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1915 - 1924: All quiet at Ewood

15 May 2014

The resumption of football after World War I

It wasn't until 1919 that normal service was re-introduced following the end of World War I.

The recommencement of the Football League and the return to normality it signposted was welcomed by the public at large.

For Rovers it was a time of transition as the great pre-war side had to be replaced. Initial signs were not good as the team struggled at the foot of the division.

Indeed it soon became obvious that unless action was taken Rovers were bound for the Second Division. Despite the signings of David Rollo, Frank Reilly, Ronnie Sewell and Levy Thorpe it took the arrival of Norman Rodgers from Stockport to spark a recovery.

Even so with four games left Rovers looked like they were down and out. The first match against Aston Villa ended in a 5-1 victory for Rovers.

Two games against Manchester United followed from which Rovers gleaned three valuable points. The final game found them a point behind Notts County.

However whilst Rovers were beating Sheffield United by four goals to nil, County were losing by a similar margin to Manchester United and so Rovers escaped by the skin of their teeth.

The following season brought a much-improved effort as the club climbed to eleventh place. In February 1922 the Rovers appointed their first full-time manager. The highly regarded Jack Carr was the man chosen. However despite the signing of quality players such as Harper and Puddefoot success proved elusive.

Embarrassing Cup defeats at the hands of amateur sides Corinthians and South Shields brought Carr's reign to a premature end even though he did lead the club to another Cup semi-final in 1925. On that occasion they lost 1-3 to Cardiff City at Meadow Lane. Their league form meanwhile, remained disappointing.

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