Blackburn Rovers: A Brief History of Lancashire’s Most Illustrious Club
Blackburn Rovers History and Highlights.
Blackburn Rovers is a professional football club in England. It is one of the founding members of both the Football League and the Premier League. The club is one of the most successful English clubs, having won the League Title thrice, the FA Cups six times, One League Cup, and One Full Member’s Cup.
Blackburn Rovers was formed by two English men, John Lewis and Arthur Constantine, who were both past students of the Shrewsbury School. They had met at the Leger Hotel in Blackburn to discuss the possibility of creating a football club that plays under the Football Association Rules.
This meeting was held on the 5th of November, 1875, and stood as the day Blackburn Rovers was formed. The club’s first match was held in Lancashire and ended in a 1-1 draw. The match was played on the 18th of December, 1875.
Lancashire Football Association
Blackburn Rovers joined other 23 clubs to form the Lancashire Football Association on the 28th of September, 1878. The club also played its first FA Cup match on the 1st of November, 1879, beating Tyne Association Football Club by five goals to one. The team would later crash out of the competition in the third round after losing 6-0 to Nottingham Forest.
The most notable success of the club at its inception is the three back-to-back FA cup final victories. Blackburn Rovers beat Queen’s Park in 1884 and 1885 and West Bromwich Albion in 1886 to win the three FA cup trophies.
Action in the Football League
Blackburn Rovers was one of the founding clubs of the Football League in 1888. However, despite joining the new league, its dominance of the FA Cup competition did not reduce. Blackburn Rovers would win the trophy again in 1890 after beating Sheffield Wednesday, 6-1, in the final. The club also won the trophy in the 1890-91 season, beating Notts County 3-1 in the final. Blackburn Rovers was relegated in the 1897-98 season but reelected back into the Football League.
Early 20th Century
This era was a bit shaky for the club as Blackburn Rovers seemed to struggle in the First Division of the Football League. However, improvements were ongoing in other aspects of the club’s operation. For instance, Edwood Park, the club’s home ground, was renovated, and some of the stands and stalls were covered.
Blackburn Rovers remained in the first division club despite its struggles in the league. It won the First Division League title in 1911-12 and 1913-14 and the FA Cup in 1927.1928.
Mid 20th Century
This era started with the club’s first relegation in the 1935-36 season. Soon after, the Second World War started, and the league was suspended for about seven seasons. Blackburn Rovers suffered a second relegation in the 1947-48 season when the league resumed. The club would remain in the Second Division for ten years before its promotion back into the First Division in 1958. The club would reach the 1960 FA Cup final but lost out to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Blackburn Rovers were relegated some six years later in 1966 and continued to spend 26 years outside the First Division.
The 1970s and 1980s
In the 1970s, Blackburn Rovers shuffled between the Second and Third Division, winning the Third Division title in 1975. This earned them a promotion into the Second Division, but they were not able to promote into the First Division. In 1979, Blackburn Rovers got relegated back into the Third Division. However, the club won its first Full Member’s Cup in 1985 under Coach Don Mackay. Despite this victory, the club couldn’t manage promotion, and at the end of the 1989-90 season, Jack Walker took over the club.
The Success and Woes of the 1990s
The new owner made millions of pounds available for buying new players and also appointed a new coach in the person of Kenny Daglish. The club thus earned its promotion into the newly constituted FA Premier League at the end of the 1991-92 season, as it emerged as the winner of the play-off match.
The club also returned to the news in the summer of 1992 when it paid 3.5 million pounds to secure the services of English striker Alan Shearer. Blackburn Rovers would finish fourth in the Premier League in 1992-93, second in 1993-94, and finally win the FA Premier League in 1994-95.
At the end of the season, Kenny Daglish left his coaching job and took up the Director of Football role at the club. Ray Hartford took over from him, and the club under him made a bad start to the 1995-96 season. The team also struggled in the Champions League and repeating these results in the 1996-97 season cost Ray Hartford his job at the club.
Blackburn Rovers would go on to have two different coaches in the person of Tony Parkes and Roy Hodgson but still got relegated at the end of the 1998-99 season.
The 2000s and Today
The Early 2000s
Blackburn Rovers didn’t make it back into the Premier League until after the death of its owner, Jack Walker, at the start of the 2000-01 season. The effort to win promotion was dedicated to the memory of the late owner, and the club did get promoted, as it finished second after Fulham in the season.
In the next season, the club made another record signing in the person of Andy Cole and also won its first League Cup trophy, beating Tottenham Hotspurs in the Final. Finally, the club qualified for European Football the following season by finishing sixth, and the coach, Graeme Souness, left the club for Newcastle United.
The club didn’t experience any real success during this era, except for a semi-final place in the FA Cup 2004-05 and 2006-07 seasons and a League Cup semi-final in the 2009-10 season.
New ownership came into force in 2010 when an Indian Company, V H Group, bought the club for 23 million pounds. The club got relegated to the Championship in 2012 after 11 years in the Premier League. The club also got relegated to League One in 2017. It returned to the Championship after a year in League One and currently plays in the EFL.
Must Know Facts about the Club
Honors Won by the Club
- Premier League: 1994-95
- First Division Football League: 1911-12 and 1913-14
- FA Cup: 1883-84, 1884-85, 1885-86, 1889-90, 1890-91, 1927-28
- Second Division Football League: 1938-39 and 1991-92
- Third Division Football League: 1974-75
- League Cup: 2001-02
- Community Shield: 1912
- Full Member’s Cup: 1987