BLACKBURN design guru Wayne Hemingway has urged Rovers to ignore media mockery and put its kit promotion video back online.

The short film, featuring Ewood Park ‘super-fan’ Alan ‘Birdy’ Birkbeck, has been branded ‘bizarre’, ‘cringewor-thy’ and ‘embarrassing’ by critics.


It shows ‘Birdy’ getting ready for a date but then deciding to get a Rovers shirt instead.

Mr Hemingway described it as ‘joyous, intelligent and a stroke of marketing genius’.

The video was taken off YouTube by the club after the planned 24 ho-urs online, gaining 190,000 hits.

Now the designer wants it back on the web.

Mr Hemingway said: “This week I felt prou-der to be a Rover than I have for a while.

Blackburn Rovers produced a film brimming with wonderful self-deprecating North-East Lancashire hum-our .

“It’s intelligent, produced thriftily and celebrates ‘local’ and a local lifelong Rovers fan.

“The #BIRDYSDATE video is joyous, intelligent and a stroke of marketing genius.

“I'm proud that Rovers adopted this lighthearted app-roach rather than the elitist corporate attitude churn-ed out by most high-profile football clubs. The film went viral and 190,000 people viewed the video in less than 48 hours.

“Some people don’t get subtle humour but it’s wor-rying so many viewed the film as serious rather than the comic gold it is.

“Anyone who views it as something else is daft. I can’t believe the comments condemning it as an embarr-assment.

“Then my beloved Rovers caved in and took the video down. Its brief foray into the modern world lasted less than 48 hours. Put the video back up!”

Blackburn Rovers’ commun-ications director Alan Myers said: “It was very pleasing to hear Wayne’s comments.

“We always knew the subt-lety of the video wouldn’t be picked up immediately by all.

“We wanted to steer away from the stereotypical ‘model flaunting’ approach and bring football and our club back to the fans.

“We wanted to, in a light-hearted way, remind people football will always be about supporters.

“We always planned to run the film for no longer than 24 hours.”