dunn, Stephen Warnock, Christopher Samba and Bruno Berner. Leaving the squad were Dominic Matteo, Andy Taylor (loan), Joe Garner (loan), Lucas Neill and Jay McEveley. In cup competitions, Rovers were knocked out of the Carling Cup in the Third Round, after a 2–0 defeat to Chelsea on 25 October 2006. They defeated Everton, Luton, Arsenal (after replay) and Manchester City in the FA Cup. Thereafter, they faced Chelsea for a place in the final. The semi-final was a tight affair, with Rovers missing a number of good chances to win in the second half. The team eventually went down 2–1 when Michael Ballack scored Chelsea's winner in extra time. Rovers finished the season 10th in the league, with McCarthy netting 18 league goals. The club also qualified for the Intertoto Cup and drew Lithuanian side FK Vetra of Vilnius.

To prepare for the 2007–08 season Rovers invested in three new players, signing Paraguay international Roque Santa Cruz from Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich, Dutch under-21 star Maceo Rigters and young goalkeeper Gunnar Nielsen. In the January 2008 transfer window, Robbie Savage left for Derby in a £1.5m (rising to £2m) transfer to seek first team football as well as youngsters Andy Taylor and Mark King moving clubs. Young Northern Ireland defender Jonathan Flynn joined from Ballymena United on a contract until 2011. Midfielders Anders Karlsen, Jason Koumas and Michael Bradley were all linked with moves to Rovers during the window, though moves for Bulgarian striker Valeri Domovchiyski and Senegal midfielder Amdy Faye broke down. On the 6 February, Rovers confirmed an application to next season's Intertoto competition. Rovers qualified for this season's UEFA Cup through the Intertoto and by the end of April it was certified that there would be no other route into the competition as it is no longer mathematically possible to attain UEFA Cup qualification via a top-five finish. However, Blackburn lost 4-1 to Birmingham City on the final day of the season to deny them the Intertoto Spot, which went to Aston Villa. But despite this disappointment Rovers were never at any stage during the season outside the top ten and made their best start to a campaign for 10 years and Santa Cruz brilliantly shone scoring 23 goals in all competitions.

After the 2007-08 season, Mark Hughes released three senior players who were out of contract - defenders Stephane Henchoz and Bruno Berner and goalkeeper Peter Enckelman. Tugay was given yet another one year contract which included a possible move into coaching as well as playing, whilst young defender Martin Olsson was also given a new contract. On top of this, Stephen Warnock was also handed a new contract and was also called into the England squad, where he won his first cap.

In May, Chelsea manager Avram Grant was sacked as Chelsea manager, leading Mark Hughes to become the leading domestic favourite to take over the post. On June 2, preparations for the new season took a 'slight' hitch when it was revealed manager Mark Hughes was to be holding talks about becoming the new Manchester City manager. With talks under way, Rovers had to face the possibly of looking for a new manager for the 08/09 season. On 4 June 2008 the departure of Mark Hughes and his assistant Mark Bowen, was confirmed by both Blackburn Rovers and Manchester City, Mark Hughes left the club in a very healthy position and with an excellent record. In fact his statistics beat that of any previous predecessor's bar Kenny Dalglish. Several names were mooted to replace Hughes, including former players Mike Newell and Alan Shearer. Other managers linked included, Henk Ten Cate, former England Manager Steve McClaren and former Rangers boss Dick Advocaat. Former Newcastle United and Bolton Wanderers manager Sam Allardyce had been linked also, a fact that a large portion of the Rovers fans reacted very angrily to resulting in a fan group with over 1500 members being created.

Paul Ince, who took Milton Keynes Dons to the League Two title in 2007-08, was also linked with the manager's job. On 19 June, BBC Sport revealed that Paul Ince was set to replace Hughes as Blackburn manager. In the final few days of the selection process it was also revealed that Michael Laudrup was interested in the job. On 22 June 2008, it was officially confirmed by the Blackburn Rovers Website/club, that Paul Ince had indeed been brought in to manage Rovers, signing a three-year deal at the club. Ince was presented to the media on Tuesday June 24. Ince's first job though as the Blackburn Manager is to persuade some of the wantaway players to stay. . On 4 July, Paul Ince signed experienced coach Archie Knox, who will be taking over as 1st team coach for the oncoming season.

Before the start of the 2008–09 season, regular goalkeeper Brad Friedel and England international winger David Bentley left the club. Goalkeeper Paul Robinson then became Ince's first signing on the 25th July for a fee of £3.5 million.

Ince's reign as Blackburn Rovers manager got off to the perfect start, with a 3-2 away win against Everton FC in the first game to the 2008–09 season; which saw a first goal for Andre Ooijer at Rovers. Newly promoted vice-captain David Dunn and Roque Santa Cruz provided the other goals. Striker Roque Santa Cruz signed a new contract shortly after the start of the season to provide a major boost for Ince.

After the perfect start away to Everton, Blackburn drew 1-1 at home to Hull City before two heavy defeats to West Ham United and Arsenal. They bounced back well initially and recorded back-to-back wins against Fulham and Newcastle United, but faded drastically: three draws and seven defeats, including five defeats in a row to Chelsea, Sunderland, Spurs, Portsmouth and now Liverpool saw Blackburn slip to 19th in the table after 16 games. This led to Ince coming under increasing pressure to turn the slump around: he enjoyed some success in the Carling Cup, with wins over Everton and Sunderland, but saw his side concede five goals in a 5-3 defeat to Manchester United. Eventually Ince paid the price for poor results, and a 3-0 defeat away to Wigan saw him sacked a few days later. He was replaced by the former Bolton manager Sam Allardyce.

In January 2008, the Dan Williams-led consortium interested in taking the club over withdrew interest. The club are prepared to sell and other groups are still interested.

On Sunday 20 April 2008, Blackburn Rovers were yet again linked with another consortium led bid. This time from new JJB Sports owner Chris Ronnie, and a Icelandic based consortium. Whether this will lead to a formal bid being presented to the Walker Trustees, is still yet to be seen.

Whether or not any takeover of the club results from this will become very clear within the next 4 weeks from 8 June to 8 July..

On 29 June 2008 it was reported that businessman Nabeel Chowdery revealed he is interested in a £40million takeover of Blackburn Rovers.

On 6 July, it was revealed that Chris Ronnie had pulled out of a bid to buy the club, and that Chowdery had a bid of £30 million pounds rejected.

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Ryan Baldacchino

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Ryan Lee Baldacchino (born 13 January 1981 in Leicester) is an English/Maltese/Italian midfielder currently playing for Victorian Premier League side Altona Magic, pending an international clearance from Scotland.

Ryan started his footballing career at Blackburn Rovers in 1996 as a promising right and left winger. He went on to win the U17 Premier League and reach the FA youth cup final against Everton playing against a strong team in front of 25,000 that consisted of Leon Osman, Francis Jeffers, Richard Dunne and Michael Ball. Ryan went on to become a reserve team regular in forthcoming seasons and was rewarded with a four year professional contract. He soon transferred to follow Premier League rival Bolton Wanderers. Sam Allardyce made Ryan a late signing in March 2000 as comparisons to fellow ex teammates Damian Duff and David Dunn were made by his new boss Sam Allardyce and assistant Phil Brown. He was awarded squad number 33 and high hopes were expected of the much talked about Baldacchino. With pace to burn and accurate crossing ability Ryan soon showed his potential in Bolton's reserve side and pre season games for the first team. He left Bolton Wanderers after only 18 months after just penning a new deal to join Carlisle United. Arrivals of Jay-Jay Okocha, Youri Djorkaeff and many more big signings that summer made it difficult to break through for the youngster. In 2001 Carlisle signed Baldacchino on a 3 year deal. Ryan was an instant hit with the club with an outstanding display of pace and trickery to help defeat Southend United away. Ryan was a regular for Carlisle before being prized away by Brooks Mileson and the mega spending power of Scottish new boys Gretna. Gretna won everything in sight and dominated where ever they played. Scottish third,second and first division titles where won by Baldacchino in consecutive seasons, with Ryan being on of the star players along with Kenny Deuchar, Gavin Skelton and Chris Innes. Those four players gained the prestigious accolade of being the only four players in 100 years of Scottish history to play in all Scottish divisions with the same team. Baldacchino won most Man of the Matches, Goal of the Season and had a UEFA Cup goal on his way up the divisions. An impressive display against Dunfermline in the Scottish Cup in front of Celtic manager Gordon Strachan earned Baldacchino rave reviews. Hibs, Motherwell and Celtic all had regular checks on Baldacchino. Brooks Mileson once again showed his spending power and ambition by keeping hold of Baldacchino and he signed a new improved four year deal in December 2005 making him one of the clubs top earners.

Gretna arrived in style to the SPL breaking all records on their way and many players staying loyal to Gretna turning away potential big money moves on the way. The season 2007-2008 was to be Gretna's last year as a club as they bowed out at the top when owner Brooks Mileson took ill in late February. Ryan was given squad number 7 and played against Rangers and Celtic that season as plucky Gretna struggled to cope with life in the top flight. They were relegated come May. Ryan transferred to VPL club Altona Magic in May 2008. March 2009"Currently training at greenock morton and played in the 2-0 defeat by dumbarton.

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David Dunn (footballer born 1981)

David Hugh Dunn (born 1 November 1981 in Bellshill), is a Scottish football midfielder currently playing for East Stirlingshire.

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Source : Wikipedia