Date: 27th July 2008 at 9:40pm
Written by:

Yesterday it was confirmed that Brad Friedel had left Rovers to join Aston Villa. A great move from a business perspective as we get £2.5 million for a 37 year old, however I just can’t shake this lump in my throat now that it has been confirmed.

When Brad signed on a free transfer from Liverpool in March 2000 I don’t think I was the only one who had their doubts. Brad hadn’t exactly covered himself in glory at ‘Pool. But over the next eight years he went on to prove his ability and in my opinion become the best goalkeeper in the Premier League. He didn’t just show flashes of brilliance he was great week in week out for Blackburn defying physics on occasions.

It wasn’t just his skill that endeared him to the Rovers faithful but his dedication to the club. When we weren’t qualifying for Europe regularly he stuck with us when he easily could have moved on, never talked to the press trying to engineer a move and even when the time came for him to move on he showed the same level of professionalism as ever, he let the club announce it instead of doing an interview to the press.

We all have our favourite memories of Brad. For example his Man of the match performance in the League Cup final against Spurs or his goal against Charlton at The Valley (even though we still lost) or his double penalty saves or his numerous amazing performances against United, they won’t be taking Villa for six points a season anymore. I could go on here as there really is a huge list of heroics in the File marked Brad Friedel a nickname has never been more apt than that of the one he earned at the 2002 world cup ‘The Human Wall’ he was dubbed by many and who could disagree?

I know this reads like an obituary but it’s a sad day for Rovers. All that’s left to be said is thank you Brad for all the memories and for being a shining light in the face for all that is wrong in the modern game. I think you are the only Rover to leave with my true best wishes, I just hope the Villa faithful appreciate you as much as we have.



24 Replies to “Thanks Brad”

  • We all feel your pain durks (superb article by the way!!!), thank you for sharing these thoughts with your fellow VBers. Good luck Brad, we’ll miss you A LOT, however, hopefully Robbo can do what you did. Come to Ewood Park with not the best of reputations before showing the world what he really can do?

  • Great player for you lot, will be very hard to replace. We have a 26 year old Aussie you can have for free – Brad Jones? 😉 (please!)

  • At VP we are really pleased with the signing. At last we have a goalkeeper with stature who will turn draws into wins for us. Many thanks….. I think Robbo will be a good signing for you, you don’t become a bad goalkeeper over night….

  • amazing to see a group of fans being so dignified and full of praise towards a departing player. He really must be something special to get this reaction.

  • I’m very happy with him and hope he performs just as well for us as he did for you lot. He will be a great influence and teacher for our new number 2 as well. I think robbo is going to be a great keeper for you, I wouldn’t have minded him at Villa either.

  • Yeah a great person too, did a lot for the comunity, a loss but 2.5 mill come on that is a lot for his age. Think Robbo can be great for us if we get behind him.

  • Thank you for Brad, a class act, I am sure we will look after him well, I hope Robbo serves you just as well (apart from our meetings) good luck to you.

  • Brad a true footballing hero for us at Rovers I will always regard you as our BEST EVER, I do not begradge you leaving one bit you’ve been a devote servant and deserve the reward you will get through your contract at Villa. I know you will put alot of it into your academies and give back to the footballing community, something perhaps more could do! Oh and thanks for winning us the league cup LEG_END

  • Delighted with the signing – will be a massive asset in goal for us, and a match winner on many occasions!

  • Thanks for publishing this Walker. I wrote this and then thought about all the things i missed out on, which says something in itself.

  • Great article durks, he will be missed, we do wish him the best of luck, as for brad jones, thats one aussie il say a big no to, and there aint too many as u guys no lol

  • Great fans on this site yous are a credit to your club.I’ll be rooting for yous this season as my second team.

  • As a Villa fan I am chuffed that Brad has joined us but I know how you all must feel. He’s a great keeper and I know he was a popular player with you. Good luck for the new season.

  • A fantastic goalkeeper and more importantly a fantastic bloke as well. Worth 12-15 points a season and genuinely the best goalkeeper in the Premier League. Farewell Brad, its been one hell of a ride.

  • Definitely the best ever goalkeeper for the Blue and Whites. Better than Flowers due to the standard of defences that each had to play in front of.

  • Friedel is a fine player and it’s good of many of you not to be contemptuous about his decision to leave.

  • Great article Durks – Brad was my favourite player for a long time – and you summed up his career with us perfectly. I wish Brad all the best with Villa. It’s not often a player leaves the club and you wish him well, but Brad deserves it.

Your Comment