This season we're looking back on that memorable and historic achievement of 1994-95, 25 years on, with a member of that legendary squad.
Alan Wright was next to take a trip down memory lane for our programme against Queens Park Rangers to reflect on some magical times...
Alan, it’s 25 years since Rovers lifted the Premiership trophy. Does it feel like that long ago or does it feel like only yesterday?
I think life goes that quickly that it only seems like five or 10 years ago at tops, but I certainly wouldn’t say 25 years. It just shows how quickly life moves on. A lot of players have come and gone since then, but at that particular time it was just a fantastic achievement for everybody involved. I only played a small part in it – I think I only made three or four appearances that season – but it was still a magnificent achievement. It’s difficult for me, because although I was part of it, I never really felt part of it, because I only got on the pitch three or four times, but to watch it happen and then I left just before they managed to win it, so I wasn’t there for the celebrations, but I still look back with pride, because it was a fantastic achievement by everybody and thoroughly deserved for the amount of work and dedication that goes into winning something like the Premier League.
Were the players who didn’t feature as much as others that season still made to feel very much part of the group by the manager?
Yes, 100%. We had a fantastic team spirit. Whenever there was a free weekend and if you weren’t going on international duty, then we either went to Scotland or Ireland for ‘team bonding’. But that came from Kenny Dalglish or Ray Harford, because they just wanted everyone together and I think that team spirit helped to win the title, because we were very, very close as a whole team. Obviously you get little cliques in dressing rooms, but I can look back and say that I honestly don’t think there was any at that particular time, everyone just looked out for everyone and there was just a really nice feel of togetherness.
Can you remember much about the games that you did feature in?
To be honest, I can’t even remember which games I was involved in! I moved on before the end of the season and it’s only when you finish and you look back that you think ‘I was actually part of that’. At the time, it was difficult because I wanted to play, but on the flip side of that, I felt that I had to move on, so it was a bit of a catch-22. I wanted to stay and fight for my place, but to be fair to Graeme (Le Saux), he had come in and done ever so well and I couldn’t find my way back into the team, so it was time that I had to move on.
What was Graeme Le Saux like to play with and compete with for the left-back spot?
Graeme is a very intelligent man, alongside being a very talented footballer. It was really difficult for me because I had a hernia at the end of one season and then I think it was in that close season that Kenny brought Graeme in. And then at the start of the following season, I needed a hernia on the other side and in that time, Graeme had gone in and done well for the club and got his place in the England setup, so it was really difficult for me to prize him out. Credit to him, he got the shirt and held onto it. I have a lot of respect for Graeme, he was a fantastic player and probably deserved to play in front of me at that time.
How do you look back on your time at the club in general?
I had such a fantastic time there. I have no regrets whatsoever of having to leave. It was just my time was up there and unfortunately it just happened just before they managed to win the title, which was just a little bit of bad luck on my part. I look back with really good memories of seeing the club build to what it became. I was there for two or three years and witnessed the evolution of the club of Jack Walker’s money and how it was invested in players and the training ground, which we moved into just as it was built. It was just a fantastic time for the club. Every week, a new player came in and it was like a snowball effect when it started to roll, and it got bigger and bigger, and the ultimate prize was winning the Premier League.
What was Jack Walker like and how nice was it for him to see his dream realised?
He was just a very humble man. You wouldn’t know that he’d done, but it didn’t surprise you that he had managed to achieve what he had achieved in his lifetime because he worked so hard. He always made a point of coming over and saying hello to you and saying hello to your family. He was a real gentleman and without his investment, I don’t think the club would have got to where it got to.
What was Kenny Dalglish like to work under and were you his first signing at Rovers?
I was his first signing, yes. I was a little bit in awe of him, as most people were. I remember going to his office and he introduced himself, and he obviously needed no introduction! And he said ‘right, this is the offer, take it or leave it, the door’s there if you don’t want to sign it’. And I was like ‘wow, I can’t not sign it’. To come from Blackpool into Blackburn, you just had a feeling that it was going to be successful, because Kenny had gone in and the investment of Jack’s money, so you just knew that it was going to be a success. Kenny was really good, in terms of his manner and what he wanted from you. He gave you little tiny snippets of information that would win you games.
Finally, do you still follow the club’s fortunes closely and are you still in touch with some of your former team-mates?
Yes, I worked with Jason Wilcox on a daily basis. I see Richard Brown, Scott Sellars and Paul Warhurst every now and then, and I speak to Kevin Gallacher, who is involved with the Former Players Association. It’s difficult to try and keep up, because everyone has such busy lives, but when we do get together it’s almost as if it was like yesterday when we won it. Fond memories.