Arguably the most gifted player to come through Rovers’ youth ranks since Alick Jeffrey, Ian Snodin followed his older brother Glynn into the first team. Manager Billy Bremner, a huge admirer of Ian’s talents, gave him a League debut before his 17th birthday. A combination of technical skills and a ferocious tackle marked him out as a special player and in his second season he helped Rovers secure promotion to Division Three for the first time in 10 years. He featured in another promotion season three years later when he missed only seven League games and contributed nine goals.
International recognition followed, firstly at Under-18 level then for the England Under-21 side, for whom he won the first of his four caps in Turkey in November 1984. After an excellent season with Rovers in 1984-85, during which he helped the club reach the Fourth Round of the FA Cup, cash-strapped Rovers accepted a bid of around £200,000 from Leeds United. In January 1987 he moved on again, this time to Everton, whom he helped win the Football League Championship. Having played most of his career in midfield, he moved successfully to right-back and was called up by England to play in this position in 1989, although he had to withdraw due to injury.
Hamstring problems dogged the latter part of his career, which took him to Oldham Athletic and Scarborough. In July 1998, with Rovers in the Football Conference, he was recruited as player-manager, working alongside his brother Glynn. After a difficult start to the season he led Rovers to mid-table safety and to success in the Conference Trophy, Rovers beating Farnborough Town in the Final.
Unfortunately, Rovers struggled in 1999-2000 and Ian and Glynn were dismissed in April 2000. Since then he has done media work and has been an ambassador for Everton, where he remains a popular figure. Rovers fans who saw him play will not forget his tremendous natural ability either.
Rovers Debut: 29th March 1980, Division Four vs. AFC Bournemouth (home) Won 1-0.
Final game: 6th November 1999, Football Conference vs. Sutton United (away) Lost 0-1.
Rovers Career: Football League: 188 appearances, 27 goals. All senior games: 228 appearances, 29 goals
Honours with Rovers: Promotion to Division Three 1980-81 (third) and 1983-84 (runners-up), Four Caps for England Under-21s.