Ewood Park

Ewood Park is a football stadium in the English town of Blackburn, Lancashire, and is the home of Blackburn Rovers Football Club — one of the founder members of the Football League and Premier League. Rovers have played there since they moved from Leamington Road in the summer of 1890. The stadium opened in 1882 and is an all seater multi-sports facility with a capacity of 31,367.[1] It comprises four sections: The Bryan Douglas Darwen End, Riverside Stand (named as such because it stands practically on the banks of the River Darwen), Ronnie Clayton Blackburn End, and Jack Walker Stand, which is named after Blackburn industrialist and club supporter, Jack Walker. The football pitch within the stadium measures 115 by 76 yards (105 m × 69 m).

Ewood Park
Ewood Park 2011
Ewood Park is located in Blackburn
Ewood Park
Ewood Park
Location in Blackburn
LocationBlackburn, Lancashire, England, BB2 4JF
Coordinates53°43′43″N 2°29′21″W / 53.72861°N 2.48917°WCoordinates: 53°43′43″N 2°29′21″W / 53.72861°N 2.48917°W
Field size115 yd × 76 yd (105 m × 69 m)
OpenedApril 1882
Blackburn Rovers F.C. (1881, 1890–present)

The "old" Ewood

Ewood Park - main stand 1985 - geograph-1350498
Ewood Park Main Stand in 1985

Football had been played on the site since at least 1881; Rovers played four matches there when it was known as Ewood Bridge and was most likely little more than a field. Their first match was against Sheffield Wednesday on 9 April 1881.[2]

Ewood Park was officially opened in April 1882 and during the 1880s staged football, athletics and some form of greyhound racing (not oval). Rovers moved back in in 1890, signing a ten-year lease at an initial annual rent of £60.[3] Their first match at the ground was against Accrington in September. In 1893, Blackburn Rovers bought the freehold of the ground for £2500,[3] but came close to disaster soon after when part of a stand collapsed under the weight of a 20,000 strong crowd for the visit of Everton.

In 1903, a roof was built on the Darwen End of the ground, at a cost of £1680. The stand now held 12,000 spectators.[4]

In 1904, the Nuttall Street Stand was built,[4] based on designs by the architect, Archibald Leitch at a cost of £24,000. The stand was first used by supporters on New Year's Day 1907 for a match against Preston North End.In 1905, the textile baron Laurence Cotton became chairman and set about overhauling both team and ground. In 1906, construction started on a new main stand seating 4,112 on its upper tier with a paddock for 9,320 in front with changing rooms and offices underneath, cranked at one end to follow the angle of Nuttall Street.[5]

The Nuttall Street stand changed very little until a fire in 1984 in the Blackburn End corner of the Stand. The club took the opportunity to redevelop this section of the stand with executive boxes and glass-fronted lounge overlooking the ground. The development cost £250,000 and was named the John Lewis Complex, after the clubs founder.[6]

The Blackburn End is so named as the town of Blackburn lies behind the stand and is for home supporters. The Blackburn End was terraced in 1928, but did not acquire its concrete cantilever roof until 1960, which was financed after an FA Cup run to the 1960 FA Cup Final.[7]

A double tiered Riverside Stand was built in 1913, bringing the capacity of Ewood Park up to 70,886 with 7000 seats. In 1928 the Riverside Stand roof was re-roofed for a total outlay of £1,550.

Ewood Park saw its largest crowd – 62,522 for the visit of Bolton Wanderers in 1929.[8] Floodlights were installed in 1958 and were first used in a friendly against Werder Bremen.

The "new" Ewood

After selling Walkersteel to British Steel Corporation for £330 million, Jack Walker decided to buy Blackburn Rovers and set about changing Ewood Park to one of the most advanced grounds in the country.[9] In June 1992 the local council approved plans to develop Ewood Park into a 31,000 all-seater stadium. By February 1994, the new two-tiered Blackburn and Darwen End stands were opened with car parks situated behind both stands.

The ground's transformation was complete when in August 1994, the Jack Walker Stand was opened on the site of the old Nuttall Street Stand. [10] The new stadium was officially opened in November 1995 and Blackburn Rovers marked the occasion with a 7-0 win over Nottingham Forest.

The Jack Walker Stand

Ewood Jack Walker Stand
The Jack Walker Stand view from the Darwen End

The biggest stand at Ewood is named after former club owner Jack Walker. It has 11,000 seats and is one of three stands that were built during Ewood Park's ground redevelopment in the 1990s. This stand contains the home and away dressing rooms and media/conferencing facilities. Furthermore, the stand is home to the Premier Suite and Jack's Kitchen which form part of the club's hospitality packages.

The Ronnie Clayton Blackburn End

The modern Blackburn End Stand has 8,000 seats and was constructed in the early 1990s. The boardroom in the Nuttall Street Stand was dismantled piece by piece and, when rebuilding was finished, reassembled in the Blackburn End. The lower tier houses some of the more vocal Rovers supporters. The rear of the stand is also home to a memorial garden and a statue of Jack Walker entitled "Rovers' Greatest Supporter". Outside the stand is the Blackburn Rovers club shop "Roverstore" which was revamped in 2008. The home supporters ticket office and "Blues" cafe bar is situated in the lower reaches of the stand. From here ground tours were led by former Rovers player, Ronnie Clayton until his death in October 2010. The stand is home to the "Strikers Lounge" where members of the club's junior membership scheme "Team Rovers" congregate before and after matches. The Bob Crompton suite and Executive Boxes are also located in the stand.

On 13 August 2011, as a sign of respect to the late and long-serving Rover Ronnie Clayton, it was announced at half-time during the first game of the 2011/12 Premier League season that The Blackburn End was to be renamed The Ronnie Clayton End.

The RFS Riverside Stand.

Ewood Park - Fraser Eagle stand
The RFS Riverside Stand

It was not until 1988 that the old Riverside Stand was replaced by a new stand. The old stand had failed a safety check in 1985 that came in the aftermath of the Bradford City stadium fire;[11] a new, single-tier stand housing over 4,300 (700 seated approx.). The material for the new roof and terracing was provided by local steel firm, Walkersteel, owned by the man who was soon to buy the club, Jack Walker. Further development of the Riverside Stand took place in the 1990s with further seats being added. The stand is currently sponsored by Regulatory Finance Solutions (RFS).

The Riverside Stand is now the oldest part of the modern Ewood Park. It is the only single tiered stand in the ground, the seating spells out the word "ROVERS" – the club's nickname. The stand holds approximately 4,000 spectators. At the corner of the stand is a giant TV screen showing features, teamsheets and other live games on a match day. There are long-term plans to redevelop the stand, which would raise Ewood Park's capacity by around 9,000 to 40,000.[1] Any development in the foreseeable future depends on an increase of attendance.

The Bryan Douglas Darwen End

The Darwen End is so named after the town of Darwen which lies behind the stand about 1 mile up the road.

The modern Darwen End was constructed in the early 1990s. The stand houses both home and away supporters in a two tier stand mirroring the Blackburn End in both appearance and capacity. The stand houses the club's education department which attracts youngsters from the surrounding areas for football-based activities in the classroom. The stand is home to the "Legend's Lounge" and International hospitality suites. Behind the stand is the Blackburn Rovers Indoor Centre which provides facilities for community coaching, football leagues and soccer schools.

On 1 November 2012 the Darwen End was renamed as a tribute to club legend Bryan Douglas. He said of the honour: “The first person to congratulate me was Ronnie’s wife Val. He is at one end of the ground and I’m at the other end and long may that continue. We were great friends. They have put me at the right end as well. I was born just 400 yards away from the Darwen End. It is a really proud moment.” [12]

Other uses

Though primarily the home ground for Blackburn Rovers, Ewood Park has seen other usage, including hosting the 1941 Football League War Cup Final Replay. The ground was given the honour of hosting an international – England v Scotland in 1891 and England v Wales in 1924. Six FA Cup semi finals were played at the venue between 1893 and 1947. On 9 November 2002 Ewood Park hosted Great Britain’s rugby league test match against New Zealand, which was part of their tour of Great Britain and France. The tourists won 30 - 16 with 16,654 in attendance. The ground has also hosted numerous England U21 internationals including England v Wales in 2004. The stadium hosted three matches during the Women's Euro 2005 competition — two England matches in group play, and the final. In 2014, the official supporters trust of the club, Rovers Trust, successfully applied to register the stadium as a Asset of Community Value, In June 2017 the ground hosted a pop concert by Elton John.[13]


Record Attendance:

Record League Attendance:


  1. ^ a b c Adams, Duncan (4 March 2013). "Ewood Park, Blackburn Rovers FC, Ground Description". Football Ground Guide. Archived from the original on 18 February 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  2. ^ Twydell, Dave (1991). Football League Grounds For A Change. p. 32. ISBN 0-9513321-4-7.
  3. ^ a b "1885–1894: Blackburn's cup over-floweth". Blackburn Rovers FC. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
  4. ^ a b "1895–1904: End of century blues". Blackburn Rovers FC. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
  5. ^ "Ewood Park". PastScape. Archived from the original on 25 October 2009. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  6. ^ Hayes, Dean (1993). Blackburn Rovers, An A-Z. pp. 50–51. ISBN 1-874181-10-1.
  7. ^ Hayes, Dean (1993). Blackburn Rovers, An A-Z. p. 50. ISBN 1-874181-10-1.
  8. ^ "Club Records". Blackburn Rovers FC. Archived from the original on 11 September 2009. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
  9. ^ "Ewood Park re development plans". Youtube.com & Lancashire News. Retrieved 29 August 2010.
  10. ^ "Take a look back at Ewood Park's monumental redevelopment". Lancashire Telegraph. Retrieved 12 June 2018.
  11. ^ Hayes, Dean (1993). Blackburn Rovers, An A-Z. p. 51. ISBN 1-874181-10-1.
  12. ^ Douglas full of pride after being handed Blackburn Rovers honour Lancashire Telegraph, 3 November 2012
  13. ^ http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/15340882.REVIEW__Elton_John_delights_Blackburn_crowd/
  14. ^ a b Hayes, Dean (1993). Blackburn Rovers, An A-Z. pp. 8–9. ISBN 1-874181-10-1.

External links

Preceded by
UEFA Women's Euro
Final Venue

Succeeded by
Olympic Stadium
1989 Football League Second Division play-off Final

The 1989 Football League Second Division play-off Final was a football match contested by Blackburn Rovers and Crystal Palace over two legs; the first at Ewood Park in Blackburn and the second at Selhurst Park in London. The matches were played to decide the third and final team to be promoted from the Football League Second Division to the Football League First Division for the 1989–90 season.

Blackburn Rovers won the first leg 3–1. After 90 minutes of the return leg Crystal Palace were winning 2–0, this forced the game to go to extra time where a further goal from Palace meant they won 4–3 on aggregate and were promoted to the top division of the English football league system after an eight-year absence. Blackburn remained in the Second Division for a tenth consecutive season.

1991–92 Blackburn Rovers F.C. season

During the 1991–92 English football season, Blackburn Rovers F.C. competed in the Football League Second Division.

1994–95 Blackburn Rovers F.C. season

The 1994–95 season was Blackburn Rovers F.C.'s third season in the Premier League, and their third consecutive season in the top division of English football.

The season was marked by the club winning the Premier League title, ending their 81-year run without an English league title. They ended up winning the title by a one-point margin over Manchester United. Rovers led the way for most of the season, but a 2–1 defeat at Kenny Dalglish's old club Liverpool on the final day of the season briefly appeared to threaten their title hopes. Manchester United however could only draw 1–1 at West Ham so the league title was back at Blackburn for the first time since 1914. Jack Walker's dream had come true: within five years of buying the club, he had taken them from strugglers in the old Second Division to champions of England.Early exits from the League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup to Liverpool, Newcastle and Trelleborg respectively were frustrating for Rovers in 1994–95, but turned out for the best as they could concentrate on the league challenge.

Kenny Dalglish won the Premier League Manager of the Year award for leading Blackburn to success, Alan Shearer won both the Golden Boot for contributing 34 of Blackburn's 80 league goals and also the PFA Players' Player of the Year award as nominated by his fellow professionals. Graeme Le Saux, Colin Hendry, Tim Sherwood and Shearer all made it into the PFA Team of the Year.

1999–2000 Blackburn Rovers F.C. season

Blackburn Rovers F.C. were in Division One for the 1999-2000 season, having been relegated from the FA Premier League after seven years. The expected comeback to the top flight did not materialise, in spite of several expensive purchases staying at the club. Brian Kidd was sacked on 3 November 1999 after 11 months in charge, with Rovers 19th in the league despite more than £30 million having been spent on players in that time. Long-serving coach Tony Parkes was placed in temporary charge of the team as the search for a successor began. Former defender Colin Hendry, who had been part of the title winning team in 1995 and who had started his first spell at Ewood Park in the 1980s, was linked with a return to the club as player-manager. Other names linked with the vacancy included Graeme Souness, Colin Todd, Roy Evans and Joe Kinnear.

The appointment of Graeme Souness on 15 March 2000 gave renewed hopes of a resurgence in 2000-01. Blackburn finished 11th in the final table.

2002–03 Blackburn Rovers F.C. season

During the 2002–03 English football season, Blackburn Rovers competed in the FA Premier League.

2003–04 Blackburn Rovers F.C. season

During the 2003–04 English football season, Blackburn Rovers competed in the FA Premier League (known as the FA Barclaycard Premiership for sponsorship reasons).

2007–08 Blackburn Rovers F.C. season

Blackburn Rovers F.C. finished in the top half of the Premier League for the third successive season, this time ending up in 7th place, ultimately not enough for European qualification. Manager Mark Hughes departed for Manchester City at the end of the season, while successful winger David Bentley was sold to Tottenham Hotspur for a club record fee. Striker Roque Santa Cruz, a summer signing from Bayern Munich, had the season of his life, scoring 19 league goals, making up for Benni McCarthy's loss of form. Despite interest for richer clubs, Santa Cruz stayed on for another season.

2008–09 Blackburn Rovers F.C. season

The 2008–09 season was Blackburn Rovers' 121st season as a professional club.

The close season saw the departure of manager Mark Hughes to Manchester City. He was replaced by Paul Ince, although after a poor start to the campaign, Ince was sacked and succeeded by Sam Allardyce.

2010–11 Blackburn Rovers F.C. season

The 2010–11 season was Blackburn Rovers' 123rd season as a professional football club. The 2010–11 season was also Blackburn Rovers' 17th season in the Premier League, and their 10th consecutive season in the top division of English football.

In November 2010, the Indian company V H Group bought Blackburn Rovers under the name of Venky's London Limited for £23 million. The new owners immediately sacked manager Sam Allardyce and replaced him with first-team coach Steve Kean, initially on a temporary basis, but by January 2011 he had been awarded a full-time contract until June 2013. Kean's appointment was shrouded in a great deal of controversy since his agent Jerome Anderson had earlier played a major role in advising Venky's during the takeover of the club in the preceding months.

2011–12 Blackburn Rovers F.C. season

The 2011–12 season is Blackburn Rovers 124th season as a professional football club. The 2011–12 season is Blackburn Rovers' 18th season in the Premier League, and their 11th consecutive season in the top division of English football.

The club have been confirmed as relegated to the Football League Championship. The decisive result was failure to beat Wigan Athletic F.C. on 7 May 2012. They ended the season at 19th place after losing the last Premier League game 2–1 against Chelsea on 13 May 2012.

2012–13 Blackburn Rovers F.C. season

The 2012–13 season is Blackburn Rovers 125th season as a professional football club, it is the first season back in the Football League Championship after an 11-year run in the Premier league English football.Despite relegation the new season began with the owners backing Steve Kean. There were many signings in the summer, the most notable one was the signing of Jordan Rhodes for £8 million. The fee was a record transfer for a championship team and shattered the previous transfer record.

2013–14 Blackburn Rovers F.C. season

The 2013–14 season was Blackburn Rovers' 126th season as a professional football club and its second playing in the Football League Championship since the club's relegation during the 2011–12 Barclays Premier League season.Caretaker manager for the final few games of the previous season, Gary Bowyer, was given the job permanently.

Grzegorz Sandomierski, Cameron Stewart, David Bentley, David Jones, Todd Kane and Colin Kazim-Richards, all of which were on loan at Rovers during the 12-13 season did not secure permanent contracts, though Todd Kane returned to Rovers for a third loan spell. Mauro Formica and Diogo Rosado, who were both loaned out for the final half of the 12-13 season left the club during the summer transfer window, the former being sold and the latter having his contract terminated. Rubén Rochina and Bruno Ribeiro who were also loaned out towards the end of the 12-13 season returned to the club.

David Dunn's talks over a new contract resulted in a one-year contract extension. Grant Hanley and Lee Williamson also gained contract extensions.

The club tried to move on higher earning players to lighten the wage-bill in preparation for the new rules which were to be introduced in the 2014–15 season.

2014–15 Blackburn Rovers F.C. season

The 2014–15 season is Blackburn Rovers 127th season as a professional football club and its third playing in the Football League Championship since the club's relegation during the 2011–12 Premier League season.

2015–16 Blackburn Rovers F.C. season

The 2015–16 season is Blackburn Rovers' 128th season as a professional football club and its fourth playing in the Championship. Along with competing in the Championship, the club will also participate in the FA Cup and League Cup. The season covers the period from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016.

2016–17 Blackburn Rovers F.C. season

The 2016–17 season is Blackburn Rovers' 129th season as a professional football club and its fifth playing in the Championship. Along with competing in the Championship, the club will also participate in the FA Cup and League Cup. The season covers the period from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017. Rovers were relegated to League One on 7 May 2017, in spite of their 3-1 away win against Brentford, with results elsewhere going against them.

2018–19 Blackburn Rovers F.C. season

The 2018–19 season is Blackburn Rovers' 131st season as a professional football club and it will participate in the Championship following promotion from League One the previous season. Along with competing in the Championship, the club will also participate in the FA Cup and EFL Cup. The season covers the period from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019.

Blackburn Rovers F.C.

Blackburn Rovers Football Club is a professional football club in Blackburn, Lancashire, England, which competes in the Championship, the second tier of the English football league system, following promotion from League One at the end of the 2017–18 season.

The club was established in 1875, becoming a founding member of The Football League in 1888 and the Premier League in 1992. In 1890, Rovers moved to Ewood Park. Blackburn Rovers have been English champions three times, and have won six FA Cups, one Football League Cup and one Full Members' Cup. The club has spent most of its existence in the top flight of English football.In 1992, Rovers gained promotion to the new Premier League a year after being taken over by local entrepreneur Jack Walker, who installed Kenny Dalglish as manager. In 1995, Rovers became Premier League champions. In the 1998–99 season, the club was relegated. It was promoted back to the Premier League two years later, in the 2000–01 season. It has qualified for the UEFA Cup four times: once as League Cup winners, twice as the Premier League's sixth-placed team and once via the Intertoto Cup.

The club's motto is "Arte et Labore", "By Skill and Hard Work" in Latin.

East Lancashire derby

The East Lancashire Derby also known as the Cotton Mills Derby is a football match between Blackburn Rovers F.C. and Burnley F.C.. The nickname originates from the fact that Blackburn and Burnley were former mill towns.

The first ever competitive league match in League football between these two former English football champions and founder members of the Football League, took place at Turf Moor on 3 November 1888, Blackburn won the game 7–1. From a town standpoint there is an obvious geographical reason for the rivalry as the two Lancashire towns only lie 11 miles (18 km) apart. Accrington Stanley F.C. stands in the middle, but is not taken seriously as a rival by either. Another alleged reason for the increased hostilities is that Blackburn complained to the Football League about Burnley's illegal number of Scottish players in the 1890s.Blackburn Rovers were founded in 1875 and in the following years, many other clubs were formed in the region such as Accrington F.C. in 1886 and Clitheroe Central in 1877, due to football being passionately taken up by the area. Another such club was Burnley Rovers, who started out as a rugby club until changing codes in 1882.

Radio Rovers

Radio Rovers is the official radio station of the English Championship football side Blackburn Rovers FC. It was launched at Ewood Park on 30 October 1993 and was the first dedicated football club radio station in the United Kingdom and remains the best, according to a June 2010 FA survey.The studio is located in the Darwen End one of the stands at Blackburns Ground Ewood Park. The station only airs on Blackburn match days.

The broadcast includes pre-match build up, music, team news, and manager comments before the match, full commentary during the match and post-match analysis, interviews, and viewer phone-ins after. The channel begins broadcasting 4 hours prior to kick off, and a typical day covers 7 hours on-air

The station broadcasts a 'free to air' service under an OFCOM RSL (restricted service licence) on 1404 kHz am around Blackburn. It is available anywhere in the world via the club's official website rovers.co.uk - for which you pay an annual subscription and is also available for disabled fans inside the ground on match days.Gerald Jackson, seen as the voice of Radio Rovers, is a longtime presenter of the show. He is also a local radio presenter for BBC Radio Lancashire. Matthew Sillitoe replaced Gerald Jackson as presenter at the start of the 2014-15 season and has continued to host the broadcast in its familiar format.

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