Simon Garner

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Simon Garner
Born (1959-11-23) 23 November 1959 (age 60)
Education Boston Grammar School
Occupation Professional Footballer; Mortgage Sales; Postman; Painter and Decorator
Employer Boston United F.C.; Blackburn Rovers F.C.; West Bromwich Albion F.C.; Wycombe Wanderers F.C.; Torquay United F.C.
Home town Boston

Simon Garner (born 23 November 1959) is an English former professional footballer who spent the majority of his career playing for Blackburn Rovers, where he is the record holder for most goals scored: 194 in all competitions and 168 in the Football League. He also played for West Bromwich Albion, Wycombe Wanderers and Torquay United.

Career

Born in Boston, Garner was educated at Boston Grammar School. He played for local club Boston United before joining Blackburn Rovers as an apprentice, turning professional in July 1978. His debut came the following season at Newcastle United in the Second Division, the first of 474 league games for Rovers, in which he scored a club-record 168 league goals. Rovers were relegated in Garner's first season as a senior player, but he helped them win promotion at the first attempt, and they only narrowly missed out on a second successive promotion in 1981. Rovers didn't make another serious promotion challenge until the 1987-88 season, when they qualified for the recently introduced playoffs, but defeat in the semi-finals denied them promotion. They reached the playoff final a year later and looked to have secured First Division football after beating Crystal Palace, but were heavily beaten by Palace in the return leg and missed out on promotion again. In 1990, Rovers suffered a third successive playoff defeat.

In his final season at Ewood Park, he helped fulfil chairman Jack Walker's dream as Blackburn were promoted in time for the inaugural Premier League season, although he played fewer games that campaign following the mid-season arrival of Mike Newell and the transfer deadline day signing of Duncan Shearer.

After his long spell at Rovers he moved to West Bromwich Albion and made 33 league appearances for the Baggies, scoring 8 more goals and helping them win promotion from Division Two before moving to Wycombe Wanderers.

He first played a league match for Wycombe in the 1993–94 season, and during his time there he had a loan spell at Torquay United, playing 11 league games for the Gulls.

Personal life

In 1996, Garner served a brief sentence in prison for contempt of court during his divorce proceedings. He was released after a successful appeal.

After working in mortgage sales and as a postman, Garner became a painter and decorator based in Berkshire.