Brendan O’Callaghan

Brendan enjoyed a fantastic pairing with Striker Peter Kitchen in the 1970’s and the two perfectly complemented each other with Kitchen alive to the inevitable flicks bestowed to him by the powerful big front man.  O’Callaghan not only made chances for others, but was also more than capable of finishing them off himself and is still considered by many to be the best target man to have ever played for the club.  

Born in Bradford on 23rd July 1955 he made his professional debut against his home town Bradford City for the Rovers in September 1973 at just 18 standing 6’2” tall.  He went on to terrorise defences alongside Kitchen and winger Ian Miller throughout the 70’s with many notable games along the way including a great hat trick again back in Bradford and the sides epic league cup run in 1975 with O’Callaghan scoring 6 times in seven outings on the way to a memorable quarter final away at Tottenham, with Rovers taking the lead early on before Spurs eventually ran out 7-2 winners with the team still very much in the game until late on.  

Indeed the only black spot being that O’Callaghan’s time at the club was exclusively in the fourth tier of English football, again with defensive weaknesses meaning the side at the time never managed to amount to the true some of its parts.  During 1975-76 O’Callaghan and Kitchen both netted 22 league goals apiece (an incredible feet not seen since by a Rovers strike partnership) in a team which scored a sizable 75 goals during the term but also contrived to concede 69.  It was this failure to progress in the league which ultimately meant the break-up of the side with Kitchen leaving first to try the test of a higher tier.  

In March 1978 Brendan moved to second division Stoke City for £40,000 where his goals gained the potters promotion the top fight when he showed himself more than capable of playing on such a grand stage against the top sides in the country, contributing significantly to the side and constantly leading the line before switching to centre half late on in his career, with equal assurance and efficiency, before a brief stint at Oldham prior to ending his career in 1985.

In total he played 212 times for the Rovers, scoring 74 goals and making countless more along the way.  Fondly remembered by Rovers fans he played a full part in a thoroughly entertaining and exciting period in the history of the club and left a permanent image in the clubs history.

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