Photograph of Blackburn Rovers fans in stadium seats

Rovers in Uniform

Back in May 2022 I approach the Club with the idea of researching all the Rovers players who served in uniform in the First World War, Second World War and doing National Service.

The latter was between 1946 and 1960 when young men reached their eighteenth birthday were “called up”, irrespective of them being in employment of further education.

In initial discussions, Club Officials only thought that two Rovers players had been killed on active service - Eddie Latheron (an England International) at Ypres in 1917 and Albert ‘Nobby’ Clarke at Normandy in 1944. However, my research has found a further eight, including one Blackburn lad who played in the A team and was killed in action in Burma during 1944 and is now buried in India.

To date the number of Rovers players I have found who served in uniform is 178 but many more would have done National Service, including the likes of Ronnie Clayton, Bryan Douglas and Fred Else (to name just a few). Rovers players won five Military Crosses (MC), one the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) and two Military Medals (MM); one was also awarded an OBE and had a Primary School named after him in Fleetwood.

I hope to publish a book in 2024 and look for the Club to erect a suitable memorial to their fallen in due course.

If you are related to a Rovers player who may well have been in uniform or have any relevant information, do get in touch. My e-mail is 

Steve Williams

 Photograph of Ewood Park taken through football net

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