In the first of a five-part series charting Rovers’ 1992 Division Two promotion campaign 25 years on, former Ewood goalkeeper Bobby Mimms tells reporter RICH SHARPE his memories of the year.

IT WASN’T quite worth the estimated £200m of this season’s Championship play-off final, but Rovers’ Wembley win of 1992 was no less significant.

And for goalkeeper Bobby Mimms it was no less tense, as Rovers got in to the newly-formed Premiership.

Mimms admits he was something of a spectator in the Division Two play-off final against Leicester City, which was decided by a Mike Newell penalty.

But he admits there were plenty of pre-match nerves among the squad.

“I have never sat in a pre-match meeting with so many nervous people,” Mimms recalls.

“We had so many good players, a lot of confident players, Jason Wilcox was never quiet, but he was quiet that day, and we were all just sat there waiting for the manager to talk.

“It was the most tense of any pre-match meeting.

“I actually had quite a quiet afternoon, I didn’t have a great deal to do.

“It was a cup final win and promotion all rolled in to one, so it was a great occasion.”

Mimms was 27 when Rovers brought him to the club from Tottenham Hotspur for £250,000 in December 1990, and he would go on to miss just one league game in the next two-and-a-half seasons.

Jack Walker took control of Rovers a month after he arrived, and Mimms added: “I was probably the first Jack signing before he put the money in officially and it did raise a few eyebrows at the time.

“It was not a massive fee that the club paid for me but it was big for Blackburn Rovers because at the time they weren’t known for paying big transfer fees.

“A month later the money started to come in, we signed Tony Dobson and Steve Livingstone shortly after it had all been made official.”

For Mimms, who would return as the club’s goalkeeping coach in 2008, the story dates back to the final day of the 1990/91 campaign.

Rovers had been beaten in the play-offs for three consecutive seasons prior to that, losing in the semi-finals to Chelsea in 1988 and Swindon in 1990, sandwiched in between a two-legged final defeat to Crystal Palace in 1989.

The 1990/91 campaign was more of a struggle, as Don Mackay couldn’t replicate that success with Rovers finishing 19th, just four points above the dropzone.

“I remember on the final day (in 1991) Jack came in to the changing room and said well done on staying up but that we would have a right good go at it next season and try and get promotion,” Mimms added.

“You could tell that he wanted to do it right and push the football club, his football club that he had supported as a boy, forward.”

However, things didn’t quite go to plan as the new season dawned.

One point from three league games, and an early exit from the League Cup, saw Mackay lose his job.

“We had a poor pre-season and a poor start to the season and that cost Don his job,” Mimms said.

“It was unfortunate for Don. He had managed the club through a time when there was no money at all and made the play-offs three times.

“You knew that he would be under pressure (after the start to the season), but I always thought he was a little bit unfortunate.

“A lot of people had been linked with the job but when Kenny Dalglish came in other teams knew we meant business.

“Ray Harford came in as well and after that the club took off.”

Dalglish arrived in October 1991, after Tony Parkes had been in caretaker charge for six weeks, and big signings soon followed. 

Newell became the club’s first million pound buy in November when he arrived from Everton, while Roy Wegerle was brought in from QPR.

In all, eight players followed Dalglish to Rovers, and Mimms added: “When Kenny took over it was as though every Thursday morning at training another new player would turn up.”

But from looking certain of a play-off spot, Rovers lost six games on the bounce between March 21 and April 18 to fall out of the promotion picture.

Indeed, it required a run of seven points from nine, including a final-day win at Plymouth Argyle, for Rovers to squeeze back in to the top six.

“We were really cruising at one stage,” Mimms remembers.

“I think we were doing that well that the focus had started to turn to next season and in the end, that last part of the season Kenny started to return to the players that had got us in that position to get us back on track.

“It did go down to the last day of the season when we got back in to the play-offs.

“But when we went in to the play-offs I was pretty confident that we were good enough.

“I always thought that if we could get in to the play-offs that we had the quality players that would be able to push forward and finish the job off.

“Then 15 minutes in to the play-off semi-final first leg (against Derby County) we were 2-0 down and we were left thinking ‘oh God’.

“Scott Sellars had lost three times in a row in the play-offs and must have thought ‘here we go again’, but we managed to turn it around and then go on and get the win at Wembley.”