After the Champions left Ewood Park
The latest in the series of Blackburn Rovers articles surrounding the Championship winning squad focuses on the members who went onto bigger, if not better things after Ewood Park.
Again this article was inspired by vital Blackburn member Clint's comments back along, that read:
"Jack Walker built a team for one thing - to win the Premiership! That was achieved without spending over the odds, unlike Leeds did to there costs, it shows it could be done, although granted the money back 10/11yrs ago was pocket change for a certain Roman! the man helped put together a TEAM that worked not just gifted individuals. Some of the players were made through playing for the club and as was shown moved on."
Former Rovers chairman and biggest supporter Jack Walker had built a team with the intention of achieving one thing… winning the Title! After doing so many of the team that Jack built, having made their names during their time with Rovers went onto arguably bigger if not necessarily better things.
Who were these people?
Injury meant that Batty didn't actually claim a Premiership winner's medal as he didn't play the required 10 matches but he was member of the Championship winning squad and worthy of a mention here.
Batty was released in March 1996 to be snapped up by Newcastle United enjoying the clubs most successful spell in the past 50-years, being a part of the Title challenging sides.
Batty represented England in the 1998 World Cup Finals missing the decisive penalty in the second round exit to Argentina.
Berg followed Graeme Le Saux out of Ewood Park a few days after the left-back's departure for £5 million in August 1997 signing for Manchester United.
He won two Premiership Titles with United, making him the only player in Premiership history to win the Premiership with two different clubs. Was also part of the United treble winning side of 1999, winning the League, FA Cup and European Cup.
Eventually returned to Rovers, initially on loan and then permanently winning the 2002 Worthington Cup!
Yeah I know, technically not a Premier League winner but part of the squad.
Given has certainly gone on to not only bigger but also better things. Whilst at Ewood Park he was restricted to just three appearances due to those in front of him at the time.
His £1.5 million fee in May 1997 was at the time good business for Rovers having picked him up for nothing.
Since leaving he has twice been an FA Cup runner up, played regularly on the European stage and has for the past ten years been the Republic of Ireland's number one performing at the 2002 World Cup Finals.
Graeme Le Saux
Le Saux left Ewood Park to return to Chelsea for £7 million in August 1997.
With Chelsea he was a part of the team that started moving in the right direction, towards the domination they currently hold over the English game winning the FA Cup twice and the European Cup Winners Cup in the process.
Part of England's 1998 World Cup Finals squad and was set for the 2000 European Championship Finals but missed out due to injury.
Having arrived for a club and British transfer record of £3.6 million in July 1992 from Southampton he only built on his already impressive reputation during his time with Rovers.
Winning the Premiership crown was the only honour of his career so in that respect he didn't go onto better things after Rovers but he constantly continued scoring goals with Newcastle United, whom he joined for a then World Record £15 million in July 1996 shortly after his and England's successful Euro '96 campaign.
Whilst at Newcastle he went on to break their goalscoring record and represented England in the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship Finals
Sherwood left Ewood for £4 million in February 1999 for Tottenham Hotspur.
The move itself can't be seen as him moving forward but he did captain Spurs, playing all of his England matches in 1999 whilst away from Ewood Park. He did however suffer with a series of injuries after leaving Ewood Park.
Following Rovers relegation July 1999 saw Sutton move onto Chelsea for £10 million. Things didn't work out for Sutton in London and he moved to Celtic a year later.
This move saw him win the League and domestic Cup's several times also being part of the UEFA Cup runners up side. European football was a regular feature for Sutton at Celtic.
£3 million took Wilcox to Leeds United in December 1999.
With Leeds he was part of their successful side that regularly finished in the top half dozen places, also a part of Leeds' Champions League semi-final squad.
Two of his three caps for England came whilst at Ewood Park, but after he left he was part of England's 2000 European Championship Finals squad. Injury prevented him from playing though.
1st Article in the Series: The team that Jack built - click here to read it
2nd Article in the Series: Rovers: The making of many - click here to read it
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