Rovers Sean O'Driscoll - John Ryan had a big part in signing Kilgallon

Last updated : 15 January 2011 By Site
Rovers beat off competition from a host of rival Championship clubs to land the former Sheffield United and Leeds United player who makes his debut this afternoon at home against Reading.

Ryan, along with the club's other major shareholders, Dick Watson and Terry Bramall, dipped into their own pockets to fund Kilgallon's wages for the rest of the season. Ryan also assumed personal responsibility for persuading Kilgallon to agree to a move.

"Originally, when I was looking around for a centre-half with the resources we have got, it was pointless looking at someone like Matthew who had been bought for £2.5m and was playing in the Premier Division," said O'Driscoll. "It's not my money to gamble - but the chairman and the two directors have made it possible. John Ryan has to take a lot of credit. When you have John ringing you morning, noon, and night, he can be quite persuasive.

"It also makes it more easy when a player is keen to come like he was," added O'Driscoll. "If we had been trying to compete with some of the clubs who were reportedly interested we would have been dead in the water - but Matthew knows Billy (Sharp), Martin (Woods), John Oster and Neil Sullivan and wanted to come to a place where he would feel comfortable