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On this day: Blackburn Rovers break transfer record for Chris Sutton

Twenty-one years ago today, Blackburn Rovers paid a record £5m to sign striker Chris Sutton from Norwich City.

Long before the likes of Roman Abramovich and Sheikh Mansour brought their billions to these shores, one of the Premier League's biggest sugar daddies was Jack Walker, who it is estimated ploughed around £100m of his fortune into Blackburn Rovers.

It was his funds that attracted Kenny Dalglish to take charge at Ewood Park in 1991, before the likes of Colin Hendry, Tim Sherwood and Mike Newell all arrived to help Rovers earn promotion to the top flight.

Chris Sutton of Blackburn in action during the match between Blackburn Rovers and Manchester United played at Ewood Park, Blackburn on April 6, 1998© Getty Images

Twelve months later a 21-year-old Alan Shearer joined the ranks, but that did not deter Walker from delving into the coffers even further 21 years ago today to break the British transfer record.

Chris Sutton had been making headlines down at Norwich City over the previous two campaigns, having scored 38 goals in all competitions during that period.

Such form did not go unnoticed, with Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton all reportedly eager to sign the England B international.

However, it was Blackburn that won the race to sign the centre-forward, who had set them back £5m and a supposed £10,000-a-week five-year contract - both huge figures back in 1994.

Asked why he had opted for Lancashire, Sutton said: "I didn't speak to any other club. As soon as the speculation about me started six months ago I thought that if there was one club I wanted to talk to it was Blackburn.

"Blackburn was always my first choice. The club is similar to Norwich in terms of the population and area, although it's a bigger club, and I didn't want to move to a big city.

"I was linked with a lot of big clubs but I feel I've chosen the best one. There are lots of good players at the club - not just Alan Shearer, but also a lot of other world- class players and that's another reason for me choosing Blackburn."

Dalglish did not return from holiday in time for Sutton's unveiling, but his assistant Ray Harford added: "Blackburn want to sign the best players. In the modern game, they're not often available, and you've got to be in the market when they are.

"Chris is potentially a very good player. Only time will tell just how good, but he has an eye for goal. There is a bit more to come out of him yet and it's up to us to bring that through."

Sutton soon repaid the hefty outlay by scoring 15 Premier League goals during a debut season that ended with a first top division title for the club since 1914.

Not only that, he formed one of the most clinical strike partnerships that English football has seen in recent times with Shearer, who together were dubbed 'The SAS'.

Injuries took hold during the 1995-96 campaign, but back to full fitness the following season and with Shearer now at boyhood club Newcastle United, the goals started to flow again for Sutton in Blackburn colours.

Yet, it came as little surprise in 1999 when following Blackburn's relegation, Sutton was on the move again, this time to Chelsea for £10m. In total, he found the net on 59 occasions for Rovers.

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Graeme Le Saux of Blackburn Rovers in action during the Charity Shield match against Everton at Wembley Stadium on August 12, 1995
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