Blackburn Rovers: Legends

Blackburn Rovers; Simon Garner; Colin Hendry; Bob Crompton; Matt Jansen; Alan Shearer; Brian Douglas; Ronnie Clayton; Rudy Gestede; Kordan Rhodes; Tom Cairney;
Rovers heroes past and present.
Blackburn Rovers Bob Crompton

Bob Crompton. (England)

Name: Bob Crompton 

Date of Birth: 26 September 1879

Date of Death: 16 March 1941

Place of Birth: Blackburn, Lancashire, England

Nationality: English


Blackburn Rovers career

Played for Blackburn Rovers: 1896 - 1920

Number of Appearences: 530

Playing Position: Right Full Back

Number of Goals: 14

Honours: Blackburn Rovers Captain and Division 1 Champions 1911-1912, 1913-1914


Bob Crompton  spent the entirety of his career with his hometown club, Blackburn Rovers. 

England career

Played for England: 1902–1914

Caps as captain: 22

Total caps: 41

His 41 England caps were a record until surpassed by Billy Wright in 1952.

What they said about him: "Crompton was undoubtedly the outstanding full-back of his time. A commanding personality, he was the best kicker of a ball I ever ran across." Charlie Buchan who played with Crompton for England in 1913.


Management career

Managed Blackburn Rovers: 1926-1931 and 1938-1941

Honours as Blackburn Rovers Manager: FA Cup 1928; Division 2 Champions, 1938-1939.



Crompton had a heart attack in 1941 while watching Blackburn Rovers play hated rivals Burnley, while he was still in charge of Blackburn. His team had just won the match 3-2. He died that evening.

Harry Healless. (England)

Name: Harry Healless

Date of Birth:  10th February 1893

Date of Death: 1972

Place of Birth: Blackburn, Lancashire, England

Nationality: English


Blackburn Rovers career

Played for Blackburn Rovers: 1919 - 1932

Number of Appearences: 360

Playing Position: Half Back

Number of Goals: 

Honours: 1928 FA Cup


England career

Played for England: 1924-1928

Total caps: 2


Coaching Career

Coached Blackburn Rovers: 1932 - 1935


Harry Healless joined Blackburn Rovers just after World War 1. A half-back, Healless made his debut against Sheffield United on 20th October 1919. A game that Rovers lost 2-0.


Rovers had won two First Division Championships in 1911-12 and 1913-14, but struggled in the post-war years and finished 20th (1919-20), 11th (1920-21), 15th (1921-22), 14th (1922-23) and 8th (1923-24).


On the 22nd October 1924, Healless won his first international cap when selected by England to play against Ireland. Although England won 3-1 Healless was dropped from the team.


Rovers continued to struggle and finished 16th (1924-25), 12th (1925-26) and 18th (1926-27) in theFootball League. His form remained good and on 31st March 1928 he was selected to play for England against Scotland. However, England lost 5-1 and it was the last time Healless played for England.


According to Mike Jackman (The Essential History of Blackburn Rovers): "Not the most skilful of performers, there was a tenacity about Healless that enabled him to be used in a variety of positions. His strong running, tough tackling and relentless work ethic endeared him to the powers that be. He eventually won a place in the half-back line and proved proficient in all three positions."


In 1926 Bob Crompton was appointed as manager of Blackburn Rovers. He began to build a team around star players, Henry Healless, Jack Roscamp and Syd Puddefoot. This brought a change in the fortunes of the club and they did very well in the FA Cup in the 1927-28 season. Blackburn beat Newcastle United (4-1), Exeter City (3-1), Port Vale (2-1), Manchester United (2-0), Arsenal (1-0) to reach the final at Wembley. Puddefoot and Roscamp both scored four goals in the earlier rounds.


Huddersfield Town were favourites to win the final. However, in the first minute Roscamp received a pass from Puddefoot. He chipped the ball over the head of Ned Barkas. Billy Mercer, the Huddersfield goalkeeper, attempted to catch the ball. Roscamp collided with Mercer and the ball slipped out of his grasp and trickled into the empty net. Tom McLean added a second after 22 minutes. Alex Jackson got one back for Huddersfield but Roscamp scored his second and Rovers' third in the 85th minute to give Rovers a well-deserved victory.


Rovers also did better in the First Division of the Football League: 1928-29 (7th), 1929-30 (6th) and 1930-31 (10th). 


Bob Crompton retired as manager in 1931.


Healless joined the coaching staff in 1932.


Healless moved to Holland to coach the Alemio club in 1935He also rejoined the B coaching staff in 1951 but left the job two years later.

Bill Eckersley. (England)

Blackburn Rovers Bill Eckersley

Name: William "Bill" Eckersley

Date of Birth: 16 July 1925

Date of Death: 25 October 1982

Place of Birth: Southport, Lancashire, England

Nationality: English


Blackburn Rovers career

Played for Blackburn Rovers: 1947-1961

Number of Appearences: 406

Playing Position: Left Back

Number of Goals: 20

Honours: Division 2 Champions, 1958-1959


England career

Played for England: 1950-1953

Total caps: 17


He made his Football League debut in the final match of the 1947–48 season, with Blackburn already doomed to relegation. Although Blackburn were to spend the next ten seasons in the Second Division, Eckersley's consistent performances led to him being considered one of the best full-backs in the country.


As Blackburn continued in their attempts to return to the First Division, Eckersley continued to give good service to both club and country, collecting a total of 17 caps, as well as three "B" caps and representing the Football League on six occasions.


His final England appearance came on 25 November 1953 in a friendly against Hungary. England lost the match 6–3, with Ferenc Puskás scoring twice andNándor Hidegkuti converting a hat trick. 


Eckersley had the ability to dribble all the way up to the opposition penalty area. With superb ball control, he was able to let a player pass him; he would then extend his left leg behind the opponent and nick the ball away without fouling the opposing player, thus earning him the "telescopic leg" tag.

Tommy Briggs. (England).

Blackburn Rovers Tommy Briggs

Name: Tommy Briggs 

Date of Birth: 27 November 1923

Date of Death: 10 February 1984

Place of Birth: Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England

Nationality: English


Blackburn Rovers career

Played for Blackburn Rovers: 1952 to 1957

Number of Appearances: 194

Playing Position: Centre Forward

Number of Goals: 140


England career

Played for England B: 1950

Total caps: 1

Tommy still holds a record for scoring 7 goals in a single match for Blackburn against Bristol Rovers on 05/02/1955 which Rovers won, 8-3.

Brian Douglas. (England)

Name: Bryan Douglas 

Date of Birth: 27 May 1934

Place of Birth: Blackburn, Lancashire, England

Nationality: English


Blackburn Rovers career

Played for Blackburn Rovers: 1954 to 1969

Number of Appearences: 438

Playing Position: Right Wing

Number of Goals: 100

Honours: Division 2 Champions, 1958 - 1959


England career

Played for England: 1957- 1963

Total caps: 36

England goals: 11


He appeared in two World Cups, in 1958 and 1962, appearing in all of England's matches in the two tournaments.

Ronnie Clayton. (England)

Name: Ronald "Ronnie" Clayton 

Date of Birth: 5 August 1934 

Date of Death: 29 October 2010

Place of Birth: Preston, Lancashire, England

Nationality: English


Blackburn Rovers career

Played for Blackburn Rovers: 1950 - 1969

Number of Appearences: 581

Playing Position: Right Half

Number of Goals: 15

Honours: Division 2 Champions, 1958-1959


On 13 August 2011, as a sign of respect to Clayton, it was announced at half-time during the first game of the 2011/12 Barclays Premier League season, that theThe Blackburn End was to be renamed The Ronnie Clayton Blackburn End.


England career

Played for England: 1955–1957 England U23 6 caps; 1955 England B 1 cap; 1955–1960 England 35 caps

Caps as Captain: 5

Total caps: 42


Ronnie Clayton made nearly 600 appearances in the Football League playing for Blackburn Rovers. He was capped 35 times for England between 1955 and 1960.

Clayton, a right half, began his career with Blackburn Rovers. He made his first-team debut as a 16-year-old in the 1950–51 season, and between then and 1969 made 581 appearances for his only Football League club. 


He then becameplayer-manager of Morecambe, and also appeared for Great Harwood Town before retiring.

Tony Parkes. (England)

Blackburn Rovers Tony Parkes
Duncan Mackenzie and Tony Parkes at Bury in 1980 after Rovers secure promotion from Division 3.

Name: Anthony "Tony" Parkes

Date of Birth: 5 May 1949

Place of Birth: Sheffield, Yorkshire, England

Nationality: English


Blackburn Rovers career

Played for Blackburn Rovers: 1970-1982

Number of Appearences: 380

Playing Position: Midfield

Number of Goals: 38

Honours: Division 3 Champions, 1974-1975; Division 3 Promotion 1979-1980


Management career

Managed Blackburn Rovers: 

 1986–1987 Blackburn Rovers (caretaker manager)

1991 Blackburn Rovers (caretaker manager)

1996–1997 Blackburn Rovers (caretaker manager)

1998 Blackburn Rovers (caretaker manager)

1999–2000 Blackburn Rovers (caretaker manager)

2004 Blackburn Rovers (caretaker manager)


Parkes was a midfielder who started his career in non-league football at Buxton in 1969 before moving to Blackburn Rovers in 1970 where he spent the rest of his playing career.


He played a total of 350 league games and scored 38 goals for Rovers before retiring in 1982.


On 18.05.2005 Tony Parkes was awarded a Testimonial Match by Blackburn Rovers.

MARK Hughes' youngsters won the battle over Kenny Dalglish's more senior side at Ewood Park that evening.


The game was delayed ten minutes to allow a crowd of 13,584 to witness a thoroughly entertaining match, as they cheered on their heroes past and present.


ROVERS: Friedel (sub Enckelman 38 mins), Nelsen (sub Taylor 46 mins), Todd (sub Kane 46 mins), Short (sub Byrom 74 mins), McEveley (sub Barr 58 mins), Mokoena (sub Harkins 46 mins), Douglas (sub Peter 58 mins), Johnson (sub J Garner 72 mins), Stead (sub Derbyshire 58 mins), Tugay (sub Stopforth 66 mins), Gallagher.

PARKES: Flowers, Grayson, Hendry, May, Hird (sub Donnelly 46 mins), Ripley (sub P Dalglish 46 mins), Cowans, Atkins (sub Miller 69 mins), Gallacher (sub Patterson 69 mins), Newell (sub Speedie 46 mins), Shearer (sub S Garner 80 mins).

Stuart Metcalfe. (England)

Blackburn Rovers Stuart Metcalfe

Name: Stuart Metcalfe

Date of Birth: 6 October 1950

Place of Birth: Blackburn, Lancashire, England

Nationality: English


Blackburn Rovers career

Played for Blackburn Rovers: 1967-1980; 1982-1983

Number of Appearences: 387

Playing Position: Midfield

Number of Goals: 21

Honours: Division 3 Champions, 1974-1975


Began his career with his local club Blackburn Rovers in 1967. He would become one of the pillars of the club during the 1970s, part of a trio of players who stayed loyal to the club through the decade including Tony Parkes and Derek Fazackerley. His midfield partnership with Tony Parkes was instrumental in the club's Third Division championship in 1975.

Derek Fazackerley. (England)

Blackburn Rovers Derek Fazackerley

Name: Derek William Fazackerley

Date of Birth: 5 November 1951

Place of Birth: Preston, Lancashire, England

Nationality: English


Blackburn Rovers career

Played for Blackburn Rovers: 1969 - 1987

Number of Appearences: 596

Playing Position: Central defender

Number of Goals: 23

Honours: Division 3 Champions, 1974-1975; Promotion from Division 3 1979 - 1980


Spent the majority of his career playing for Blackburn Rovers.

Simon Garner. (England)

Blackburn Rovers Simon Garner

Colin ' Brave Heart' Hendry. (Scotland)

Henning Berg. (Norway)

Blackburn Rovers Henning Berg

Alan ' Lion Heart' Shearer. (England)

Blackburn Rovers Alan Shearer

Brad 'The Great' Friedel. (America)

Blackburn Rovers Brad Friedel

Tugay 'Turkish Delight' Kerimoğlu. (Turkey)

Blackburn Rovers Tugay

David Dunn. (England).