A DECADE ago when I was just a student and a budding journalist my main ambition was to become the Rovers reporter at the Lancashire Telegraph.

And as I pen my final words for the column I have written for the past four seasons, I can say I came reasonably close.

Things never pan out quite as we expect, but I have been immensely proud to write as a reporter for my local paper and to write the fan column on my beloved Rovers.


And now it is time for me to hand the column baton over to another with blue and white coursing through their veins.

Sadly it has been a pretty demoralising experience for me at times commenting on the club’s darkest days in decades.

My first season in the job saw us relegated from the Premier League and things have never really gotten much better.

Thankfully I genuinely believe that, despite finishing a long way from where we had hoped and expected to be this season, Saturday’s result gave us something to cling to.

We were able to beat a side that is now gearing up for the play-offs, proving this team has what it takes to match the division’s top sides.

Of course, who will still be around next season remains to be seen – and our reliance on Jordan Rhodes and Rudy Gestede was there again on Saturday with both strikers getting on the scoresheet – but if by some miracle the squad remained largely intact for next term, we do have the quality and capability to at least make the play-offs.

We just need to tighten up at the back and get a few more goals coming from midfield. Simple.

It hasn’t been a particularly pleasant time for Rovers fans during my tenure as columnist. But there have been some highlights.

In that disastrous relegation campaign under Steve Kean we were able to record a shock home win against Arsenal and a stunning 3-2 victory at Old Trafford.

There have also been cup victories at Arsenal and this season against Swansea and Stoke.

Sadly there have been too many lowlights, namely the tenure of Mr Kean and the managerial merry-go-round that endured thereafter.

Henning Berg and Michael Appleton came and went, but now we have finally entered a period of stability under a manager that is doing a decent job on the pitch, but I am sure will know results need to be much better for next season.

All that is left for me to say is all the best for the future to all readers and Rovers fans.

Let us all hope for a successful 2015/16 season and a return to dominance over our claret and blue friends down the road when they make their swift exit from the top flight.