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‘It was a fantastic day for everyone’

David Dunn recalls his Worthington Cup final memories ... 16 years on!

23 February 2018

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Sixteen years on from winning the Worthington Cup, David Dunn says it remains one of the highlights of his career.

The Rovers legend got his hands on the trophy again this week as part of a nationwide tour of the 23 clubs who have lifted the League Cup ahead of tomorrow’s final between Arsenal and Manchester City.

Rovers secured the silverware on February 24th 2002 as goals from Matt Jansen and Andy Cole saw Graeme Souness’ side defy the odds to beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

With Garry Flitcroft, Tugay and Craig Short all suspended for the occasion, Dunny was asked to play a central midfield role alongside Mark Hughes and it proved to be a managerial masterstroke, as Rovers tasted cup glory for the first time in 74 years.

“I’m glad they were really because I probably wouldn’t have got a game otherwise!” joked Dunny, who played the full 90 minutes in the Welsh capital.

“If Garry and Tugay had been available, I might have had to play out wide or something.

“They were three really big players for us, so to go down there, would we have been underdogs even with them involved? Probably.

“I think there was only ourselves really that thought we could win the game. I think the whole country thought Tottenham were going to walk away with it.

“We got the lucky hotel and once we checked in I think we knew we were going to win it!

“I think I sacrificed my own game for the team that day, because I had to do all of Sparky’s running! But he was great and a really good guy as well.

“I mean what a legend – Manchester United, Barcelona to name just a few. And then obviously he came to Blackburn and to link up with him was great, especially that day in the middle of the park.

“The couple of days leading up to it and obviously the day itself was such a good memory for everyone connected with the club. It was a really enjoyable day.

“In terms of the team spirit and the camaraderie we had as a group of players – the young lads and the senior pros, giving us all their much valued knowledge that we needed to go on and have decent careers – everything just came at a good time.

“And one of the highlights, other than the promotion season, was winning the Worthington Cup. It was a fantastic day for everyone.”

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