Before I begin, Let me take you back in time. To 2002 when a 16 year old me declared “That is the coldest I’ve ever been at a football stadium!” The fixture? Wigan Athletic 0-2 Rovers, 17th December 2002, League Cup Quarter Final.
I think we have a new winner….Rovers v Birmingham, 29th November 2023.
As they say in Blackburn. “It’s a bit fresh.”
To our followers and friends from Scandinavia, Canada, North East America and Central Europe, please allow perspective. To a Lancastrian, zero degrees Celsius is bitterly cold…never mind minus three!
I feel as though is 12.5k who braved the frigid conditions deserve a voucher for a free hot drink at the next game! Or a voucher for a holiday in the Seychelles. I’ll take either Steve if you’re interested.
The militant flask carriers were rewarded for their devotion to their half time coffees, the (increasingly rare) smell of Bovril permeated through the stands, whilst one fan I spoke to before kick off declared that she had “five layers, a hot water bottle and an extra set of gloves in her backpack….just in case.”
To the match and this was an instant classic. Worth the extra layers and effort…and then some!
Rovers and Blues trading blows in a free flowing first half, where both felt aggrieved not to be up at the break. Former Rovers target Sikiri Dembele (more on him later) rattled the Rovers woodwork, whilst Callum Brittain was denied his first Ewood goal by a wonder save from Ruddy in first half stoppage time.
The second half was the Championship at its best, I can’t say for certain, but maybe Sammie Szmodics put a ‘chipped goal bonus’ in his new contract? Both efforts taken (appropriately) with stone cold precision. Fellow fans favourite James Hill made it 3-0 as Ruddy went from hero to zero. Birmingham dead and buried? An easy Rovers win? Not so fast. Tormentor in chief Dembele had other ideas, his quick fire double put the Big Club back in with a shout of a point.
Rovers nerves jangled until substitute Harry Leonard drove in the clincher to send the fans into the night with focus quickly turning to the car heater and celebratory hot chocolate upon returning home.
TLDR : It was freezing, Rovers won.