The Greyhound Has Given In

Posted on January 16, 2014

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One of the major factors that led to the consistent success (read: stability) of Blackburn Rovers between 2003 and 2010 was the crop of seasoned professionals that made up our squad. Now, obviously having Tugay helped, but others such as Brad Friedel, Lucas Neill, Robbie Savage, Aaron Mokoena and David Dunn played their part as well. Dependable was the definition. The man who embodied this more than any other was the third most-capped Australian in the history of football, Brett Emerton. Emerton, nicknamed the greyhound, left for Sydney FC in 2011 but is remembered as fondly by Blackburn fans as anybody. He’d battled back problems from a while, and he has finally succumbed and announced his retirement today at the age of 35. 

It’s no stretch to say that when Emerton signed for Blackburn in 2003, then managed by Graeme Souness, he was one of the most sought-after players in all of Europe. He chose Blackburn because, in his words, he would get more opportunities to play in his preferred position on the wing. Now, this is what happened initially, but a few injuries meant a yard of pace was lost, and Emerton ended up making the right back spot his own. For years, he was Blackburn’s most consistent player, making a total of 247 appearances before leaving just as the Venkys era was about to engulf Rovers. He also won 95 caps for his country, appearing at two World Cups. Not bad.

When putting together a modern era Blackburn Rovers side, Emerton wasn’t the sort of name that would jump out at you and demand to be picked. But, as the game began and you found yourself two down, you’d realise just what you were missing. A genuine professional. Enjoy your retirement, Mr. Greyhound sir. 

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