Rover the Dog's Blog!
Rover’s Fun Matchday Itinerary
Blackburn Rovers v Bristol Rovers (Saturday November 25th)
10am Roverstore opens. The best shop ever – it sells so many great items with my face on!
11am Blues Bar opens. Matchday members enjoy priority access, so sign up now! Food will be served from midday.
12.30pm The Foster’s FanZone opens. Barnsley v Leeds will be live on the screen in time for the opening of the stage, bar and burger van outside the Blackburn End.
1pm Strikers’ Lounge opens. Please note our new opening time for the recently redecorated and modernised family friendly room, which is based in the Blackburn End and free to enter! If your child requires use of the Sensory Room for future games, please email email@example.com to reserve their place.
1pm I arrive! You can’t miss me ... I’m the giant friendly dog that loves saying hello and posing for photos!
1.15pm The penalty shoot-out challenge begins. The forecast isn’t looking great for today, but if it’s dry, we’ll be open for business outside the Blackburn Rovers Community Trust Family Stand so that you can test your shooting skills.
1.30pm Turnstiles open. The GAME Room is new and improved with an increased number of consoles now available since our last home league game, meaning that more children can enjoy the facility. McDonald’s are also offering free face painting and fruit bags in Rover’s Kennel.
2pm Olivia Jade Archbold on stage. At the age of just 14, Olivia Jade wowed crowds with her superb audition for Britain’s Got Talent, with Simon Cowell praising her for ‘making the song her own’ and Amanda Holden describing her as ‘utterly spellbinding’. Seven years on from making the semi-finals of the ITV contest, she continues to amaze audiences with her vocal talents, drawing on experience in diverse entertainment formats including theatre, musicals, ballet and radio to add to her TV exposure. Currently working on her debut album, we can’t wait for her FanZone performance today!
2.20pm Pudsey Bear on stage. I’ll be joined by my good friend and Children In Need mascot Pudsey. Come and say hello in the FanZone – he’s a very friendly bear!
2.25pm Read out the team sheets! The first child aged 16 or under to put themselves forward (provided you’ve not done it before!) will find themselves reading out the very first team news to supporters in the FanZone – what an honour!
2.50pm Guard of honour. The flags will be waving to greet the arrival of the teams, thanks to youngsters from Mill Hill Juniors FC and St Peter’s Primary School, Blackburn.
2.57pm The teams emerge. Make sure that you make plenty of noise as we welcome Rovers, and, erm ... Rovers!
3pm Kick-off! Keep that wall of sound going as we try to keep our great winning run going.
3.50pm Half-time penalties. The lucky children from St Peter’s and Mill Hill will return to show us how to take a perfect penalty.
Blackburn Rovers v Fleetwood Town (Tuesday October 31st)
12pm Blues Bar opens. Arrive as early as you can to secure the best seats! Don’t forget to become a matchday member to make sure you can get in.
5pm Strikers’ Lounge opens. You may notice something a little different about Strikers’ tonight … pop in through the Blackburn End reception to see what has changed! Please email Julie via firstname.lastname@example.org to book access to the Sensory Room as required.
5.30pm The Foster’s FanZone opens. There’s plenty of cover under the tent or the overhang from the burger van and plenty of great tunes to listen to as we pump up the matchday atmosphere at the Blackburn End!
6pm Penalty shoot-out challenge starts. If it stays dry, our Community Trust staff will be giving you the chance to win great prizes in our shooting skills contest, found in the corner of the Jack Walker Stand and Blackburn End.
6.15pm I arrive! I’ll be on the prowl around the stadium, keeping the place free of any Halloween spiders, ghosts or ghouls!
6.30pm Concourses open. The earlier you arrive, the more fun you can have in places like Rover’s Kennel (where you’ll find free face painting and fruit bags from McDonald’s) or The GAME Room. You’ll definitely see me there at some point.
7pm Read out the team sheets! One lucky child aged 16 or under can enjoy reading out the Rovers team on the FanZone stage if you ask the presenter nicely. Make sure you shout them out nice and loud!
7.35pm Guard of honour. We’re delighted to welcome children who have been granted the privilege of forming tonight’s pitchside flag parade thanks to our friendship with the excellent local organisation Abu Hanifah Foundation. We look forward to seeing your display!
7.42pm The teams emerge! Let’s make a lot of noise and make sure the Fleetwood players are suitably frightened by the experience on this Halloween night!
Blackburn Rovers v Portsmouth (Saturday October 21st)
10am Roverstore opens. The best place to purchase your cuddly Rover the Dog toys!
11am Blues Bar opens. Make sure you sign up for matchday membership! Food available from midday.
12pm Strikers’ Lounge opens. Free entry for all the family. So much fun happens here on the Blackburn End second floor on matchdays!
12.30pm The Foster’s FanZone opens. The stage, bar and burger van will all be open and ready for business from this time, with Chelsea v Watford live on the big screen.
1pm I arrive! I can’t wait to say hello to all my biggest fans as I wander around the ground!
1.15pm The penalty shoot-out challenge begins. Head to the corner of the Jack Walker Stand and the Blackburn End where our speed of shot test will be up and running, with prizes for taking part.
1.30pm Turnstiles open. Blackburn Rovers Community Trust Family Stand ticket holders can enjoy bonus features like the consoles in The GAME Room and the free McDonald’s fruit bags and face painting in Rover’s Kennel, where I snooze during the week!
2pm Zoe Unsworth on stage. Zoe put in two star turns for us last season in the Foster’s FanZone, so we can’t wait to welcome her back! The teenage singer/songwriter was a nominee at the Unsigned Music Awards last year and has performed at venues such as the Etihad Stadium and Old Trafford, as well as supporting the likes of Georgie Fame, Scouting for Girls and The Lightning Seeds. You’ll find her online at zoeunsworth.co.uk or follow @zoeumusic on Twitter.
2.25pm Read out the team sheets! We’d like to give one lucky child the first reading of the team sheets anywhere in the stadium! Join us on the FanZone stage if you’re up to the challenge.
2.50pm Guard of honour. A warm welcome to Llysfaen Junior Football Club who have travelled from north Wales to enjoy being part of today’s matchday activities, including the touchline flag parade that greets the teams.
2.57pm The teams emerge. The best behaved of the Llysfaen youngsters also enjoy the honour and privilege of leading out the Rovers team as our player escorts.
3pm Kick-off! Make sure you cheer our boys towards a vital three points.
3.50pm Half-time penalties. If they haven’t had enough fun already, the junior players from Llysfaen will be back on the pitch to try and score (or save) penalties for the crowd’s enjoyment.
Below are the quiz answers from the Plymouth Argyle programme. Well done to everyone who got the questions correct.
1. Charlton Athletic vs Doncaster Rovers
2. Southend United
4. Kieffer Moore
But can you beat quiz master Rover the Dog for a second time? Let’s see if you can answer these five questions correctly ... only this time, it will not just be specifically about League One.
1. Who has been appointed the new manager of Oldham Athletic?
2. Who scored Rovers' goal against Plymouth Argyle on Tuesday night?
3. Which team did Manchester United beat in the Champions League earlier this week?
4. Everton faced a French team in the Europa League on Thursday night ... name that team?
5. Which Premier League club parted company with their manager after a home draw against West Bromwich Albion?
Blackburn Rovers v Plymouth Argyle (Tuesday October 17th)
12pm- As the clock strikes noon the doors for Blues Bar opens, so if you can get away from work early, this is the place to be ahead of kick-off.
5pm - Strikers’ Lounge opens. Fun for all the family with pool, table football, consoles and board games for the youngsters, plus a bar for adults! Free entry via the Blackburn End reception.
5.30pm - The Foster’s FanZone opens. Don’t miss our mix of music, team news and Rovers chat on the stage, while the bar will be open for business too. It’s covered so you can enjoy the entertainment in all weathers.
6pm - Penalty shoot-out challenge starts. If it is not raining, find our inflatable goal in the corner of the Jack Walker Stand and Blackburn End and you could win prizes for your shooting accuracy.
6.15pm - I arrive! I’ll be outside the ground or taking a look at the Strikers’ Lounge and the Roverstore until around 7.15pm, when you can catch me inside the stadium.
6.30pm - Concourses open and the standout news for this evening’s game is the GAME Community Cup! Playing the popular FIFA 18 game, if you enter you have a chance to win a medal and prizes. To find out more, please pop on by to The GAME Room, situated within the Blackburn Rovers Community Trust Stand. You can also have fun in my Kennel in the same area, which offers free fruit bags and face painting thanks to McDonald’s.
7pm - Read out the team sheets! If you think you’re going to be the next star football commentator, come and get some early experience by volunteering to read out the teams in the FanZone! It’s a first-come first-served offer for any under-16s.
7.35pm - Guard of honour. The lucky children from St. Leonard’s Primary School will be lining the touchline with their flags.
7.42pm - The teams emerge alongside the player escorts from Clitheroe Wolves! I want to hear you all raising the roof as the two sides enter the pitch!
7.45pm - Kick-off.
8.35pm - Half-time penalties. The selected pupils from St. Leonard’s Primary School will be back on the pitch to show us how well they can strike a dead ball. I may even join them …
For our puzzle this week, let’s test your League One knowledge once again. All the answers will be revealed in the Portsmouth programme on Saturday. Good luck!
- Last Saturday, a referee unfortunately collided with a player leaving him with concussion. Luckily the official is ok, but which game did this happen in?
- Which team had to walk 25 minutes from the train station to the opponent’s stadium last weekend?
- Steve Lovell is currently caretaker manager at one of our League One competitors. Name the club?
- Who is currently the division’s leading goalscorer?
- In what year did Rovers last play Plymouth in a competitive league fixture?
Blackburn Rovers v Gillingham - Saturday September 30th.
10am - Roverstore opens.
I love this place – it’s the only shop that I know of where you can buy a cuddly version of me!
11am - Blues Bar opens.
Food service starts from midday. Please grab a matchday membership to secure your entry.
12pm - Strikers’ Lounge opens.
You may see me up here if you pop in – entry is free for all families and is accessible via the main reception in the Blackburn End.
12.30pm - The Foster’s FanZone opens.
The bar will be open for business and the stage will be broadcasting all the latest music and Rovers-related news.
1pm - I arrive!
I’ll be meeting and greeting as many of you as possible. As you can see opposite, I’ve got a page of photos to fill for the next programme!
1.15pm - The Penalty Shoot-Out Challenge opens.
It’s in the corner where the Jack Walker Stand meets the Blackburn End. There are prizes to be won as you test the speed of your shot!
1.30pm - Turnstiles open.
Have you seen that we now have FIFA 18 on every console in The GAME Room? If you time it right, you may even get to play against me! Don’t miss the free fruit bags and face painting from McDonald’s in The GAME Room too.
1.50pm - Verity Kinnon on stage.
We’re delighted to have Verity back on stage, almost a year since she last performed here against Ipswich Town last October. Since then, she has made it to the X-Factor boot camp and performed at the Blackpool lights switch on, so we can’t wait to hear her new set for us this afternoon as she continues to raise her profile as a rising star. Search @veritykinnon on Twitter and Instagram for more about today’s star turn.
2.15pm - Read out the team sheets!
If you’re 16 or under, get to the FanZone stage for the chance to be today’s team announcer and take home a goodie bag for your efforts!
2.50pm - Guard of honour.
I hope that the children from Avondale Primary School in Darwen have been practising their technique on how to best wave a flag in front of thousands of people.
2.57pm - The teams emerge
Today our Rovers team is being led out by a group of lucky (and talented) children from this summer’s Football Camp, who won the chance to walk out hand-in-hand with our players as part of our Rovers Idol skills challenge.
3pm - Kick-off!
More of the same atmosphere as Tuesday night, please!
3.50pm - Half-time penalties:
If their arms aren’t too tired from all the flag waving before the game, it’s time for the children from Avondale Primary School to show us how good they are with their feet, as they take the challenge on the pitch.
28th July 2017
Meeting the little pups of Blackburn
Did you know that we run Baby Sensory sessions in Strikers' Lounge two days a week? It has been so successful on Thursdays that we've now had to expand the concept to Mondays too!
I went along this week to meet the first group of babies that are enjoying being brought along by mums, dads, grandparents, guardians and other family members, using creative play facilities to interract with other little people who are just learning to roll or crawl, as well as enjoying playing with lights, listening to music or joining in with group fun.
When I turned up, the reaction was lovely. Being the biggest dog in Blackburn, I was very pleased that rather than being scared of me (I only heard two little whimpers out of the dozens that were there!), most of the babies were intrigued by me, either stroking my soft and cuddly fur, or even giving me a big kiss as one of the lovely ladies did!
It was really nice to see all the excitement and anticipation in the lounge as all of these newly born people start out on the adventures that their lives will bring.
I just hope that by having me turning up in my lovely Rovers colours that they'll all grow up to be big fans of blue and white halves! Fingers (or paws) crossed these little pups will grow up to share my love of Blackburn Rovers.
If you'd like to know more about Baby Sensory (and see a few photos of me with all the cute babies), take a look at their Facebook page.
10th July 2017
The Big Event was bigger than me!
I like to think that I'm the biggest attraction here at Ewood Park, but there was something that proved to be even bigger than me as we hosted The Big Event this morning!
I was handed a very colourful South African flag to wave in front of around 3,500 children, because the morning celebrated the connection between the Dioceses of Blackburn and Bloemfontein - we even had some visitors who had flown in all that way to help lead the fun.
It was a faith led event, but it was open to children from all backgrounds, and I was so pleased to see them all getting on so well together, as all the visiting schools sat side by side.
Even though the action was all happening just a short walkies from my kennel in the Blackburn End, I'm really pleased that St James' Church in Lower Darwen - who led a lot of the planning alongside the people here at Ewood Park - were kind enough to invite me. I even got chance to climb onto the special stage that they put up where the Blackburn End goal would normally be!
We held a very similar event early last season which was just as successful, so I'm really pleased to see that we're able to use our stadium on non-matchdays for nice events like this, which was aimed at teaching local school children about tolerance, understanding and acceptance.
We were so keen to explain that message that we even let a Burnley fan come on stage and play the role of a hero in a brilliant short play with the Bishop! I'll have to remember to invite Bertie Bee next time...