Blackburn Rovers - Saying Goodbye To A Legend
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Saying Goodbye To A Legend

Sunday May 24th will mark a very special moment in the lives of all Rovers fans as a great club servant, the Turkish 'Maestro' Tugay leaves the club at the age of 38.

Tugay joined Rovers from Glasgow Rangers in 2001 for a bargain 1.2 million, bought to the club by Graeme Souness. Little did Graeme know at the time that Tugay would outlast him and 2 other managers at the club. Now whilst that doesn't sound that impressive bare in mind that Souness was at Rovers 3 and a half years and the same goes for successor Mark Hughes.

Tugay is a rare example of a modern footballer. He has been with Rovers for 8 years and has turned down big money moves elsewhere THREE times to stay at the club he loves. This is even more amazing when you consider that clubs the size of Rovers that cannot compete with the big money wages that other clubs can throw at players really struggle to hold onto their big name players.

Can you see mercenaries like David Bentley and Craig Bellamy doing this?... no thought not. It's called loyalty and it is in short supply in footballers of the 21st century.

Tugay is also a special brand of player. He has never been one to bust a gut or go box to box but he makes space for himself by his body movement and mesmerizing touch with the ball at his feet. He rarely leaves the centre circle if truth be told but he really doesn't need to, his passing creates the chances for offensive players and I have never seen a player pass a ball long and with such accuracy as the Turk.

Yes I include much more lauded players such as Xabi Alonso and Paul Scholes in that statment.

A very quiet family man, Tugay rarely speaks publicly but my favourite Tugay quote comes from two ex-Man United players.

After a Blackburn v Man United game Mark Hughes and Sir Alex Ferguson sat down for a glass of wine and Alex Ferguson asked Mark Hughes if he wished Tugay was 26 and not 36? Hughes' response was 'No, because then he would be playing for you and not for me....' Alex agreed with this statement, a true testament to the ability of Tugay and never have truer words been spoken.

The Maestro clearly loves the Ewood fans as well as at the end of every game he is always the last one round the pitch clapping everyone and soaking up the adulation - quite frankly because he deserves it. His Blackburn career has run a paralell with another Rovers great, Brad Friedel. Now whilst we never really got a chance to say goodbye to Brad we will have a chance to say goodbye to the most loyal of all Rovers players.

The volley against Spurs at Ewood.

The direct hit from the corner against Fulham.

Every raking 40 yard ball to feet.

And a man that plays for the badge and the club with such pride that it should make every other player in the Premier League have a good long hard look at themselves.

Make sure if you are at Ewood Park on Sunday, like myself, that you show your respect and your gratitude to one of the best players ever to wear the blue and white.

Tugay, you are my Turkish Delight...
The Journalist

Writer: Mikey Delap Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday May 20 2009

Time: 10:07AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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omg!!!!!!! i wasjust about to wrte a tribute......darn u mikey!! great readddd!!!!
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20/05/2009 10:24:00

fantastic tribute Mikey, says it all really.
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20/05/2009 10:52:00

unlucky Sas! I get a feeling we may get a lot of tributes this weekbut the man deserves it. Just thought I would get my two cents in...
Mikey D
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20/05/2009 11:05:00

That was great Mikey - Tugay, irreplaceable
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20/05/2009 13:00:00

Tugay will be missed surely.
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20/05/2009 14:57:00

His volley against Fulham was the greatest goal I have ever witnessed.
Decimus Poole
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20/05/2009 16:38:00

brilliant article going to watch his goals on youtube
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20/05/2009 16:56:00

If only he WAS 28 again - how we could do with that Tugay again...
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20/05/2009 19:22:00

poor mans ivan campo!
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20/05/2009 20:32:00

i am already beginning to miss tugay!!
Blue n Whitey
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21/05/2009 09:14:00

Yes I think we can all remember those brilliant Ivan Campo screamers on the volley cant we??! Oh wait....
Mikey D
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21/05/2009 09:49:00

poor mans ivan campo? your kidding me....campo doesnt even deserve to be mentioned on the same page as Tugay
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21/05/2009 09:50:00

The only thin Campo will be remembered for is his hair - did he play football?
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21/05/2009 10:37:00

Tugay legend - great goals (I too loved that Fulham one - class) great on the ball, great passing and ability. Always appreciative of the fans. Not one of these badge-kissers here one day gone the next - true pro
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21/05/2009 10:39:00

I think Sunday will be a very emotonal affair! He been so loyal, and a true pro, i've never seen him proping up the bar in Jumping Jaxx(that was Keith Gillespie about 6year ago! ha!) I have my Turkish flag at the ready, just hope the boys can give him a good send off!
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21/05/2009 14:09:00

Mikey D, Campo may not have scored as many screamers as Tugay but he did score a winner at your place, correct? Sasman - Champions League winner doesnt deserve to be mentioned on the same page as Tugay for that exact reason, he won a major trophy and played in the game to win it, unlike Tugay with your league cup success, which yes is a good trophy but the champions league means much more tbh.
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21/05/2009 16:50:00

FreidelNo.1 - i think campos neat perm was much nicer than tugays grey cobwebbed frizzy mop. he was definitely a poor mans ivan campo ...
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21/05/2009 16:58:00

I'm sure everything's already been said here about Tugay's ability, enthusiasm for the game and status as a true footballing legend (after all he has graced a WC semi-final in 2002). I've not posted a message for ages on the site but could not let Tugay's farewell go without a comment. Will be at Ewood of course on Sunday, travelling up from deepest Cambridgeshire, just wanted to ask if anything else was being planned to mark Tugay's Rovers farewell, apart from the limited t-shirts on sale in club shop?
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21/05/2009 23:00:00

I think details will be released by club about other things that the club will do to help out and make the day special.
Mikey D
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22/05/2009 08:01:00

Sebastien - yes he did score a winner at our place and yes he did win the CL (but not with Bolton). But I am afraid my friend that you are completely missing the point as to what makes Tugay so special to us Rovers fans. A loyal club man, a true technician of the game and everything he has done at this club was for the club... can you say the same about Campo?
Mikey D
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22/05/2009 08:03:00

Superb Mr Mikey you've done the Maestro true justice here. It'll be a very sad day on Sunday when we say good bye to Tugay and he says goodbye to us. As for Tugay being a "poor man Campo", Campo might have played for Real Madrid but he's not fit to be mentioned in the same sentance as Tugay!!!
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22/05/2009 09:30:00

With Nelsen out injured Tugay should be handed the captains armband on Sunday, as he may well have anyway???
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22/05/2009 09:32:00

neat perm - is he having a laugh? TUGAY, TUGAY, TUGAY!!!
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22/05/2009 11:38:00

Mikey - I accept your points, but I doubt Campo would have left us but for the Ginger One being so inept and letting our 1 midfielder who could pass the ball leave the club. Campo was loved by the Bolton fans and still is, he might not be the greatest player to have ever graced the Reebok surface but he is loved just like Tugay is and will be by Rovers fans
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22/05/2009 13:22:00

Tugay is a LEGEND - simple - in fact legend doesn't do him justice.......As I have said b4 i have had the privalige of watchng this man both for Rovers and Rangers and in my lifetime i've only seen afew players better!! Tugay will not be remembered in the world of football like he should because he did not play for supposed more fashionable clubs, its not that he couldn't but just didnt....the man is near to genuis no doubt and will be sorely missed by Rovers and fans alike!!! Lets hope he comes back as a coach as soon as possible and passes on the talent and knowledge he possesses
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22/05/2009 14:13:00

And who the F**K mentioned Campo!!! this was meant to be a tribute to a footballing legend not some A**EHOLE who only got in the Real team as his Uncle F**KING owns them!! Managers were told to out him in the team, an average player at HIS best, he may have a Champions League medal, but then so does David May and Blomquist and I dont see them being mentioned!!!!
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22/05/2009 14:19:00

lol Clint... I know, if you are not a Rovers fan then I think you dont get the importance or greatness of Tugay. Words cannot do the man justice...
Mikey D
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22/05/2009 15:18:00

lol thankyou clint. this is about Tugay. the great, the immortal, the legendry evergreen Blackburn Rovers number 5
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22/05/2009 16:51:00

and that goal v Fulham is unbelieveable
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22/05/2009 16:52:00

I was sat behind that beauty... not a keeper in the world was keeping that out. OUTSTANDING.
Mikey D
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22/05/2009 18:11:00

What I liked most about that goal was that it was almost like a pass, he made it look so routine but in reality it was a belter. Class act.
durks de rover
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23/05/2009 01:28:00

what a class act, is anyone here able to make a proper compilation of his goals, ive seen plenty of you tube, but im not technically blessed and wouldnt have a clue on how to cut snippets out and just do a 5 minute link of tugay screamers in the blue and white
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23/05/2009 06:50:00

I am not sure... anyone any good at this sort of thing? I know im not!!!
Mikey D
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23/05/2009 13:47:00

He's still got a great shot on him. I always enjoyed watching him play.
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23/05/2009 14:42:00

i realy want to get one of the tugay shirts from the club shop, but cannot make it to the game! im soooooooo annoyed cos that shirt looks waaaay too kool and tugay is a leeeeeeeeeeg end! realy realy hoping that they release sum online or i will be upset! C'mon Rovers, C'mon TUGAY! one more screamer on ur last game in the blue n white will be an amazing way to finish off!
Blue n Whitey
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23/05/2009 23:16:00


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