Full Name: David Dunn
Date of Birth: 27th December 1979, Great Harwood
Squad Number: 19
Internationals: 1 Cap for England (2002)
Signed: August 1997 (1st time), January 2007 (current spell)
Previous Clubs: Birmingham City
Local lad David Dunn began his footballing career at Ewood Park, coming through the youth ranks signing as a trainee in 1997.
Dunn came through the ranks with the likes of Damien Duff and Damien Johnson and from an early age it was clear to see he possessed great skill and ability, but could he harness this potential?
His Rovers debut came as a substitute in the Premiership clash with Everton in September 1998, but lasted only 11 minutes! Dunn came on on 70 minutes but after a sending off had to be sacrificed after 81. In his first full season, 1998-1999, our relegation season he opened his Rovers account with a goal against Aston Villa in a 3-1 victory.
Dunn proved instrumental in our promotion season of 2000-2001. We returned to the Premiership as runners up of Division One (now the Championship) in no small part to Dunn, whose fine form and goalscoring record, reaching double figures from midfield saw him grab widespread acclaim.
The form Dunn had shown from our Division One promotion campaign was continued during the successful 2001-2002 Premiership season. With his help we achieved a very respectable League placing and won the Worthington Cup. The main being hailed as “the new Gazza” was starting to make waves, with calls for him to be given his chance on the International stage with England. Dunn received his call up but had to wait until September 2002 to win his one, and thus far only England cap.
Through all his consistent performances and his status as a crowd favourite his lifestyle was called into question and he dared do what few men have done without paying the price! He dared argue back to former Rovers boss Graeme Souness. Souness’ and Dunn’s relationship turned sour and he found himself out of favour. The summer of 2003 seemed likely to be his last as a Rovers player, and so it proved? well nearly! Having rejected bids from several Premiership clubs the offer of £5.5 million from Birmingham City proved to good to refuse and he left Ewood Park.
His debut season with Birmingham, 2003-2004, started very brightly with Dunn showing top form and scoring on his Birmingham debut but then the injuries started and he missed the latter part of that campaign.
Dunn battled back and again got back to somewhere near his best in the early part of the 2004-2005 season. However, his hamstring injury resurfaced and he played only a handful of games for the rest of that season, and indeed until halfway through the 2005-2006 season. With Dunn struggling for fitness he could do little to help Birmingham as they were relegated from the Premiership.
Whispers of a possible Rovers return started surfacing in the summer of 2006, but despite a reported late attempted to bring him back to Ewood during the summer transfer window nothing materialised and Dunn remained at St Andrews saying he was committed to the cause. He didn’t rule out a future return and made no secret of his desire for this, if for nothing else to be closer to his son.
As the winter transfer window approached Birmingham revealed that they were willing to let Dunn go as his contract was nearing an end so they would rather recoup some of the money paid rather than get nothing in the summer of 2007, again Rovers were heavily linked.
January went on and little was happening, it appeared Rovers were being priced out of a move and local rivals Bolton Wanderers stepped in. A deal was struck, Dunn passed a medical and seemed destined for the Reebok Stadium until Mark Hughes stepped in with a last gasp bid (thought to be £2.2 million) to steal him away from a “bitterly disappointed” Sam Allardyce.
After several weeks of getting himself up to speed, working on his fitness and regaining his sharpness Dunn was given his second Rovers debut again Sheffield United as a substitute, showing some of his old magic to win an injury time free kick from which Morten Gamst Pedersen struck a dramatic winner.
We all know what Dunn can do so the only worries we had were on his ability to stay injury free, early signs are Dunn could do this? Dunn still has the old tricks up his sleeve but seems to have returned with the ability to defend, something he rarely, if ever attempted during his first spell at Ewood.
Blackburn Rovers appearances and goals up to the start of the 2006-2007 Season
League: 135 (15 as sub) – 30 goals
FA Cup: 13 (2 as sub) – 3 goals
League Cup: 17 (3 as sub) – 5 goals
Other (European etc.): 4 (1 as sub)
TOTAL: 169 – 38 goals
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Player Profile: David Dunn
Full Name: David Dunn