SATURDAY was a landmark afternoon for Jordan Rhodes and Blackburn Rovers in more ways than one.
In the days leading up to the Championship clash with Bournemouth there was some doubt over whether Rhodes would play any part in what would prove to be his 100th appearance for the club.
The prolific striker had been the subject of a club record bid from Hull City and up until the morning of the match it was unclear whether he had kicked his last ball in a Rovers shirt.
But then the statement from Venky’s arrived.
With the Rovers owners making it clear they had no intention of selling their prize asset Rhodes was thrust straight into Gary Bowyer’s starting line-up for the Cherries encounter.
And it did not take long for the ton-up boy to score the 54th goal of his prolific two-year Ewood Park career.
At first it seemed set to be remembered best for being the goal that set Rovers on the way to a first home win of the season as they claimed the points against Bournemouth.
But, thanks to eagle-eyed Rovers statistician Derek Jones, it in fact has taken on more historical importance than that.
As Rhodes’ 13th-minute strike, slotted coolly through the legs of the Bournemouth goalkeeper, was the 7,000th goal scored by Rovers in league football in the club’s 4,584th league match.
Rhodes is in good company.
Alan Shearer netted the club’s 6,000th league goal – and what an important one it was too – when he converted a sixth-minute penalty in a 1-1 draw with Leeds United under the Ewood lights on February 1, 1995.
Although Leeds levelled the contest five minutes from time through Gary McAllister the point helped Rovers, who played most of the contest with 10 men after goalkeeper Tim Flowers was sent off after just 72 seconds, edge out Manchester United in the race for the Premiership title.
Rovers’ 5,00th league goal was scored 17 years earlier by Stuart Metcalfe in a 4-0 home win over Fulham on March 15, 1978.
Andy McEvoy had the honour of notching the club’s 4,000th league goal, in a 4-1 home victory over West Ham United on March 20, 1961, with their 3,000th league goal coming 14 years earlier, courtesy of Alex Venters in a 3-1 success at Manchester City on September 27, 1947.
Rovers scored their 2,000th league goal in a 1-1 draw at Tottenham Hotspur on January 22, 1927, with Gilly Shaw the man to get it.
And the club’s 1,000th goal was registered 107 years ago on November 16, 1907. However, Jimmy Robertson’s effort proved no more than a consolation as Rovers went down to a 4-1 defeat at Everton.
Of the 7,002 league goals Rovers have scored, 4,306 have come in the top flight of English football, 2,397 in the second tier, and 299 in the third tier.
- All statistics provided by Derek Jones.