Lancashire TelegraphBlackburn Rovers' unlikely derby goalscorers (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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Blackburn Rovers' unlikely derby goalscorers

BLACKBURN Rovers have had a number of derby heroes against Burnley over the years but not all of them were the players that might have been expected beforehand.

While the contributions of goalscoring legend Simon Garner and local lad David Dunn, to name just two, may not have been a massive surprise, others were.

Here are just some of the names who became unlikely derby goalscorers.

Pascal Chimbonda

Chimbonda’s Rovers career was not particularly notable with one great exception.

The Frenchman made only 25 league starts after moving to Ewood from Tottenham in August 2009, but his goal against Burnley that season is still remembered.

Chimbonda, now without a club after leaving Doncaster, played at left back as Rovers took on the Clarets at Ewood Park but he surged forward before sliding the ball past Brian Jensen into the far corner. It put Rovers 3-1 up, and they won 3-2.

Franco Di Santo

The Argentinian striker was known for his hard work during his season on loan at Rovers from Chelsea, but not for his goals.

His only goal in 25 appearances for the club also came in the 3-2 home victory over Burnley in 2009, as he turned home from close range to put Rovers 2-1 in front.

The 23-year-old has since moved on to Wigan Athletic, where he has scored 11 times in just over two seasons.

Craig Short

The defender netted only five times in 146 appearances for Rovers between 1999 and 2005.

But Short was the man who put Rovers on the way to a memorable 5-0 triumph over Burnley at Ewood Park in April 2001.

Short deflected David Dunn’s shot past Nik Michopoulos to put Rovers in front, and a Steve Davis own goal followed before Matt Jansen netted twice and Craig Hignett also found the net to complete the rout.

Keith Fear

The striker spent only a month on loan at Rovers from Bristol City midway through the 1977/78 season.

It was a spell that brought two goals in five appearances, but significantly one of those goals came in a Second Division derby victory against Burnley.

Rovers surged into a 3-0 lead at Turf Moor, with Fear scoring in between strikes from Dave Wagstaffe and Noel Brotherton.

Burnley pulled it back to 3-2, but Rovers held on to claim victory.

Ally McLeod

McLeod’s goals may not have been a massive surprise at the time but it may be a surprise to some outsiders now that Scotland’s infamous manager at the 1978 World Cup was actually a derby star for Rovers.

McLeod is perhaps best remembered for saying Scotland would win the World Cup, only for them to go out in the first round after a disastrous campaign.

But before that he was a notable striker for Rovers, scoring 53 goals in 218 appearances between 1955 and 1961.

That period included a goal in a 2-0 FA Cup replay win at home to Burnley in 1960 and then an equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Turf Moor a season later.

Mick McGrath

McGrath had a distinguished career at Rovers between 1954 and 1966 but he was not best known for his goalscoring.

The Irish left half scored only 12 times in 312 games for the club but was the man who claimed Rovers’ equaliser in a dramatic FA Cup tie at Turf Moor in 1960.

Rovers were 3-0 down with only 15 minutes left, but Bryan Douglas scored a penalty and Peter Dobing pulled another goal back before McGrath levelled.

Jack Airey

Airey played only three games for Rovers and scored only one goal.

But that goal came against the club’s biggest rivals, as he netted in a 4-1 win at Ewood Park in 1959.

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