Ex-Bolton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers ace John Byrom talks about the derby

The Bolton News: Marc Iles with John Byrom Marc Iles with John Byrom

JOHN Byrom earned his place in Wanderers folklore as a no-nonsense striker who rarely minced his words.

A terrace hero at Burnden Park, who started and finished his career with his hometown club Blackburn, it was no wonder he remained a neutral observer for 90 minutes at the Reebok.

But not one to call a spade a shovel – Byrom was in no doubt who deserved three points after the final whistle.

“I normally sit on the fence – I would have liked it if the game were a draw,” he smiled after the game. “But I think in this circumstance Wanderers needed the points more. And they stuffed them.

“I’ve not seen either side too much this year, maybe twice a piece. It’s winter and it’s getting too cold. But I can’t remember Wanderers beating Blackburn like that. They played very well.”

Neither Bolton nor Blackburn have had much to shout about of late, both struggling to rebuild after dropping out of the top flight.

But Byrom isn’t unduly concerned by either club’s plight – having played through some really testing times in his own playing days, suffering relegation and promotion in his time at Wanderers.

“I think these things happen – clubs go through spells when things are not going so good,” he said.

“Blackburn think this is bad? I remember being at that club when we were rock bottom of the league and there was a polio outbreak that meant we were six games behind. Now that was tough.”

The bustling centre forward was on the scoresheet in a 3-0 win over Blackburn at Burnden in 1972, which stood as Bolton’s best win over their local rivals for 41 years until Andre Moritz upped the ante with a late goal.

“I saw myself in that left-footer,” he said. “Low and hard – that’s the way to score a goal.”

The 4-0 scoreline means you have to go back 86 years for a better result against Blackburn, when another goalscoring legend, David Jack, bagged four goals in a 6-0 romp.

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