Top 10


Friday, 30 December 2022

Whether you believe it was a ridiculous decision or think a yellow card would’ve sufficed, by chucking the ball at an opponent’s head against Middlesbrough, John Buckley gave the opportunity for pedantic officials to send him off. Just don’t do it.

Here are a few other moments of madness in Rovers’ history.

10. Richie Smallwood, Sheffield United 3–0 Rovers (29th December 2018)

Rovers were doing well to hold the promotion contenders at Bramall Lane and got the upper hand when Chris Basham was given a second yellow for handball early in the second half. But Richie Smallwood carelessly flattened Billy Sharp and saw a straight red. Rovers capitulated, immediately conceding three quick goals. It was the beginning of the end for the King of Ewood’s Rovers career as he failed to reclaim his permanent place in the starting eleven after suspension.

9. Craig Short, Rovers 1–3 Fulham (7th May 2005)

A surprising entry from the normally professional Craig Short in a sad end to his excellent Rovers career. He retaliated to a dangerous challenge on Ryan Nelsen, by forcefully shoving Luis Boa Morte to the ground.

8. Derrick Williams, Bournemouth 3–2 Rovers (25th September 2018)

Rovers had valiantly fought back from two goals down against Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup third round and the tie looked to be heading to penalties after 90 minutes. Then Derrick Williams slipped when trying to play out from the back, which might have left Callum Wilson through on goal had Del Boy not earned one of the most bizarre straight red cards ever – by casually picking up the ball and tossing it away. Wilson scored a minute later anyway and the Premier League side were through to the next round.

7. Mike Ferguson, Coventry City 1–0 Rovers (25th March 1967)

After battling full back Dietmar Bruck all afternoon and getting little protection from the referee, Fergie finally snapped and swung an elbow at Bruck’s jaw. After a verbal tirade at the ref, he stormed down the tunnel kicking the trainer's bucket, as chances of immediate promotion back to Division One slipped away in this top-of-the-table clash.

6. Garry Flitcroft, Rovers 0–3 Everton (30th March 1996)

Every player wants to make an impact on their debut… but not by getting sent off after just three minutes. Flitcroft got into a needless penalty box scuffle before the game had even warmed up.

5. Tim Flowers (The Mayor of Stupid Red Cards), Rovers 1–1 Leeds United (1st February 1995), Rovers 1–0 Queens Park Rangers (19th August 1995) & Rovers 1–1 Coventry City (13th March 1999)

A suspiciously offside-looking Brian Deane raced clear for Leeds but a charging Flowers chopped him down outside the area to earn a straight red card after just 1 minute and 35 seconds. Sub keeper Bobby Mimms stayed strong, but a late Gary McAllister penalty balanced up Alan Shearer’s early spot-kick.

Six months later, it was déjà vu at Ewood as Flowers performed a carbon copy of his Leeds act. Once again, either the Rovers backline or the linesman was asleep as Trevor Sinclair raced onto a long ball… and out came Flowers to dangerously clatter into him with what is better described as a kung-fu kick rather than a tackle. Flowers stayed down injured, or perhaps more likely he was trying to lay low and somehow avoid the inevitable – another straight red. “BOBBY!! YOU’RE ON AGAIN!”

Flowers further added to his legendary status by proving he didn’t even need to be on the field to get sent off – a foul-mouthed tirade at the officials earned him a red while on the bench at Coventry in 1999.

4. Glenn Keeley, Rovers 0–1 Portsmouth (4th May 1985)

Rovers were seemingly on a crusade to pick up red cards in this match but perhaps inevitably it was ‘Killer’ Keeley who finally received one. Here’s the legendary highlights reel introduced by Jimmy Hill.

3. Garry Flitcroft, Rovers 4–2 Sheffield Wednesday (22nd January 2002)

Rovers were comfortably cruising through the League Cup semi-final, but a wild lunge on Trond Egil Soltvedt resulted in a sending off for captain Garry Flitcroft early in the second half. Although Rovers managed to hold on for a 63 aggregate win, Flitcroft’s suspension meant he missed the final.

2. Andy Cole, Bolton Wanderers 1–1 Rovers (2nd March 2002)

The weekend after the euphoria of winning the League Cup, the underlying frustrations of playing for a struggling team boiled over for temperamental Andy Cole. He saw red in the 19th minute for stamping on Bolton defender Mike Whitlow in a crucial six-pointer which Rovers could not afford to lose against their relegation rivals. How important was Matt Jansen’s superb equaliser in the second half to prevent a fifth straight league defeat?

1. Andy Todd, Rovers 1–1 Birmingham City (18th January 2003)

Winner by a mile. 50,000 YouTube views and counting. You can’t help but chuckle at the ridiculousness of Andy Todd giving Christophe Dugarry the full “Bishop Brennan” directly in front of the referee. No doubt about this one!

What?! No Lucas Neill, Shane Duffy, Jason Roberts, Simon Barker, Tugay, Jay Bothroyd, Jason Wilcox, Robbie Savage or Jan Paul van Hecke! Get in touch with BRFCS with your suggestions and we might get them on the list next time…

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