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The number 5 on a football team was originally worn by one of the three centre halfs in the old 2–3–5 formation. Over time two of the three half-backs moved back into defence as 4–4–2 became the formation of choice, meaning that the numbers 4,5 and 6, the numbers previously allocated to the centre halfs, were sometimes used by central defenders and sometimes by central midfielders.

Since the introduction of squad numbers by the Football League in 1999, Rovers have exclusively allocated the 5 shirt to defenders, starting with Andy Thomson.

N.B. stats last updated at the end of the 2011–12 season

Players who have worn shirt number 5
YearsPlayerNationPositionGamesaGoalsa
1999–2002Andy ThomsonEng EnglandDef103 (3)5
2002–2004Adam BarrettEng EnglandDef90 (0)5
2004–2006Christian EdwardsWal WalesDef51 (6)3
2006–2009Craig HintonEng EnglandDef68 (11)3
2009–2011Danny ColesEng EnglandDef73 (0)1
2011–2012Cian BolgerIrl Republic of IrelandDef38 (1)2
Total423 (21)19
N.B. Nationality is defined as the country represented by a player at any level of international football, or their country of birth if they have never played internationally.

a League games (+substitute appearances) played and goals scored while wearing the number 5.

  • Number of league games played between the start of the 1999–00 season and the end of 2011–12: 598
  • Number of appearances by players wearing number 5: 444
  • Percentage of Rovers games featuring a number 5: 74.2%

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