In the week that marks 25 years since Rovers scaled the summit of English football and lifted the Premier League title, they were relegated from the top-flight on this day in 1999.

A battling 0-0 draw with Manchester United in front of a packed Ewood wasn’t enough to take their fight to the final day, as four years after Tim Sherwood held the trophy aloft, the Rovers players were slumped to their knees as relegation was confirmed. And while there was heartbreak and anguish, Jack Walker made an appearance in front of the fans, who staged an incredible show of support, and vowed to make a swift return to the top-flight.

“Jack Walker has told Brian (Kidd) and the board that his support remains undiminished and that he wants to be back within a year,” said CEO John Williams.

“That is our intention and I am not setting myself up for a fall by saying that. We know we are going into a very difficult league.

“There will be lots of meetings and discussions over our strategy in the coming weeks but we are not holding inquests. We are not dead, we are wounded.

“There are lessons to be learned from the past. We have to learn from them but we must not live in the past.

“It is crucial that we hold the fan base and the business together and, if there was any encouragement to be taken from last night, it came from our supporters. They have been absolutely superb. There were a few tears around and we are aware of how bitterly disappointed everyone will be as reality sets in.

“But those scenes were probably unprecedented and the fans have to believe that when a man like Jack Walker says he aims to come straight back, he means it.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

While Stephane Henchoz and Chris Sutton were among those linked with moves away from Ewood Park, there too were young players such as Damien Johnson, Damien Duff and David Dunn who made it clear they weren’t looking for an easy way out.

And it would be those young players that first Kidd, and subsequently Graeme Souness, would build the side around.

“I’m absolutely gutted. Brian said afterwards if we’d shown that belief in the last couple of games then we might not have been in this situation and I think he’s right,” said Johnson.

“But Brian Kidd is only just getting started and I think he’s got a long-term plan for Blackburn Rovers. It will be good to be part of that because I think the club is going to go places under him.”

Player-of-the-year John Filan was also in bullish mood, despite the obvious disappointment of seeing a seven-year stay in the Premier League come to an end.

He added: “It’s a weird feeling but the way the crowd reacted towards the players, during and after the game, fills you with hope and shows you how big the club can be.

“Brian said to us after the game this is where the rebuilding starts. He said if players want to be successful, and they want to stay at the club, then he’s more than happy for them to be here.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Kidd was in philosophical mood, as despite the spirited display, Ashley Ward passing up a golden chance to score the goal they craved, Rovers were relegated. And he accepted that Rovers hadn’t been good enough over the course of the season.

“Manchester United didn’t send us down that’s for sure. Just like Manchester United have not won the league on one game, we put ourselves down from the first game in August,” he said.

Indeed, it was Rovers’ lack of points against their relegation rivals which proved their undoing.

“Talk is cheap and we will have to see what happens but I have told the players to get their heads up. There’s no point hanging your head now,” Kidd added.

“This is reality, it’s a fact of life and we have to get on with it.

“I knew the problems we had and I don’t make excuses. We had our chance against Southampton, Charlton and Forest, no disrespect to them. You have to play for your pride in every game.”