Dan Clough column: Times have often been tough for us

Jordan Rhodes is a player to celebrate but times have not always been easy for Rovers fans

Jordan Rhodes is a player to celebrate but times have not always been easy for Rovers fans

First published in Sport
Last updated
Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

TWENTY years ago in August I went to my first Blackburn Rovers match.

Aged seven and living with my Manchester United-supporting stepdad, it was announced I was being taken to Wembley for the Charity Shield against the Red Devils.

My excitement was tangible. Luckily for my dad, I had avoided the potential lure of Old Trafford and remained loyal to my local side, but had so far never been taken to a match.

Looking back, it was a bit sad. Down the stairs I bounded on the morning of the match, dressed head to toe in blue and white.

I can’t imagine the sinking feeling inside of my stepdad who hadn’t yet had the heart to explain that I would not be sat with those who shared my passion.

No, the tickets in his coat pocket were for the United end.

Still, off we went to London, my expectations high having little knowledge of football and only having known Rovers as a top Premier League side.

Little did I know at that point that just four years previously we were penniless minnows struggling in the old Second Division with a crumbling stadium.

I remember walking down Wembley Way, filled with awe. My mum, for some reason, gave in to my pleas for a Rovers flag.

Then, disaster struck. The awful realisation of the true reality of the day, and my first experience of the marauding horde that is Manchester United’s supporters.

My being introduced to another unfortunate soul in the concourse who it was revealed to me was also a Rovers fan did not quell my misery.

The fact he was not in full Blackburn Rovers atire and carrying a four-foot blue and white flagpole probably made things more bearable for him.

I was tall as a child and always passed for someone older than I was (which certainly helped later in life when I developed a taste for ale).

So it was then I discovered the true horrors being a fan can bring, as I suffered abuse usually reserved for somebody much older than I was at the time.

I sat for 90 minutes being sworn at. By full-time, a Cantona penalty and a Paul Ince goal late on had consigned us to defeat and I was left in tears.

Sadly I don’t remember my first match at Ewood, but it came at some point the following season as Rovers battled their way to the Premier League title.

My memories after that, before Venky’s came along and apart from the two-year drop into the First Division, are of a club with relative riches enjoying success in the top flight.

My point, apart from me getting all nostalgic after a weekend without Rovers, is that despite the rough patch we are going through, fans have never had it so good.

Certainly not since the 1960s.

The generation above mine watched Rovers struggle through the 70s and 80s when times were tough.

But then again, as my dad says: “We were rubbish, but you didn’t mind so much because we had nowt and the craic was always good.”

Comments (8)

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4:09pm Tue 18 Feb 14

look.up.blackburn says...

"Little did I know at that point that just four years previously we were penniless minnows struggling in the old Second Division with a crumbling stadium."

And that's exactly what you are returning to. And rightly so.

In Venky's we trust.
"Little did I know at that point that just four years previously we were penniless minnows struggling in the old Second Division with a crumbling stadium." And that's exactly what you are returning to. And rightly so. In Venky's we trust. look.up.blackburn
  • Score: -7

5:10pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Boris The Spider says...

look.up.blackburn wrote:
"Little did I know at that point that just four years previously we were penniless minnows struggling in the old Second Division with a crumbling stadium." And that's exactly what you are returning to. And rightly so. In Venky's we trust.
52 years old and nothing better to do? You should be embarrassed by how low you have sunk. Obsessed and very, very sad!
[quote][p][bold]look.up.blackburn[/bold] wrote: "Little did I know at that point that just four years previously we were penniless minnows struggling in the old Second Division with a crumbling stadium." And that's exactly what you are returning to. And rightly so. In Venky's we trust.[/p][/quote]52 years old and nothing better to do? You should be embarrassed by how low you have sunk. Obsessed and very, very sad! Boris The Spider
  • Score: 6

5:40pm Tue 18 Feb 14

look.up.blackburn says...

Boris The Spider wrote:
look.up.blackburn wrote:
"Little did I know at that point that just four years previously we were penniless minnows struggling in the old Second Division with a crumbling stadium." And that's exactly what you are returning to. And rightly so. In Venky's we trust.
52 years old and nothing better to do? You should be embarrassed by how low you have sunk. Obsessed and very, very sad!
If you truly believe I'm 52 years old then that says far more about you than it does me. You lap up every word I say and its hilarious, it truly is.

You're having rings run around you by a 15 year old you moron. Or am I 33? I forget.

Regardless, its STILL 17 points.
[quote][p][bold]Boris The Spider[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]look.up.blackburn[/bold] wrote: "Little did I know at that point that just four years previously we were penniless minnows struggling in the old Second Division with a crumbling stadium." And that's exactly what you are returning to. And rightly so. In Venky's we trust.[/p][/quote]52 years old and nothing better to do? You should be embarrassed by how low you have sunk. Obsessed and very, very sad![/p][/quote]If you truly believe I'm 52 years old then that says far more about you than it does me. You lap up every word I say and its hilarious, it truly is. You're having rings run around you by a 15 year old you moron. Or am I 33? I forget. Regardless, its STILL 17 points. look.up.blackburn
  • Score: -1

5:43pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Boris The Spider says...

look.up.blackburn wrote:
Boris The Spider wrote:
look.up.blackburn wrote: "Little did I know at that point that just four years previously we were penniless minnows struggling in the old Second Division with a crumbling stadium." And that's exactly what you are returning to. And rightly so. In Venky's we trust.
52 years old and nothing better to do? You should be embarrassed by how low you have sunk. Obsessed and very, very sad!
If you truly believe I'm 52 years old then that says far more about you than it does me. You lap up every word I say and its hilarious, it truly is. You're having rings run around you by a 15 year old you moron. Or am I 33? I forget. Regardless, its STILL 17 points.
Still very, very sad.
[quote][p][bold]look.up.blackburn[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Boris The Spider[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]look.up.blackburn[/bold] wrote: "Little did I know at that point that just four years previously we were penniless minnows struggling in the old Second Division with a crumbling stadium." And that's exactly what you are returning to. And rightly so. In Venky's we trust.[/p][/quote]52 years old and nothing better to do? You should be embarrassed by how low you have sunk. Obsessed and very, very sad![/p][/quote]If you truly believe I'm 52 years old then that says far more about you than it does me. You lap up every word I say and its hilarious, it truly is. You're having rings run around you by a 15 year old you moron. Or am I 33? I forget. Regardless, its STILL 17 points.[/p][/quote]Still very, very sad. Boris The Spider
  • Score: 5

5:43pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Leonard Venkhater says...

look.up.blackburn wrote:
"Little did I know at that point that just four years previously we were penniless minnows struggling in the old Second Division with a crumbling stadium."

And that's exactly what you are returning to. And rightly so.

In Venky's we trust.
What a mean spirited response to a childhood story!
[quote][p][bold]look.up.blackburn[/bold] wrote: "Little did I know at that point that just four years previously we were penniless minnows struggling in the old Second Division with a crumbling stadium." And that's exactly what you are returning to. And rightly so. In Venky's we trust.[/p][/quote]What a mean spirited response to a childhood story! Leonard Venkhater
  • Score: 2

7:11pm Tue 18 Feb 14

jack01 says...

Fiction can be fun.

'Penniless minnows struggling in the old second division'. I do get tired having to point out the facts but here goes:

1989-90 - 4th in Division Two
1988-89 - 5th in Division Two
1987-88 - 5th in Division Two
1986-87 - 12th in Division Two
1985-86 - 19th in Division Two
1984-85 - 5th in Division Two
1983-84 - 6th in Division Two
1982-83 - 11th in Division Two
1981-82 - 10th in Division Two
1980-81 - 4th in Division Two

So there we have it. Quite how one bottom half finish in 10 years can be interpreted as 'struggling minnows' is bizarre and simply inaccurate. Seems to be a regular theme in this newspaper.

If you want to find struggling minnows why not cast your eyes over the fourth division league tables for that decade. A certain Burnley feature prominently, often with sub-5000 gates. A level Rovers have never experienced in their long and proud history.
Fiction can be fun. 'Penniless minnows struggling in the old second division'. I do get tired having to point out the facts but here goes: 1989-90 - 4th in Division Two 1988-89 - 5th in Division Two 1987-88 - 5th in Division Two 1986-87 - 12th in Division Two 1985-86 - 19th in Division Two 1984-85 - 5th in Division Two 1983-84 - 6th in Division Two 1982-83 - 11th in Division Two 1981-82 - 10th in Division Two 1980-81 - 4th in Division Two So there we have it. Quite how one bottom half finish in 10 years can be interpreted as 'struggling minnows' is bizarre and simply inaccurate. Seems to be a regular theme in this newspaper. If you want to find struggling minnows why not cast your eyes over the fourth division league tables for that decade. A certain Burnley feature prominently, often with sub-5000 gates. A level Rovers have never experienced in their long and proud history. jack01
  • Score: 12

10:02am Wed 19 Feb 14

BubblePopFC_11K_Fans says...

look.up.blackburn wrote:
"Little did I know at that point that just four years previously we were penniless minnows struggling in the old Second Division with a crumbling stadium."

And that's exactly what you are returning to. And rightly so.

In Venky's we trust.
And so says the 52 year old pot noodle stained rubber room dweller. I blame the governments internet for all policy
[quote][p][bold]look.up.blackburn[/bold] wrote: "Little did I know at that point that just four years previously we were penniless minnows struggling in the old Second Division with a crumbling stadium." And that's exactly what you are returning to. And rightly so. In Venky's we trust.[/p][/quote]And so says the 52 year old pot noodle stained rubber room dweller. I blame the governments internet for all policy BubblePopFC_11K_Fans
  • Score: 1

5:51pm Wed 19 Feb 14

brfcrule1 says...

look.up any idea why 35 years is significant? Also why is the official twitter clarets so touchy can't take being 35 years in the shadows of the mighty Brfc?.
look.up any idea why 35 years is significant? Also why is the official twitter clarets so touchy can't take being 35 years in the shadows of the mighty Brfc?. brfcrule1
  • Score: 0

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