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Bowyer hails Brett

16 January 2014

Gary Bowyer has paid tribute to former Rovers star Brett Emerton after the Australian announced his retirement from football.

After a distinguished career for both club and country, the 34-year-old has hung up his boots.

Emerton started out at Sydney Olympic before securing a move to Europe with Feyenoord where he made a name for himself.

After three years at the Dutch giants, Emerton joined Rovers in the summer of 2003 for a fee of £2.5m. During an 8 year career at Rovers he made 294 appearances, scoring 20 goals.

One of those goals came in a memorable Rovers debut. Hitting a fine strike in a 5-1 demolition of Wolves on the opening day of the 2003/04 season.

His 11 years in Europe came to an end in September 2011 when he returned home to sign for Sydney FC. After two-and-a-half years at his hometown club he announced his retirement on January 15th.

On the international stage Emerton earned 95 caps for the Socceroos, the third most capped Australian.

Whilst Bowyer never worked with Emerton directly, he was fully aware what a top professional the Australian was.

"I was at the Academy at the time when Brett was here but he always came across as a top professional," said the Rovers boss.

"He was always very polite and he gave everything for Blackburn Rovers.

"His performances for the club were phenomenal, he had an unbelievable engine on him and was a good footballer with the ball as well.

"He could play in a variety of positions and was Mr. Consistent when I watched the games with his performances.

"He had a fantastic career here and he's back in Australia now he's has picked the perfect place to retire, we wish him all the best."

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