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Monday 25 March 2013

On this day: Le Saux joins Rovers revolution

In series on Premier League's history, we look at a key signing for ambitious Blackburn

  • Graeme Le Saux won the Barclays Premier League with Blackburn in 1995 rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.

25 March 1993: Blackburn Rovers sign Graeme Le Saux

It was the first season of the Barclays Premier League and Blackburn Rovers, under the stewardship of owner Jack Walker, were aiming for a place among the elite of the English game.

Rovers had earned promotion to the top-flight the previous summer and the club, with Walker and manager Kenny Dalglish at the helm, were building a squad they hoped would challenge for honours.

Stars such as Alan Shearer, Tim Flowers, Henning Berg and Tim Sherwood had already signed up to the Ewood Park project and in March 1993 another piece of the jigsaw was added when Jersey-born left back Graeme Le Saux joined from Chelsea.

He made his Blackburn debut against Liverpool, which Rovers won 4-1, and was only in the losing side twice until the end of that season as Dalglish guided the side to fourth in the table.

"The training was so intense and so competitive"
Graeme Le Saux

The next season he played 40 League matches as Rovers finished second and in 1994/95 he played a key role as Blackburn won the League title on a dramatic final day.

Le Saux tells about how his move to Blackburn came about:

"I remember it vividly because it was an opportunity to go to another club from Chelsea at a time when things weren’t really working out for me. The opportunity to go to Blackburn was fantastic.

"But in all honesty, I remember when I was first asked if I'd be interested in going there, I did have to look it up on a map I knew it was north of Manchester but I didn’t know how far north.

"Obviously with Kenny Dalglish being their manager and with what they did in their first season in the Barclays Premier League, it was amazing to become part of that. So I remember going up on the train and meeting one of my heroes, Kenny, and agreeing terms.

"Our first match was against Liverpool and both myself and Kevin Gallagher, who signed on the same day, were given man-of-the-match awards for our performances. Really that was the start of my international career, my established career as a top full-back. That was all due to what I learnt from going from Chelsea to Blackburn and working with all those great players.

"At the time, I did not think I would genuinely go on and win the League title there. It was Blackburn’s first season in the Premier League but we went on a fantastic run after I joined and we came fourth that season - I couldn't imagine any team doing that now; getting promoted one season and finishing fourth the next.

"What I did notice from the moment I arrived was training and within those first few days I was absolutely exhausted because the training was so intense and so competitive. That was the standard set by the players and the management: every training session meant something, and that was the philosophy of the club and what gave us that incredible momentum. The rest is history: we finished fourth, second and then won the Premier League in our third season."

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Key Points

  • looks back through the annals of history of the competition
  • A piece of action from each day of the year will be selected
  • We remember a key signing for Blackburn Rovers