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Following the footsteps...

John Buckley's gone from collecting the balls for the first team to being a big part of Tony Mowbray's squad

16 February 2021

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John Buckley has seen a lot of people come and go during his 15 years as a Rover.

Having arrived at the Academy as a fresh-faced six-year-old, Buckley watched on during the club's Premier League years.

Now 15 years on, Buckley's still got that innocent look about him, but he's a firm part of Tony Mowbray's first team plans, as showcased by the fact he will remain with the club until at least 2024.

It's been quite a journey for the midfielder, but he only has fond memories of his time coming through the ranks and being on the Ewood Park pitch - as a ball boy!

“When I first joined I remember the club being in the Premier League," he recollected to iFollow Rovers.

“I remember being younger and training in the indoor arena, I’d be walking around and seeing all the first team players.

“I remember seeing Chris Samba and I couldn’t believe how big he was, he was massive.

“Even the likes of Dunny, David Dunn, he was a big player around that time as well.

“I’ve been ball boy lots of times and I think there are photos of me doing the role whilst the first team players have been celebrating goals," he added with a grin.

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“So to be in the first team now, having watched the first team for all those years, it’s brilliant.

“It’s been a long journey so far and I’m just glad it’s carrying on."


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