Date: 23rd November 2007 at 10:57am
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Now this may seem like an odd comparison, especially considering Benni has already scored more goals for Rovers than Nathan Blake ever did, but there is something that does link them.

Having recently read a piece from The Thunder Down Under, Sasman, about the great show of sportsmanship from Benni McCarthy towards a young Portsmouth fan who was hit in the face by the ball, it got me thinking.

It stirred memories about an incident that happened on Tuesday 14th September 1999 when Rovers were once again contesting a match at Fratton Park against Portsmouth in the Worthington Cup.

Out of the blue the then Portsmouth goalkeeper, Aaron Flahavan (renowned for having black outs) collapsed in his own penalty area as Nathan Blake bore down on goal. However, the Rovers striker was quick to ignore the goalscoring opportunity to run to the aid of his fellow professional. This showed a real touching side to Nathan`s character who was quoted in the Lancashire Evening Telegraph after the game saying:

At first I thought he had just slipped but then I thought he might have swallowed his tongue. That’s why I picked him up. His eyes were glazed and he just said ‘What?’.

Nathan Blake was well praised by the Portsmouth faithful after that incident and rightly so. So it is nice to see Benni, equally receiving praise for his actions.

It is always refreshing to hear of stories such as this one from back in the day and the more recent one involving Benni McCarthy. People sometimes forget that these football superstars are still human and have a general care for their fellow humans.

Let`s hope this will go some way to further enhance the clubs reputation. Well done to Benni and to Nathan for his actions back in the day.

Aaron Flahavan unfortunately died in a car accident on August 5th 2001.

 

15 Replies to “Benni The New Blake”

  • I worried when I first saw the title and the opening line and was about to call for the funny farm to take you away!!!
    Great comparisum dude, and rightly BOTH got the praise that they deserved, however, this is one of only a very few similaries between Benni and Blake, others being both were strikers, both played for and scored Rovers (some more than others!) and both were Internationals.

  • Going back to the Blake incident, how many people would have really stopped to go to the goalkeepers aid?!?! Can anyone remember what sort of plaudits (if any?) he got? Paolo Di Canio got some sort of Awards when he stopped play that time didn’t he, and even that time when Robbie Fowler dived to get Liverpool a penalty, despite it being given and him trying to convince the referee it wasn’t a penalty he also got a lot of praise, did this happen with Blake as I can’t remember?

  • He never got the same plaudits largely because we are an unfashionable club and it didn’t exactly happen in a big live game. It’s a shame really because these actions need to be made more of.

  • Things have changed now… even the unwritten rule about putting the ball out when you’ve got a man down – just making football into more and more of a business and less of a sport

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