WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Blackburn’s Third Division runnersup of 1979-80
SIMON GARNER says Rovers were desperate to get out of the third division and put some pride back into the club following their relegation 12 months earlier.
Garner, who is the club’s record scorer, says that the board at the time gambled by bringing in big name players and boss Howard Kendall.
They spent the first three months of the season near the foot of the table and a defeat against Millwall in early November left them in 20th place. But they beat Chester City the following week, started to climb and never looked back with a club record run in the second half of the season.
“We had a bad start to the season and were down near the bottom, which was a hangover from the season before,” said Garner.
“We were also getting used to way the new manager wanted us to play. Plus we were a big name side to be in the division and everybody wanted to beat us and raised their game
“We signed Duncan McKenzie, who back then was a very big name, and it just clicked into place when we beat Chester 2-0. And I scored which is why I remember it!
“We went on a run of 20-odd games unbeaten.We won alot of games by one goal after we tightened up at the back.
“Howard knew if we scored a goal we would win a game. It was like the 1-0 to the Arsenal.
“We did really well towards the end of the season and it just got us up. And I think we got promoted away at Bury and we won 2-1. My memory is hazy because I didn’t score! We wanted to put the pride back into the club and we thought we had a point to prove after a terrible season.
“So we wanted to give it a real good shot and luckily the board backed us.You have to give them a lot of credit because we didn’t have much money. And they backed the manager. It was a big gamble that we were going to come straight back up.
“We had some big name players and needed to get out of that division as quickly as we could.”
1. Mike Rathbone: He qualified as a physio working with Halifax, Preston and Everton, and now runs a sports injury consultancy and is an after dinner speaker.
2. John Waddington: He set up a retail business while at Bury and in 1999 sold a chain of 70 cash and carry warehouses.
3. Derek Fazackerley: Has coached and scouted for Newcastle, England, Blackburn, Bolton, Barnsley, Man City, Huddersfield, Leicester. Is now Birmingham’s first team coach.
4. Glenn Keeley: A sports lecturer at Trafford College then worked for Bolton Council as a football development officer and now works for Serco’s Get Into
5. Tim Parkin: After working as Middlesbrough’s community officer, he joined Cumbria Police in his native Penrith.
6. Stuart Parker: Managed Blackpool Mechanics, Squries Gate and AFC Blackpool and is now a director of copying machine companys.
7. Paul Round: He lives in Pleckgate, Blackburn, buying and selling antiques after a spell as head of leisure services at Bolton Council.
8. Kevin Stonehouse: He was community officer at Darlington and then worked at the Quaker Sports Centre in the town.
9. Martin Fowler: He settled in the Scunthorpe area and became a teacher at the John Leggott College.
10. John Aston: Set up his own pet shop, Pet World, in Stalybridge, Greater Manchester before running a stall on Glossop market.
11. Duncan McKenzie: He became Everton’s community officer then owned a delicatessen and is now an after dinner speaker and media pundit.
12. Tony Parkes: Stayed on as a coach under Bobby Sexton and has been caretaker manager six times, after a spell at Blackpool he scouts for Rovers.
13. Jim Arnold: After settling in Stafford, he joined Staffordshire Police and has worked as a recreation officer.
14. John Butcher: Settled in the Chester area and has worked as a warehouse manager.
15. Joe Craig: He returned to Scotland and has managed Cowdenbeath, coached Armadale Thistle and Airdrie and works in a Glasgow Royal Mail sorting office.
16. Simon Garner: He is now an after dinner speaker also works as a painter & decorator and is an ambassador for the Rovers Trust.
17. Brian Morley: He returned his native Flyde coast and ran his own sports shop in Lytham St Annes for many years.
18. Andy Morley: He went into teaching and has become a head teacher of a school in the Heslington area of York.
19. Peter Morris: He is now back in his native Farnworth and is believed to be working in the Bolton area.
20. Russell Coughlin: He settled in the Carlisle area and joined the Royal Mail working as a postman.
21 Howard Kendall: He went on to manage Everton three times, Athletic Bilbao, Manchester City, Notts County, Xanthi and Ethnikos Piraeus and now works in the media.
22. Stuart Metcalfe: Lives in the Blackburn suburb of Mill Hill and has worked as a nurse in Calderstones for more than 20 years. Was also a radio summeriser until retiring.
23. Noel Brotherston: He worked as a painter and decorator in Blackburn until his death in May 1995 after suffering a heart attack.
24. Dave Wagstaffe: He returned to Wolves to run the sports and social club and a bar named after him. He has also run pubs, worked as a driver for Kodak and then for Ladbrokes.
25. Andy Lodge: He dropped into the non-league game and is now believed to be living and working in the Bolton area. NOT PICTURED Jim Branagan: After working in insurance and financial services for 23 years, he works for Tesco in Pendleton, Manchester.
Andy Crawford: Working as a builder in his native Hunmanby, Filey, North Yorkshire.
Chris Pearce: Lives in Blackburn and works for a firm that supplies machines to paper industry.