My Rovers move nearly didn’t happen, says Premier League winning skipper Sherwood (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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My Rovers move nearly didn’t happen, says Premier League winning skipper Sherwood
AS he lifted the Premier League trophy in front of a packed Anfield crowd, Tim Sherwood’s place in Blackburn Rovers folklore was guaranteed forever.
After joining Rovers from Norwich City in February 1992, the all-action midfielder enjoyed three-and-a-half seasons of almost continual success at Ewood Park as the club enjoyed a meteoric rise up the footballing ladder.
It could all have been very different for Sherwood though as he reflects on his own ‘Sliding Doors’ moment that could have changed the direction of his career for good.
He said: “When I was at Norwich, I went to Derby to speak to Arthur Cox and had pretty much agreed to join them.
“I was on the train going back and I got a call from Kenny Dalglish, saying about possibly going to Blackburn.
“I then got a call from Arthur Cox saying, ‘I hear you have had the big man Kenny Dalglish on the phone’.
“I said, ‘Yes’. He said, ‘If you are my son, I’m telling you where to go and you go to Blackburn’.
“Whether he had changed his mind about me or was genuinely pointing me in the right dir-ection, I don’t know.
“It turned out we beat Derby in the play-offs that season to help us get in to the Premier League.
“It was like sliding doors for me, it could have gone either way.”
Sherwood’s switch to East Lancashire was far from an immediate success as, battling through a hernia injury, he only played a bit part in Rovers’ Premier League promotion campaign.
He was not even involved in the play-off matches, as Derby and Leicester were defeated, but took his opportunity to shine as skipper once the club were in the top flight.
Sherwood said: “The dream was to get into the Premier League. Everyone knew Jack was throwing a bit of money around, it is all relative now, but the ambition was to reach for the stars.
“We never really looked back.
“Once we got in there we went from fourth, to second to first.
“It was quite quick. In the first year you thought, ‘Can we really win it?’.
“The second year we really were title contenders. Going into the year we won we actually believed we were going to win.
“Kenny was a big pull for me, of course he was. Obviously there was the transition in the club as well. They had built a new stadium, we trained at Pleasington, where we had to stop training when a funeral procession went through.
“It was not about the facilities, it was about who was in the place. We were all pulling in one direction.
“There was no commercial outlook from the football club, it was totally about winning football matches. That is how we would all love football to be now but unfortunately it can’t be.”
Rovers are still accused of buying the Premier League under Jack Walker, with Kenny Dalglish given the funds to add the likes of Alan Shearer, Tim Flowers, Chris Sutton and Graeme Le Saux to the squad.
Sherwood, who is now on Spurs’ coaching staff, is adamant that was not the case though.