It was to be a popular and important announcement by Rovers to kickstart their summer recruitment.

Danny Graham may be well known to the Rovers dressing room and fans alike, and while the confirmation of him signing a contract extension wasn’t unexpected, it was a timely boost to boss Tony Mowbray.

Graham had always stated his desire to stay at Ewood Park, having become a big figure at the club since his arrival, initially on loan, in January 2016.

Without his signature, Rovers would have been 12 days away from the start of pre-season with just two strikers on their books with a combined 11 games and two goals between them at Championship level in Dominic Samuel and Joe Nuttall.

But Graham brings with him more than simply experience. Despite turning 33 in August, his knowhow and intelligence came to the fore in the second half of the League One promotion winning campaign. He also has more than 150 career goals to his name.

Next season he will have to be utilised right so to get the best out of him. In 2017/18, he was regularly withdrawn with around 20 minutes to go and often played his better football at Ewood Park where all but four of his 17 goals came.

But when he didn't play, they undoubtedly missed him thinking back to the home game with Bradford and February's away trip to Portsmouth.

In the big games in particular he certainly came to the fore - scoring in the January win over Shrewsbury, playing an instrumental role in the home success over Peterborough which all but clinched promotion, and netted the winner against Southend on a nervy April afternoon.

A one-year deal, with the option for a further 12 months, will keep Graham hungry and focussed, something which proved key in the transformation of his form in 2017/18.

He looked to be in something of a comfort zone in the early weeks of the season, but being left out by Mowbray presented him with the challenge, one he responded to by regaining his starting shirt towards the end of 2017.

And all parties will be hoping he meets the criteria needed to trigger a further 12 months by playing a big part as Rovers return to life in the Championship.

While football isn’t governed by a popularity contest, Graham is undoubtedly a big presence in the dressing room. His relationship with Bradley Dack, both on and off the field, was key last season, while he also took both Harry Chapman and Adam Armstrong under his wing during their loan spells.

And the fans have also taken him to heart during his two-and-a-half year Ewood tenure.

Rovers will look to bring in a couple of forwards in this windows, not necessarily all out-and-out number nines, to add competition to the attacking areas of the pitch which have been decimated following the departure of loanees Adam Armstrong, Harry Chapman, Marcus Antonsson and Jack Payne.

Allying Graham’s physical presence with Dack’s artistry and pace either side could well be how Rovers go about their attacking play on their Championship return.

Sometimes a battering ram, but always on the look out for goals, and with an intelligence of someone who knows their games, including strengths and limitations, Graham will have a big part to play moving forward. 

Rovers will look to add more quality to their ranks as the summer goes on, but their first announcement of the close season was certainly a positive one.