One of the oldest surviving football clubs in the world, Blackburn Rovers have a long and storied history. The three-time League and six-time FA Cup champions were founding members of the Football League and remain the only town team to have won the Premier League, a record which is hugely unlikely to be toppled any time soon.
There have been a fair few goals in that time. In this article, we’ll show you the ten footballers to have netted the most times in the famous blue and white halves.
10. Ernie Thompson – 82 goals, 1931-1936
At number 10 is a number 9 who played with Rovers between 1931 and 1936. Ernie Thompson was with Rovers when they were an established First Division side before being relegated in his final season with the club. He was Rovers’ top scorer in four of his five full seasons at Ewood.
21 when he signed for Rovers, Thompson went on to score 82 goals for the club. He never really settled anywhere else, playing a handful of matches Manchester United, Gateshead and York City before hanging up his boots.
9. Jordan Rhodes – 83 goals, 2012-2016
This is a list populated by historical players. But Jordan Rhodes bucks the trend by being the most modern footballer to make the top ten.
Rhodes joined Rovers for a club joint-record £8 million in 2012, the season after Blackburn were relegated from the Premier League after a decade in the top-flight. He hit the ground running, scoring 27 goals in his first campaign.
A poacher supreme, Rhodes would go on to score 83 goals in the league before joining Middlesbrough halfway through 2015-16. He never managed to lead Rovers back to the promised land of the Premier League, but he remains a fan favourite at Ewood Park.
8. Peter Dobing – 88 goals, 1956-1961
In six years with Blackburn, Peter Dobing scored 88 goals across the First and Second Divisions. After netting eight goals in his first season with the club (also his first as a professional), he went on to score 20+ in each of the next four campaigns.
He was part of the side that was promoted to the First Division in 1958 and reached the FA Cup Final in 1960. He is also Stoke City’s 9th all-time top scorer and finished his career with 238 career goals.
Sport was in the Dobing family; Peter’s father played professional rugby league for his hometown of Salford.
7. Andy McEvoy – 89 goals, 183
The only non-English player in the top ten, Andy McEvoy was born in Dublin and played 17 times for the Republic of Ireland between 1961 and 1967.
For the entirety of that time, he played his club football for Blackburn. He scored 89 goals in total and was part of the side that reached the FA Cup Final in 1960, though he didn’t play due to injury.
McEvoy was First Division top-scorer on two occasions. After leaving Rovers, he returned to Ireland where he continued to score goals for Limerick.
6. Eddie Quigley – 92 goals, 1951-1956
Born in Bury. not far from Blackburn, Eddie Quigley played for Rovers for five years between 1951 and 1956. In that time, he netted just shy of a century of goals in the Second Division.
After playing for Bury, Sheffield Wednesday and Preston North End, Blackburn was the last stop on his career journey. After retirement, he returned to Ewood as manager in 1967 and maintained the position until 1970.
5. Bryan Douglas – 100 goals, 1952-1969
A Blackburn Rovers icon, Bryan Douglas played 438 times in the league, scoring exactly 100 goals in the process.
A one-club man, such is his legend at the club that Blackburn chose to name a stand after their talismanic winger – the Bryan Douglas Darwen End.
He won 36 England caps, netting 11 times and appearing at the 1962 World Cup in Chile. Alongside Ronnie Clayton, Alan Shearer, Tony Parkes, Derek Fazakerley and Bob Crompton, Douglas is one of the all-time Rovers greats.
4. Jack Bruton – 108 goals, 1929-1939
Jack Bruton’s career was a grand tour of the North West. He played for Wigan, Bolton Wanderers, Preston North End, Blackburn and even Rovers’ arch-rivals Burnley.
But it was with Rovers that he made his lasting impact on English football. A dextrous winger, Bruton played 324 times for the club and scored 108 times.
A coal miner before becoming a professional footballer, he also spent two years of his managerial career with Rovers, at the wheel for two years between 1947 and 1949.
3. Alan Shearer – 112 goals, 1992-1996
A man who needs no introduction, Alan Shearer can safely claim to be the best goalscorer, not just in the history of Blackburn Rovers, but in the annals of the Premier League.
He was the star man in Kenny Dalglish’s title-winning side of 94-95, scoring 34 of his 112 Blackburn League goals in that campaign. A powerful but intelligent forward, Shearer also won 63 England caps, scoring 30 goals.
He departed for his boyhood club Newcastle United in 1996 for a then-world-record fee. He spent just four seasons with the club in total but he leaves behind a legacy which is unrivalled in Rovers’ modern history. A road near the ground was renamed in his honour in 2015, further solidifying his legend.
2. Tommy Briggs – 140 goals, 1952-1957
A prolific goalscorer, Tommy Briggs began his career with Plymouth Argyle before finding his shooting boots at Grimsby Town, netting 78 times in 116 matches.
He had equally fruitful spells with Coventry City and Birmingham City before arriving Ewood Park in 1952. He would stay for seven years and leave the club as the second all-time leading goalscorer.
All of his goals for the club came in the second-tier. He may have failed to win any silverware with the club, but who knows how much worse Rovers situation might have become had it not been for his 140 league goals.
1. Simon Garner – 168 goals, 1978-1992
Simon Garner never played for Rovers in the top-flight, but his goals saw Rovers rise from the third-tier and establish themselves as a familiar face in the Second Division.
From there, Rovers went on to win promotion to the Premier League in Garner’s final season, 1991-92. As such, Garner’s role in the Premier League title triumph in 1994-95, undoubtedly the high-point in the club’s history, cannot be underestimated.
Garner retained strong links with the club after leaving for West Brom and is still extraordinarily well-regarded at Ewood Park. He remains the 4th in the list of all-time Rovers appearance-makers. With 168 league goals (192 in all competitions), it is unlikely his record will be surpassed any time soon.