Saturday, December 12, 2015

Chris Brown and the number 9 shirt at Blackburn Rovers

Every now and again during a dull and lifeless game at Ewood Park, I drift off. Sometimes I day dream. I lose myself in the mystery of my footballing faith. I recall the spirits, I evoke the memories and sometimes I truly have to pinch myself and say, yes, that really happened. 

Yes, we really used to watch a centre forward called Alan Shearer on that pitch. A player so good and so strong that defenders would bounce off him (except in the penalty area when his body transformed into a ragdoll whenever he made human contact). But he also had a burst of pace, a powerful shot, it was said that his only failing was he couldn't get on the end of his own crosses. 

He was truly the greatest centre forward the world has ever seen. Alan the king. And he wore the number 9 shirt for Blackburn Rovers Football Club. It is fitting that a road near the stadium is to be named after him, Alan Shearer Way.

Tonight's dull and lifeless encounter with Rotherham United was brightened by the appearance of another remarkable presence in the number 9 shirt of Blackburn Rovers Football Club and his name, was Chris Brown. At first I thought he had the appearance of an eager Dad at a Dads v Lads end of season game. Determined enough not to make a fool of himself, but still in possession of a few deft touches.

As the game wore on it was clear that was an unfair comparison and as we saw him close up it was clearer he instead bore a remarkable resemblance to the comedian Lee Mack, a fellow Rovers fan. In fact, that's not only who he looked like, but that's what his half hour on the pitch resembled. Lee Mack in a charity Rovers XI. To have earned the right to wear that shirt he has to possess some modicum of footballing talent, some latent ability that justifies his presence on the pitch and on the payroll of a club. Otherwise, Gary Bowyer wouldn't have bought him, would he?

I liked what Paul Lambert is doing, talking him up. That's what I'll do too. Chris Brown, number 9 Blackburn Rovers Football Club. The January transfer window opens in 21 days.

Finally, I am incredibly proud of Blackburn Rovers for stepping forward and hosting Carlisle United's game against Plymouth on January the 2nd while Brunton Park recovers from flood damage. It's not an ideal situation for everyone concerned, but it's a lovely gesture on the part of Rovers. 

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