Club legend Bryan Douglas has paid a heartfelt ‘thanks’ to all the Rovers fans who wished him a Happy 80th Birthday!
Bryan, who played over 500 games for the club, received countless cards and messages from supporters yesterday, as he celebrated the memorable milestone with family and friends.
Born just a stone’s throw away from Ewood Park on May 27th 1934, ‘Dougie’ joined Rovers in 1952 and went on to make 503 appearances, scoring 115 goals, over the next 17 years.
During a distinguished career, which also saw him earn 36 caps for England, Bryan became one of the town’s most famous and favourite sons.
“I don’t know how people knew, but I received a load of cards and presents from well-wishers – family and public – which I’m very thankful for and I thoroughly enjoyed the day,” he said.
“I think being a local lad, I’m in a unique position. I’m still in contact with several people that I knew before I became a professional footballer and I’ve grown up along the way with a lot of people and I treasure their friendship.
“My late wife hated walking through the town with me because people kept coming up to me and talking to me and she could never get on with her shopping, but it’s very nice. I appreciate what they’re trying to do and I try to reciprocate.”
Bryan insists the best birthday present would be to see his beloved Blackburn Rovers return to the top flight and is urging everybody connected to the club to really rally behind the team.
“I know it’s very, very difficult – it was a hard task in my day, but now with all the money in the game it’s a lot more difficult now than it was even when I played and I appreciate that – but we’ve all got to pull together, both the fans and the players, and we’ve got to get players that want to win as well,” he added.
“It would be great to see all the top teams back at Ewood again. They say success breeds success. I’ve no doubt we will go up sometime, whether it’s next season or the season after or what. It’s then a case of staying there with the big guys and then look to improve from there. I just hope I’m still around when it happens.”