Rovers superfan Alan ‘Birdy’ Birkbeck’s long-serving loyalty and support for the team was rewarded when he was invited to the Ipswich game as a special guest of the club.
Birdy, along with his wife Annette, enjoyed a VIP day out, which culminated in a valuable victory over the Suffolk side.
A life-long supporter and avid memorabilia collector, Birdy has always lived in the vicinity of Ewood Park and has spent thousands of pounds supporting the club, both as a season ticket holder/away fan and by purchasing vast amounts of merchandise each season to put in his house, which is very much a shrine to the club.
He never misses a match – at home, away or abroad – he runs his own independent supporters club ‘Ewood Blues’ and is a familiar face on the Fans Forum.
He is obsessed with everything Rovers – an obsession which began way back in April 1953. “I love Blackburn Rovers and I’ve been collecting all my life. It first started with my granddad and my dad, who would collect matchday programmes. I just carried it on and it’s blossomed into this!
“I remember first going down when I was three years old during the 1952-53 season, for a game against Luton Town, which ended 1-1. Ever since then I’ve been hooked!
“I’ve done thousands of miles and spent thousands of pounds. It’s the love of my life. It means everything to me. I think about Blackburn Rovers every minute of every day.
“To be given such a special day out at Ewood was fantastic. I never asked for it and it came as a complete surprise. It’s in recognition of supporting the club all the years I have done and I want to say thanks to Alan Myers and thanks to the club for making it possible. My suit has even got the crest on – but I wore my Rovers shirt underneath!”
Rovers’ Director of Communications, Alan Myers, said: “Blackburn Rovers has many loyal and extremely devoted fans to be proud of and Alan is certainly in that category. After being privileged to be shown around his Rovers-inspired house, it was only fitting that we gave Birdy a special day out at Ewood, with his wife Annette. We have many great fans here and it’s important to me and the club that we respect that.”