Black­burn’s Third Di­vi­sion run­ner­sup of 1979-80

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Neil Fissler

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

Football pro­gramme.

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.

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