Date:Friday June 15 2007
After the news regarding one of Blackburn Rovers founding fathers, John Lewis, and the dilapidated condition of his grave, Blackburn Chairman John Williams has vowed to step in and act.
I have read quite a few articles relating to this issue, there have been many opinions on what should be done to commemorate both Mr Lewis and his co founder, Arthur Constantine.
This issue has, well for me anyhow, made me realise how little we 'show off' our proud history and heritage.
Whilst there has been many a great player to pull on the blue and white halves over the course of the last 135 years, can anyone remember more than a handful of the more recent and more famous names???
This issue was further highlighted during the voting for the VBers Greatest Ever Squad when I campaigned endlessly and vociferously for the inclusion of a certain Jimmy Forrest, one of Blackburn Rovers most successful ever players and the majority of fans had never heard of him, never mind the reasons for his inclusion in the squad.
All this has culminated in me writing this article pondering whether Blackburn Rovers, could do more to celebrate the illustrious history of our beloved club.
As an example, if you visit nearly any US sports venue, such as Yankee Stadium in New York City, Fenway Park in Boston, Wrigley Field and Soldier Field in Chicago and The Joe Louis Arena in Detroit you would see many busts of former players, mini Halls of Fame, banners of former achievements and championships and retired numbers of former greats for the respective teams.
Whilst some of those may seem 'over the top' to us conservative Britons, it begs the question 'Where are all the stalwarts and stars from the bygone eras?'
We often see Ronnie Clayton pop up at half time for the lucky numbers draw at Ewood and you occasionally see former players in local news and such like but the majority of the current footballing fraternity (this includes some media figures too!!!)do not truly realise the amazing history behind the club that Lewis and Constantine founded, they merely know about the 'club that Jack built'.
Rovers have one of the most storied histories of any of the founding teams of the football league yet many people perceive us as perennial lower division club that clawed its way out of the doldrums at the inception of the Premier League thanks to Jack Walker and his bankroll. Yet the truth is far more interesting but even Blackburn themselves do not seem to celebrate these achievements.
To put it into perspective, Liverpool and their fans enjoy pointing out the amount of times they have lifted the European Cup and their storied success across Europe during the 1970's and 1980's and why shouldn't they? Its what football is all about and bragging rights do not hurt do they?
Its time for John Williams and the Club to step up and show everyone that visits Ewood Park the massive history attached to Blackburn Rovers.
We might even get some credit where it is due then and John Lewis, Arthur Constantine, Jimmy Forrest and all the forgotten heroes of yesteryear would finally get the recognition for their input into making Blackburn Rovers Football Club who they are today.
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Date:Friday June 15 2007
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