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Last Updated: Friday, 13 April 2007, 05:42 GMT 06:42 UK
Where are they now?
(l-r) Terry Gennoe, Simon Barker, Pat Nevin and Kerry Dixon

By Nathan Mercer and Owen Phillips

Chelsea and Blackburn have both been fortunate enough to be backed by wealthy owners in recent years - and money has made a world of difference to each club.

Sir Jack Walker bankrolled Rovers as they won the Premiership in 1995 while reigning champions Chelsea used Roman Abramovich's millions to secure the title in 2005 and 2006.

But in 1984, when the teams met at Ewood Park in the third round of the FA Cup, there was little cash to spare at either club.

However, lack of money did not stop Blues boss John Neal from putting together an impressive side.

The much-feted attacking triangle of Pat Nevin, Kerry Dixon and David Speedie went on to fire Chelsea to the Division Two title that season.


And, in Simon Garner, Rovers had a legendary striker themselves.

Blackburn came out winners here, Noel Brotherston's long-range shot sailing over Eddie Niedzwiecki and dipping under the bar to settle a hard-fought match.

Rovers went on to reach the fifth round before bowing out to Southampton and finished sixth in Division Two, one place below Grimsby and one above Carlisle United.

BBC Sport finds out what happened to the men that lined up at all those years ago.

Blackburn Rovers

Terry Gennoe
Terry Gennoe Consistent keeper who holds the record number of appearances for a Blackburn stopper. Clocked up 289 matches in his 10-year Rovers playing career before hanging up his gloves to become a goalkeeping coach at the club in 1991. His 16-year stint at Ewood Park ended over a contract dispute in 1997 but he quickly found work at Newcastle and is back at St James' Park after a brief stint at Celtic.

Jim Branagan Made 294 appearances for Rovers in an eight-year spell before moving on to play for Preston and York and then non-league side Chorley. Previously had a brief spell with Cape Town City in South Africa.

David Glenn Began his career at Wigan where he became the Latics' first ever apprentice. He left Springfield Park to sign for Rovers at the start of the 1983/84 season but was to suffer an injury that eventually ended his professional career years later at Chester City.

Derek Fazackerley Stalwart centre-back was a Rovers hero for 17 years from 1969 to 1986, during which time he made a record 593 League appearances for the club. Released early in 1987, he took the first steps on the coaching ladder with various clubs before returning to Ewood Park in 1995 after establishing his reputation at Newcastle. The high point of his coaching career came when Kevin Keegan drafted him into the England set-up and he followed Keegan to Manchester City, where he is now a scout.

David Mail Skilful centre-back who finished his career at Hull and became a lorry driver concentrating on short-haul jobs to fit in around part-time football. "For one game, I had to drive the lorry straight to the ground, park up in a lay-by and go out and play," he says. Was persuaded to make a dramatic comeback for local side Brigg Town in 1996 for the FA Vase final at Wembley and now manages youth teams in Hull.

Noel Brotherston
Noel Brotherston An inspirational figure for the club during the 1979-80 season, helping Rovers to promotion to the Second Division with his trickery and guile down the wing. A favourite among the Rovers faithful - not least for his ginger afro - he became a painter and decorator in the town when he retired, but tragically died of a heart attack aged just 38 in 1995.

Mark Patterson Journeyman winger who moved into the dug-out with Scarborough first as player/coach then as assistant manager. Had spells in charge of several other clubs before returning to the McCain Stadium. Because of injuries and a small playing squad Patterson, 41, had to register as a player and has sat on the bench for his side this season.

Simon Barker
Simon Barker Tough-tackling, England Under-21 midfielder now works for the PFA looking after club delegates. Originally went down the coaching route and qualified up to Uefa B coaching standard before taking a degree in business management. Also a licensed players' agent.

John Lowey
John Lowey Lowey joined team-mates Chris Thompson and David Hamilton in leaving Ewood Park for Wigan in 1986. However, he only appeared in three League games before being released in 1987. He and Thompson then moved to Australia where Lowey now lives.

Simon Garner
Simon Garner Blackburn's all-time top scorer also finished top in the BBC Football Focus' vote for Rovers fans' all-time cult hero. Known for his drinking and smoking habits as much as his goal-scoring exploits, Garner scored a record-breaking 192 goals in 16 years for Blackburn. 'The Lincolnshire Poacher' was sentenced to nine months imprisonment in 1996 when he was found in contempt of court following his marriage break-up, although he was released after four weeks. He now combines his expert analysis on Sky Sports and BBC radio with making after-dinner speeches.

Chris Thompson The former England youth international joined Rovers from Bolton as a result of the Wanderers dire financial situation in the early 1980s. He moved to Wigan at start of season 1986/87 where he went on to form a prolific attacking partnership alongside Paul Jewell.


Manager - John Neal Former Wrexham and Middlesbrough boss who replaced Geoff Hurst as Chelsea boss in 1981 and built an exciting team despite the financial constraints at Stamford Bridge. Took the Blues to sixth place in the top flight in 1985 before retiring due to ill health. Underwent heart surgery in 1986 and now lives in Edinburgh.

Eddie Niedzwiecki
Eddie Niedzwiecki Welsh international goalkeeper who picked the worst possible time to choose a career between the sticks. A hugely popular number one who was only denied a stack of Wales caps by the legendary Neville Southall. Now first-team coach under Mark Hughes at Blackburn.

John Hollins Played nearly 600 games during two spells at the club, but was less successful when he became manager between 1985-88. Also had spells in charge of Swansea and Rochdale. Parted company with cash-stricken Conference side Crawley before Christmas and is working in the media but looking to get back into management.

Colin Pates
Colin Pates Chelsea youth product who emerged as a reliable defender. Joined Charlton before a successful spell at Arsenal at the end of his career when George Graham's mission seemed to buy as many centre-halves as possible. Now football coach at Whitgift School in Croydon, south London.

Joe McLaughlin Whole-hearted Scottish centre-half who left Chelsea in 1989. Also played for Charlton and Watford, before returning back north of the border. Was a coach at Millwall and had a brief spell as caretaker boss of hometown club Morton in 2004 and now has his own business recruiting young players for US universities.

Joey Jones
Joey Jones A cult figure, who was coming towards the end of his career when this game was played, Jones was adored by Blues fans for his no-nonsense heart-on-your-sleeves approach. Underwent heart surgery in 2002 and now back coaching at Wrexham - his fourth spell with the Welsh club. Named Wrexham's ultimate Cult Hero by BBC TV's Football Focus.

Paul Canoville Flying winger and Chelsea's first black player who had to endure racist abuse from his own fans when he broke into the side in 1982. He played more than 100 games for the club before joining Reading where injury prematurely ended his professional career. Has twice successfully fought off cancer and now works as a driver for disabled people and also works with schools through his work with Chelsea In The Community. He is also about to have his autobiography published.

Tony McAndrew Was only at Chelsea for two years and is more famous for his 11-year association with Middlesbrough during two spells either side of his time in London. Coached alongside Brian Little at Darlington, Leicester, Aston Villa and Stoke and is now youth team coach at Villa Park where he has helped nurture the likes of Gabriel Agbonlahor and Steve Davies.

Nigel Spackman Another to play for Chelsea in two separate spells. One of several to join in the summer of 1983 and help the side to the Division Two title. Spackman won a clutch of medals with Liverpool and Rangers and returned to Stamford Bridge in the 1990s. A traumatic four-month spell as manager of Millwall came to an end in September and he is now working as a co-commentator.

Pat Nevin
Pat Nevin Jinky wing genius who is still widely regarded as one of the most talented players Chelsea have ever had. Left the club in 1989 following relegation to the old Division Two and played for Everton, Tranmere and Motherwell in a 20-year playing career. The Scotland international is now a successful TV pundit and newspaper columnist.

Kerry Dixon
Kerry Dixon Chelsea legend and England international who scored 193 goals for the club. Tried his hand at management with Doncaster and Boreham Wood and now works for the Blues covering games for the in-house television channel as well as doing matchday hospitality. Also assistant manager of Dunstable in the British Gas Business League Midland Division.

David Speedie Volatile striker who formed an impressive attacking trio alongside Dixon and Nevin. Speedie joined Coventry in the summer of 1987 and also re-united with Dixon at Southampton for a brief and unsuccessful spell in the early 1990s. Now working as an agent.

  • Many thanks go to Mark Westwood of Chelsea Old Boys and Chelsea historian Rick Glanvill.

    Niedzwiecki joins Blackburn
    20 Sep 04 |  Blackburn Rovers
    Manager Hollins departs Crawley
    30 Oct 06 |  Crawley Town
    Motherwell in turmoil
    24 Apr 02 |  Scotland
    Wrexham's cult heroes
    08 Apr 05 |  Football Focus
    Spackman & Millwall part company
    25 Sep 06 |  Millwall
    Villa lift FA Youth Cup
    18 May 02 |  Football
    McLaughlin given Ton chance
    17 Sep 04 |  Morton
    Blackburn v Chelsea
    13 Apr 07 |  FA Cup
    Mark Hughes' FA Cup odyssey
    13 Apr 07 |  FA Cup
    Lawro's predictions
    12 Apr 07 |  Football


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