Vital Football

Latest Blackburn Rovers News

The Ones That Got Away…Neil Danns

The Ones That Got Away…Neil Danns

Full Name: Neil Danns
Date of Birth: 23rd November 1982, Liverpool
Nationality: English
Position: Midfield
Signed: August 2002 (First professional contract after initially being a trainee)
Left: December 2004 (Sold to Colchester United)
Clubs (Prior to Rovers): Liverpool (Schoolboy), Blackpool, Hartlepool & Colchester United (all three loan from Rovers)

Neil Danns, a former Blackburn Rovers trainee having come thorough the Rovers academy couldn't quite make the grade... but he is now starting his quest to prove Rovers wrong.

Having initially been part of his hometown clubs set-up as a schoolboy with Liverpool it was with Rovers that his big break came, joining them as a trainee working his way through the academy ranks to the senior side.

Whilst part of the youth side Danns was a part of the successful 2000-2001 FA Youth Cup side that eventually finished the tournament as runners up to Arsenal, with Danns proving to be the most successful graduate of that Rovers side.

August 2002 saw Danns sign his first professional contract with Rovers, making his senior debut a month later on 19th September 2002 in Rovers' 1-1 draw with CSKA Sofia at Ewood Park in the UEFA Cup. His Premiership debut followed three days later, again at Ewood Park with Leeds United the visitors. Danns went on to make the reminder of all but one of his seven first team appearances during the 2002-2003 season before loan spells with Blackpool, Hartlepool and Colchester United saw him seek first team football elsewhere.

The 2003-2004 season started with a three-month spell with Blackpool. Upon his return to Ewood Park in November 2003 Danns went on to make one more appearances in the blue and white of Rovers in the senior side. His seventh and final appearance for Rovers came on 10th January 2004 in Rovers' 4-3 defeat at the hands of local rivals Bolton Wanderers at Ewood; in fact all but one of his appearances indeed came at Ewood. The only away match in which he featured came at Villa Park in a 4-1 victory over Aston Villa in January 2003.

A two-month loan spell at the end of the 2003-2004 season took him to Hartlepool United before a similar spell with Colchester United during the early months of the 2004-2005 season. With Danns impressing during his two-months at Layer Road he briefly returned to Rovers before making the permanent switch to Colchester at the end of December 2004 for an undisclosed fee, known to be nominal.

His time with Colchester proved to be very successful, with him instrumental in the clubs promotion from League One to the Championship at the end of the 2005-2006 season. Danns form was in fact so impressive that he was linked with several clubs during the summer of 2006. Birmingham City were the club to win the race for his signature, with him signing for the club just relegated from the Premiership for £500,000 in June 2006.

In a bizarre twist of fate his Birmingham debut came against none other than Colchester! Danns has frequently featured for Birmingham during the 2006-2007 season in the Championship, helping them in their quest for an instant Premiership return.

It may be too early to really regard him as one that got away, but early signs during his time at Rovers and his form subsequently mean this could be possible. With Birmingham being a big club, should they regain their Premiership status this is when his real test will come, and we can fully see if Mark Hughes (having not long been with Rovers when deciding to let Danns go) was wrong in letting him go and he really will be one that got away…

The above information is as accurate to my knowledge as possible, up to and including 13th October 2006.

click here to see other "The Ones That Got Away" articles

Why should you sign up to Vital Blackburn? - Click Here

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Sunday April 1 2007
Time: 9:31PM


I'm sure we'll find out soon enough if Danns genuinely was one that got away and if Sparky was right to let him go so quickly soon enough I guess? I've seen a bit of Danns this season and he hasn't looked a bad player, as he didn't with Colchester when I saw him.
Hughes Da Man
01/04/2007 21:33:00
The jury is out on him!
01/04/2007 21:55:00
not a great player, don't lose sleep over losing him.
01/04/2007 22:29:00
Not a great player now but maybe could be one day. He has the potential to be one of those that got away though.
Hughes Da Man
01/04/2007 23:23:00
maybe, looks average, in derbyshire you have a much better prospect. (i know its a different position but you can only blood so many youngsters at a time)
01/04/2007 23:24:00
Derbs is amazing, he WILL go onto great things no two ways about it. Along with Bents and Stevie W he WILL play for England at senior level, hopefully whilst all three are Rovers players?!?!
Hughes Da Man
Think they will be, you are a rasing force again!
02/04/2007 01:14:00
Hughes was right to take a chance on benni too, what a signing he has turned out to be. Your new version of shearer?
02/04/2007 01:14:00
Thanks EvertonMike, as I said in another article comment, I'm liking you Everton guys :) we are certainly on the up again Sparky has got us playing good football and has signed some real gems! Benni McGoalmachine has been great, has had his ups and downs as all players do but wouldn't swap him for many others, if any others?!?! A little worried about his future though, worry he could move on in the summer!!!
Hughes Da Man
02/04/2007 01:28:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Best of Vital Network

Recent Blackburn Rovers Articles

A Solid Foundation

If you've not got a solid foundation to build on the structure isn't going to be strong. But the arrival of Tony Mowbray has given Blackburn this according to Danny Guthrie.

Championship 2016/17 Golden Boot Battle (27/3/17)

The final international break of the Championship 2016/17 season ticks on by and this year could see a number of players break the 20 goal mark.

Championship Cost Per Goal So Far In 2016/17

The end of the Championship campaign of 2016/17 is only a month and a bit away from fans across the country but as we go in to the remaining weeks of the campaign...

Positive Signs For Bennett

Bennett was positive of Blackburn being able to see off Lancashire rivals Preston heading into this game at Ewood Park after the Norwich and Fulham results.

Archived Vital Blackburn Articles

Vital Blackburn articles from

Site Journalists

Editor email
no email

Current Poll (see more polls)

Preston MotM
Suggested By:
Lucas Joao25%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Newcastle 38 24 6 8 78 38
2 Brighton 38 23 8 7 77 30
3 Huddersfield 37 22 5 10 71 4
4 Leeds Utd 38 21 6 11 69 16
5 Reading 38 20 7 11 67 2
6 Sheff Wed 38 18 8 12 62 9
7 Fulham 38 16 13 9 61 19
8 Norwich 38 16 9 13 57 9
9 Preston 38 15 12 11 57 6
10 Derby County 38 14 11 13 53 3
11 Barnsley 38 14 9 15 51 0
12 Aston Villa 38 13 12 13 51 0
13 Cardiff 38 14 9 15 51 -1
14 Brentford 38 14 8 16 50 3
15 Q.P.R. 38 14 8 16 50 -5
16 Wolves 37 12 9 16 45 -2
17 Ipswich 38 10 15 13 45 -9
18 Birmingham 38 11 12 15 45 -16
19 Bristol City 38 11 8 19 41 -3
20 Forest 38 11 8 19 41 -11
21 Burton 38 10 11 17 41 -14
22 Blackburn 38 9 13 16 40 -11
23 Wigan 38 8 10 20 34 -13
24 Rotherham 38 4 5 29 17 -54
The Vital Football Members League
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Vital Football Comment

Recent Blackburn Rovers Results (view all)

Blackburn Rovers Fixtures (view all)

Apr 1 2017 3:00PM : Brighton & Hove Albion (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Apr 4 2017 8:00PM : Reading (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Apr 8 2017 3:00PM : Barnsley (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Apr 14 2017 3:00PM : Nottingham Forest (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Apr 17 2017 3:00PM : Bristol City (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Apr 22 2017 3:00PM : Wolverhampton Wanderers (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Write for Vital Football