‘Rovers in Uniform’

Rovers in Uniform book cover

I have started researching men who played for Football League Club Blackburn Rovers ready for a new book entitled ‘ Rovers in Uniform’.

So far, I have found over eighty who served in the First World War, fifty plus in World War Two and ten who did National Service (post-WW2 up to 1961).

I have yet to find a Publisher, so no firm date for publication.


New role with ‘We are THE Rovers’ Supporters Trust

Steve on the pitch at Ewood Park

I first watched Blackburn Rovers back in 1961 and have been working on the ‘Rovers in Uniform’ history project since May 2022.

During the summer I was approached by the Rovers Supporters Trust, ‘We are THE Rovers’, to join their Board leading on heritage issues.

I have been busy within the group and have written a number of heritage articles for the new website, due to go live in December.


Another visit to the Sporting Memories Network in Leyland

Sporting Memories collage

Men’s health and wellbeing is a subject close to home and I have been helping  the local Sporting Memories Network group which meets every Wednesday at Chorley Football Club and on Monday’s at the Lancashire F.A. Headquarters in Leyland.

I did my talk “Rovers in Uniform” for the Leyland group in November 2023.

The charity aims to engage men in particular using their strapline “Wellbeing through reminiscence”.

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2022 Catalogue features four new talks

Ready for a return to some form of ‘normality,’ I have introduced four new talks for 2022. 

‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ looks at how we coped with everything from The Plague, to two World Wars, the Spanish Flu pandemic (1918), the General Strike of 1926, the Three-Day Working Week (1974) to Foot & Mouth (2001) and right up to COVID-19.

‘Unsung Lancastrians’ highlights many men and women in the County over the years whose stories have never been told – from entrepreneurs, Suffragettes, social campaigners, newspaper editors, soldiers and even a President of FIFA. 

‘Historic Chorley’ tells the story of the Lancashire Borough of Chorley from its market in 1498 taking in some of its personalities over the years.

My railway talks are always popular, so I have added ‘Dales Rails’ which takes a journey along the railway line through the Ribble Valley and then up the historic and scenic Settle to Carlisle line.

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Another Lancashire railway talk

Steve presenting his railway talk

I presented my talk ‘Railways around Chorley’ at two Lancashire Libraries in April and May.

Both events, at Eccleston and Euxton libraries near Chorley, were well attended.

On Sunday, 14th July I presented an illustrated talk about the railway through the villages of Brindle and Hoghton on the Blackburn to Preston line at Hoghton Village Hall, where around 40 people attended.

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Showing Chorley’s MP around the Somme battlefield

Steve with Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP on the Somme

For two days last September I had the pleasure of showing my Member of Parliament, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, around the WW1 Somme battlefield in northern France. 

Sir Lindsay paid respects and laid a wreath on the grave of a local Victoria Cross winner,  James Miller.

We both laid wreaths at the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, as well as laying a wreath at the Chorley Pals plaque in the front line trenches at Serre.

Other sites visited included the Lochnager Crater at La Boiselle, Flat Iron Copse Cemetery at Mametz Wood and Heilly Station Cemetery – the latter two being the final resting place of a number of Chorley men.