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Premiership transfer history: Blackburn and Newcastle

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The gradual breaking up of Blackburn's title-winning side paved the way for the first transfer activity of the Premiership era between Rovers and Newcastle United.

David Batty made a £3.75m switch to St James's Park in March 1996 and was followed that summer by Alan Shearer, who snubbed Manchester United for a second time to make a £15m move to the club he had supported as a youngster.

Over 200 goals later, Shearer retired in the summer of 2006 with an OBE and the freedom of the city to his name but unfortunately no further medals to add to the league title he won at Blackburn.

In May 1997 a much-less publicised move saw Irish goalkeeper Shay Given join Newcastle for £1.5m after failing to dislodge Tim Flowers from between the sticks at Ewood Park. The Irishman has gone on to make well over 400 appearances for the club.

The first moves in the opposite direction came the following year. In July, centre-half Darren Peacock left Tyneside on a free transfer, while in December, Blackburn snapped up winger Keith Gillespie for £2.35m.

New Toon boss Bobby Robson then moved quickly after his appointment to sign Kevin Gallacher for £500,00 in October 1999 after which the two sides did no business until Craig Bellamy's £5m move to Blackburn in the summer of 2005. Mark Hughes got the best out of his fellow Welshman with Bellamy netting 17 goals in his only season at the club.

Total Spent: Blackburn £7.35m, Newcastle £20.75m

Verdict: Newcastle may have splashed out over £20m on Blackburn players over the years but, unlike many of their other transfer dealings, the Magpies have done well out of all the players they have signed from Ewood Park.

Shearer of course accounts for most of the money spent and despite the well-publicised lack of trophies cannot be seen as anything other than a great signing. Equally the symbolism of his departure from Blackburn probably signalled the end of Rovers ability to compete at the very top level of the Premiership.

At a tenth of the Shearer fee, Shay Given has provided fantastic service to Newcastle while even the signing of Gallacher, which was seen as a short-term measure, helped Bobby Robson achieve a very quick upturn in fortunes after taking over from Kenny Dalglish.

Rovers got a decent return on the fee they paid for Gillespie while Craig Bellamy enjoyed a superb one-and-only season at Ewood Park, with Rovers also making a profit on his sale to Liverpool.


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