Where are they now? The Blackburn XI that won the 2002 League Cup final
On February 24, 2002, Blackburn Rovers won the League Cup – but what became of their starting XI from that day at the Millennium Stadium?
Goals from Matt Jansen and Andy Cole saw Graeme Souness’ team defeat Tottenham Hotspur to lift the trophy only a year after being promoted back to the Premier League.
The scoreline certainly wasn’t a fluke as Blackburn finished 10th in the league that campaign, but some of the starting XI that day have still gone on to unusual post-football careers.
The American keeper was Man of the Match in the final, against the team with who he would finish his career.
He played for Aston Villa in between, and after a spell as a pundit was named head coach of New England Revolution in 2017 having begun his coaching career with the United States Under-19s.
Taylor started off as a schoolboy at Blackburn, where loans spells at Darlington and Stockport County led to a place in the Rovers first team.
The former England Under-21 defender played in the Premier League for nine seasons with Blackburn and Birmingham. Spells in the Championship with Watford and Sheffield Wednesday followed before he retired after a spell on loan at Brentford in 2014.
Berg had an illustrious career, winning Premier League titles with Blackburn and Manchester United, while he was also a member of Sir Alex Ferguson’s treble-winning squad.
The first player ever to win the Premier League with two clubs, Berg was the captain on the day Blackburn won the 2002 League Cup final. His three-year stay at United was sandwiched in between two spells at Rovers before he spent a season in Scotland with Rangers.
After retirement, Berg was appointed manager of Norwegian side Lyn and has since gone on to manage Lillestrom, Blackburn, Legia Warsaw, Videoton and Stabaek.
It was a long career for Johansson, who won the Bundesliga and German Cup at Bayern Munich before helping FC Nürnberg climb out of Germany’s second tier.
He moved to Blackburn in 2001 for a reported £2.7million where he saw out his four-year contract in the Premier League.
The defender spent a couple of years at Leicester but decided to head back to his homeland of Sweden in 2007 to play for AIK.
Ten years and over 350 appearances later and Johansson was still there, eventually announcing his retirement in February 2018.
Stig Inge Bjornebye
No stranger to the League Cup, having won it with Liverpool seven years before triumphing with Blackburn, Bjornebye played all of his career in Scandinavia or the Premier League.
Since retiring, the former Norway international has tried his hand at management as Norway assistant boss and at IK Start, where he lasted two seasons before being sacked.
In March 2015 he took over as sporting director at Rosenborg, helping the club sign Nicklas Bendtner a couple of years later.
Gillespie had his fair share of problems off the pitch with a gambling addiction leading to him being declared legally bankrupt in 2010.
Then in 2017 Gillespie hospitalised an opponent by reacting to a challenge on him with a swift elbow to the jaw – in a charity fixture.
That same year the former Manchester United winger began a new career as an agent after linking up with businessman Brian Adair to launch a new football agency.
Dunn made 69 appearances for Birmingham City and finished his playing career with nine appearances for Oldham, but he is most remembered for his two long spells at Blackburn.
Dunn, who was capped once for England, is now a development coach at Ewood Park. And no, we’ll never forget that time he fell over attempting a rabona.
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Barcelona, Bayern Munich, just under 500 appearances for Manchester United, 72 caps for Wales, trophies with Chelsea and Blackburn – Hughes had some playing career.
He can now be found looking generally quite menacing on the touchline as a manager.
Duff became one of the first signings of the Roman Abramovich era after leaving Blackburn for Chelsea in a £17million move, and he went on to win two Premier League titles with the Blues.
The winger ended his career at Shamrock Rovers, where he became Under-15s coach, before becoming Celtic’s reserve team coach in January 2019.
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One of football’s great ‘what if?’ stories. Jansen scoring the opening goal in the League Cup final, but his career took a turn for the worse when a motorcycle accident in Rome left him in a coma for six days.
His good form had led to an England call-up before the collision, but he could never fully recover from the incident.
In July 2015 he took over as manager of Chorley after his former team-mate Garry Flitcroft left the club, eventually standing down himself three years later.
READ: Matt Jansen, the man who turned down Fergie, & the agony of ‘what if?’
Cole bagged the winning goal in the final, and his desire to keep playing for as long as possible meant he didn’t hang up his boots until 2009, despite him never dropping lower than the second tier.
Brief coaching spells at MK Dons and Huddersfield were followed by him returning to United to do his coaching badges. He also set up the Andy Cole Children’s Foundation in Zimbabwe.
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