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John Whitney RIP ...


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On 16/07/2022 at 01:03, sympatheticclaret said:

I was really saddened to learn of the passing of John Whitney, who worked for Rovers for over 20 years, following his retirement from Lancashire Police. 

John and I first met in 1978 when I started playing Under 16's Rugby at Blackburn RUFC, and he was Chairman of the mini/junior section. At 6'4" and an ex 2nd Row forward, he was always interested in how I was doing, and was the first to buy me a beer after my 1st XV debut in the 2nd Row, aged 21. Anyone involved in amateur sport be it Football, Cricket or Rugby, knows how much Clubs rely on unpaid volunteers, and John put countless hours in as a coach, referee, fixture secretary and later as the Club's Representative at the Lancashire RFU. He had been a " Vice-President " there since 1981.

He initially worked for Rovers as a " Steward ", but basically it was his role to prevent any trouble in the tunnel area. Even in his later years, John was an imposing figure and I suspect he defused a few situations. He had a wicked sense of humour and could be gloriously " un-PC " on occasion ...

Rest in Peace, John  😢

 

 

 

I didn't know John, but suspect he will have known the late Ted Cooper, if he was prominent at Blackburn RUFC.

He was a teacher when I was at school and was rugby mad.

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2 hours ago, lraC said:

I didn't know John, but suspect he will have known the late Ted Cooper, if he was prominent at Blackburn RUFC.

He was a teacher when I was at school and was rugby mad.

You sound like a St Edmund Arrowsmith old boy like myself.

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1 hour ago, Colt Seavers said:

You sound like a St Edmund Arrowsmith old boy like myself.

I am. I was there from 1976 to 1981. Knew Ted very well too. What years were you there?

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18 minutes ago, lraC said:

I am. I was there from 1976 to 1981. Knew Ted very well too. What years were you there?

Just missed you. 1982 to 1987 (went to the Full Members Cup final instead of revising for my upcoming GCEs) 😁

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You probably know a couple of my mates then. Sean Mulligan was probably a pupil when you were and a teacher is a great mate too, called Gary Strickleton. 

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7 hours ago, lraC said:

I didn't know John, but suspect he will have known the late Ted Cooper, if he was prominent at Blackburn RUFC.

He was a teacher when I was at school and was rugby mad.

  E.V. Cooper ( Ted ) was 1st XV Captain from 1971-73, and again for Blackburn Rugby Club's Centenary season in 1977-78. He lived in Brinscall and was a fine attacking Full-Back with a wicked sidestep. Those who remember him will know that he was taken far too young by Multiple Sclerosis .

Both John & Ted were on the youth & mini Rugby Committee together, giving up their Sundays to coach ..

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16 minutes ago, sympatheticclaret said:

  E.V. Cooper ( Ted ) was 1st XV Captain from 1971-73, and again for Blackburn Rugby Club's Centenary season in 1977-78. He lived in Brinscall and was a fine attacking Full-Back with a wicked sidestep. Those who remember him will know that he was taken far too young by Multiple Sclerosis .

Both John & Ted were on the youth & mini Rugby Committee together, giving up their Sundays to coach ..

Yes Ted died at a young age. I think it was motor neurone that he died from though, not MS. He did bravely carry on working, after his diagnosis too and fought in typical fashion, right to the end. 

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3 hours ago, lraC said:

You probably know a couple of my mates then. Sean Mulligan was probably a pupil when you were and a teacher is a great mate too, called Gary Strickleton. 

Yes I remember Sean's name and knew Gary very well and also through his association with West End FC in the town centre. Great bloke.

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1 minute ago, Colt Seavers said:

Yes I remember Sean's name and knew Gary very well and also through his association with West End FC in the town centre. Great bloke.

I played in the same West End team as Gary. We had an appearance at Ewood in 1987 in the combination cup final. Same year as Rovers win in the FMC. 

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4 hours ago, Colt Seavers said:

Just missed you. 1982 to 1987 (went to the Full Members Cup final instead of revising for my upcoming GCEs) 😁

Good lad Colt, same year as me. You were a pretty nondescript footy team for us Moorland lads and then you found a centre forward in about the 4th year. I'm sure you will know who I mean.

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1 hour ago, lraC said:

Yes Ted died at a young age. I think it was motor neurone that he died from though, not MS. He did bravely carry on working, after his diagnosis too and fought in typical fashion, right to the end. 

You are of course, correct ! I mis-remembered ...

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16 hours ago, LDRover said:

Good lad Colt, same year as me. You were a pretty nondescript footy team for us Moorland lads and then you found a centre forward in about the 4th year. I'm sure you will know who I mean.

Haha. We got him after merging with St Thomas Aquinas. If I recall correctly we played your lads in the 5th year final at Griffin Park. 

We came second. 

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