Stuart Harvey praised the support he received at Rovers after being named as head of player recruitment at League One side Sunderland.

Harvey spent six years at Rovers, initially working within the Academy, but has headed up the club’s recruitment team since 2018/19, and his most recent title was head of club identification and player analysis.

He helped implement a new recruitment structure at the club but has now left to take the role with the Black Cats.

“There are far too many people to name who have helped me throughout my career, but I would like to place on record my gratitude to the staff at Blackburn, and in particular the ownership and directors, Tony Mowbray, Mark Venus and my recruitment team, for the trust they placed in me and the outstanding support they provided. I am looking forward to the challenges ahead and I am incredibly excited to get started,” Harvey said.

Harvey has worked closely with both Mowbray and Venus throughout his tenure at Ewood Park.

Mowbray said the Northern Irishman had been headhunted and offered a role he ‘couldn’t refuse’, with the process for finding his replacement now at the interview stage after the application period ended earlier this month.

Harvey added: “To be a part of the infrastructure the new ownership is putting in place is an honour. Sunderland AFC is steeped in history and tradition, but we also have a blank canvas to implement an innovative model that promotes sustainable, long-term and evidence-based recruitment across the Academy and first team.”