Rishton Football Club

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Rishton had a club prior to 1883, when they were a strong power in the Lancashire Football Association. The only evidence of this that is left is a letter wrote to the F. A. "Will you appoint a referee for our match versus Bolton Wanderers? We would rather not have a member of the L. F. A. - they are so one sided" (the letter is preserved somewhere!


Formerly known as Rishton Congregational FC, it was founded in 1911 by the late Mr. H. Pomfret, who was the Sunday school teacher, along with Mr J. W. Robinson, and G Henry who was the first secretary, and went on to give over 40 years service to the club.

1912 - 13

Friendly matches were played in the first season. The club joined the Blackburn and District Amateur League the following season, 1912 â€" 13, entering the 3rd Division they did not need finishing near the bottom of the table.

1913 - 14

In 1913 â€" 14 the Blackburn & District league was reformed and they were soon the holders of the knockout cup competition. They would have won the league championship as well but for the fixtures not being completed with clubs dropping out to the advent of the Great War in 1914.

The following is the cup winning team;

Goal Keeper
Bob Henry
Right Back Right Half Back Left Half Back Left Back
Bob Holden John Sutcliffe Jim Wathens George Lauden
Centre Half Back
Ernie Eddleston
Outside Right Inside Right Inside Left Outside Left
Percy Wilson Albert Skeats (Capt) Joe Cunliffe Bill Kehoe
Centre Forward
Ernie Cooper

Reserves: Harry Bailey, John Thorpe, and Bill Abbott.

All the reserves were killed in the Great War, as were Bob Holden, and Albert Skeats.

1914 - 15

A very funny situation occurred just about this time. We had just our annual meeting in the schoolhouse, and every body left and went to a recruitment meeting being held at the front of the Roebuck hotel. The next morning the author was working at Oswaldtwistle when he saw on the newsagent’s placards “Entire football team Enlists”.

On buying the said newspaper the author was given a great surprise for it stated that the Rishton Congregational Football Team had enlisted enblock at a recruitment meeting held the night before. It must have appeared in every newspaper in the County for I had letters of congratulations from the Mayor of Blackburn, and H Bottomley (editor John Bull).

It made the members of the team join up all the sooner and 3 made the great sacrifice.

1914 - 18

No football was played due too the Great War.


The team played friendly matches away from home and were only defeated once by Nelson Road 4 â€" 1 at Nelson.

1920 - 21

Joined the 4th Division of the Blackburn & District Amateur League. The team finished about half way in the league table. Longshaw Unity, Clitheroe, and Chatburn were all members at that time.

Pressure was soon to bear on the club to rejoin the league, Entering the B division the team played over 38 matches in the league and cup, winning the championship and the Taylor Cup knockout cup as well as the charity shield, and never being defeated, a record for the league.

1921 - 22

Promoted to the 1st division of the league and was well in the running for the championship, we should have played the Ragger school on the Saturday and owing to an outbreak of flu no one turned up. We were notified to play the match the following Monday night but could not raise a team. By the Wednesday night we had to attend a meeting held at the Philips ground. H Gilroy, the President and myself attended and at 11:45 we were informed that we had been expelled from the league. A great shock to us, and the only low spot in our great career.

We had to play in the final of the leagues knockout cup versus Church of the Saviour and made pleas to reopen the case but were unsuccessful, and the cup was given to Church of the Saviour. We won the A Thomas medal competition on the last Friday night of the league.

We applied for readmission to the Blackburn and District Combination and were received with open arms. For the next 6 years nothing of note occurred, only that the club was reformed and was known as Rishton FC, and made a public institution. Minor competitions were won in the meantime Great Harwood (2) Clayton (1) and Saint Thomas’s.

1928 â€" 29

We were champions of the 1st division and reached the final of the Birtwhistle cup, a good workmanship team.

Dick Yates
Right Back Right Half Left Half Left Back
Jim Hindle Jim Mason John Gaulfield Harry Gregson
Centre Half
Sam Anderson
Outside Right Inside Right Inside Left Outside Left
Tom Wall Jack Nixon Colin Watson ??????
Centre Forward
George Peachy

George Peachy made a record on goals scored, 74.

1929 â€" 30

An amusing incident occurred in the Longshaw Unity game played at Rishton, as referee turned up and Joe Pollard commenced the referring of the match with a bicycle bell.

Image 1 Rishton Congregational 1920 â€" 1 (Not available)

Image 2 Winners of medal 1921-22. (Not available)

Image 3 unknown (Not available)

Image 4 Rishton Cong FC 1922 â€"3 Winners of Clayton CI medal competition. (Not available)

1932 â€" 33

A red-letter reason. We broke the records for the Blackburn and District Combination by winning the league championship and Birtwhistle Cup, and the Lancs. junior Shield. The best team we have had so far.


Dick Yates
Right Back Right Half Left Half Left Back
Bill Connolly Jim Mason Jim Dodd Anthony Whittaker
Centre Half
Sam Anderson
Outside Right Inside Right Inside Left Outside Left
Jack Wall Ben Pritt Harry Eccleston George Balderstone
Centre Forward
J Duffy

Reserves: George Peachy, Jack.

Programme and Team Sheet
Lancashire Junior Shield Final Programme from Ewood Park, 18th February 1933.
Team sheet for the cup final. The record breaking team of 1932, Lancashire Junior Shield Winners, League Champions, Birtwhistle Cup Winners.

Press Cuttings from the match


While football interest in the rest of the country is mainly centred on to-days FA Cup-ties, Rishton is agog with “shield fever" and a mystery. Rishton Football Club, Current leaders of the Blackburn and District Combination, this afternoon meet Crompton Albion at Ewood Park in the final tie of the Lancashire Junior Shield. An atmosphere of mystery surrounds the tie - Rishton have to play someone they don’t know. Until a week or two ago no one in Rishton was aware of the existence of such a club as Crompton Albion.

Even now they are not quite sure where their opponents come from. Still, their mystery quest will be solved this afternoon, when eleven young men from Rishton and district will pit their skill against the team called Crompton Albion at Ewood Park. Rishton people are not greatly concerned about who or what Crompton Albion are - all they are concerned about is that Rishton should win.

A casual visitor to Rishton to day will be reminded of Goldsmith’s description of a “Deserted Village.” The whole community is so intrigued by “Rishton’s own final” that the railway company have decided to run a special train to Blackburn for the match. When it steams out of Rishton station shortly after two o’clock it will carry almost 1,000 football fans. Hundreds more will travel by ordinary trains and by motor coaches. Their team will not be without vocal support. Everybody in the township is a football fan just now. Never before has interest in the winter pastime reached such a pitch. Even though it is only the Lancashire Junior Shield it is Rishton's Wembley.

There is already one cup in Rishton - the Worsley cup, won last season by the town’s cricket team, members of which will be at Ewood Park to do their bit in helping the side to bring anther trophy to the town.

The contestants in the final have risen to the top out of 114 entrants. Rishton have reached the final by beating opponents with the aggregate score of 33 - 9, and their opponents, who play in the South-East Lancashire Amateur League, have only a slightly inferior record of progress reflected in a gross score of 31â€"10. Neither club has won the trophy before. It is a long time since there was a Blackburn district club in the final of this tournament. The last local, winners were Blackburn Trinity in 1914 - 15. In the previous season Feniscliffe triumphed, while in 1910-11 Blackburn Victoria Cross carried off the trophy.

Rishton F. C. have done much to revive interest in football in the township. Their ambition now is to play in the Lancashire Combination. At present they have a commanding lead at the head of the Blackburn and District Combination.

They have always been in the limelight in junior football circles. Known previously as Rishton Congregational F. C., they became the town eleven two years ago. This season they have suffered but one defeat. The players have undergone special training for today’s game. The following sides will do duty:

Rishton.â€"Yates; Connolly, Tattersall, Pritt, Todd, Foley Wall, Holt, Duffy, Thexton and Balderstone.

Crompton Albion. â€"Whittaker; Manor Chadwick (H.), Smith, Schofield, Ramsden, Chadwick (J.), Talbot, Frost, Ford and Forbes.

After the match the shield will be presented at a private gathering of the teams and officials in the billiard room by Mr. Tom Laitwaite, Hon. treasurer of the L. F. A.


(Rishton 2, Crompton Albion O.)

(By “Scribe.”).

After a lapse of eighteen years the Lancashire Junior Shield has returned to the Blackburn area, and to Rishton has fallen the deserving honour of recapturing Lancashire’s most coveted amateur trophy. On Saturdays play there can be no doubt that Rishton are the best junior side in the county; indeed, I was pleasantly surprised at the high quality of football served up. I must admit that I went to Ewood Park with some misgivings and more or less resigned to witnessing a display of scrappy football such as is usually to be found in junior cup ties.

Happily my misgivings were entirely without foundation, and I quickly realised that two very capable teams were on view. Rishton won by virtue of the fact that their teamwork was much superior to that of their opponents, and there was always an incisiveness and clear understanding in their methods which was lacking in the Crompton ranks. The best player on view, however, was Schofield. Cromptons centre half. Over six feet tall, he was surprisingly speedy and tricky, and he was a great power in both attack and defence. Unfortunately the rest of the side was inferior to Rishton, and most of his work went unrewarded.


Rishton commenced in promising fashion, and in the first minute Holt deftly slipped the ball out to Wall, who delivered a first time low drive that Whittaker saved smartly. For a time the Rishton forwards appeared to bewilder the opposing defence by their clever passing movements. Both inside men, Thexton and Holt, were clever schemers, while the wingers were speedy and a constant source of danger.

Schofield made many efforts to get his forwards on the move, and Yates inspired confidence by two cool saves from long drives. The Rishton goal, however, had a narrow escape when Ford slipped the ball forward to Frost, for the latter to strike the post with a fast, low shot. Generally speaking, however, Rishton were the more convincing side, and the lead obtained after 20 minutes’ play was well deserved. Holt, who was always conspicuous, engineered a clever opening before placing the ball across goal. Duffy missed wildly but Balderstone ran in from the wing and crashed the ball into the far corner of the net.

The Rishton goal had another narrow escape when Yates left his charge to meet the oncoming Ford. The latter lobbed the ball, but Yates managed to deflect its course and clear. From then until the interval Rishton were on top, and Wall centred against the crossbar for Holt to shoot just wide from the rebound.

In the second half Connolly was right fullback, and gave nothing away, and the Compton left wing was completely subdued. It was almost inevitable that Rishton would make a further score, and after six minutes the Crompton goal fell once again. Duffy and Whittaker were concerned in a race for the ball. The former succeeded and was dribbling towards the empty goal when he was charged down from behind, Wall, however, was in close attendance, and he secured the ball and netted. The Crompton forwards subsequently improved somewhat, but weak finishing spoiled several promising movements.

Yates dealt confidently with several high shot’s, but during one spell of pressure Connolly passed back, and in doing so just grazed the post with his custodian nowhere in the vicinity.

Towards the end there was a good deal of lackadaisical play, with Rishton evidently content to maintain their advantage. The Crompton team literally fell to pieces, and what few attacks they launched presented very little difficulty to the Rishton defence.

As the final whistle blew there was a great shout from about 2,000 Rishton fans, and the players were heartily congratulated on their fine display. The crowd altogether numbered about 4,000.

Final: â€" Rishton 2, Crompton Albion 0.


Rishton’s superior teamwork told its own tale, and the score might very easily have been greater. Yates in goal was invariably safe, and Connolly was the better of two strong full-backs. The halfbacks, too, were very effective, with Foley on the left a great spoiler. All the forwards were extremely dangerous, with Holt and Thexton initiating numerous brilliant attacks.

As I mentioned previously, Schofield, the Crompton pivot, was the outstanding player on the field, and he is worthy of any League clubs notice. His positioning and tackling were very clever, and he distributed the ball well.

Smith was a smart right half, but Frost and Forbes were the only forwards to cause much trouble, the rest being very mediocre.

At the close of the game the shield was presented to Mr. Jack Holt, the Rishton captain, by Mr. Tom Laithwaite, vice president and treasurer of the Lancashire Football Association.

Teams: Rishton: Yates; Connolly and Tattersall; Pritt, Todd and Foley; Wall, Holt, Duffy, Thexton and Balderstone.

Crompton: Whittaker; Manor and H. Chadwick: Talbot, Frost, Ford and Forbes; Smith. Schofield and Ramsden; I. Chadwick,

The referee was Mr. J Williams, of Bolton, and the linesmen were Messrs W. E. Twist and A. Hough.


Whole â€"hearted teamwork and a clever understanding were the great factors in Rishton’s victory over Crompton Albion in the final of the Lancashire Junior Shield at Ewood Park on Saturday. Thus after a lapse of eighteen years, the shield has returned to the Blackburn area, and Rishton passage to the final was not a very strenuous one, the only side to put up a fight being Haslingden St Mary’s who drew at Rishton and were defeated by the odd goal in five at Haslingden. As a consequence it can be safely be assumed that Rishton are the best amateur side in the County.

Crompton Albion though possessing one or two clever individuals players, were far inferior to Rishton as one complete unit, and if the local side had accepted all their chances the margin would have been much greater. Wall and Balderstone scored the only two goals of the match, and both were well deserved. It was the concerted work of the team as a whole that brought victory, and it would be unfair to single out any player for special mention. There were over 2,000 Rishton fans present at the match, and there was a real cup-tie atmosphere. The game was very interesting throughout and was productive of a surprisingly high standard of football.

MEDAL PRESENTATION Mr. C. E. Sutcliffe at Rishton.

The members of Rishton F. C., winners of the Lancashire Junior Shield, were presented with their medals by Mr. C. E.’ Sutcliffe, president of the Lancashire Football Association, at a whist drive and dance held in the Conservative assembly Rooms, Rishton, last night. There was a gathering of about 200- people.

Presiding at the presentation, Mr. C. Clayton. Chairman of the club, said they began the season intent on winning the Lancashire Junior Shield and the Birtwhistle Cup. They had gained the shield, and were hoping to be equally successful in the cup competition.

Mr. C. E. Sutcliffe congratulated the club on a success that, he said, had been worthily won. Football medals were not by any means as cheap and plentiful as some people tried to make out. They could not be gained by easygoing football, but by every player giving of his best during the whole ninety minutes.

That was what he liked about football, in cricket one man may get his century and the applause; another might get a “duck,” and be more or less out of the game, but in football every player was in the business. Remarking that the only medals he had won were for long service, Mr. Sutcliffe added that he was once in a team that won a semi-final 3-1.

Cartoon Drawing of our goal keeper in 1937.

I scored two of the goals,” he continued, “so they left me out of the team in the final. Of course, they did those things in those days. (Laughter.) One of the committeemen wanted to play and they put him in my place, so he got a medal. He got something else, too, because I told him what I thought about him.” Mr. Sutcliffe hoped they would keep the team together and win the shield again next season, adding, "You will want to win it three ‘years in succession and make it your own, but we shan’t let you. It’s too good a shield for that.” (Laughter.)

Proposing a vote of thanks to Mr. Sutcliffe, Mr. A. Connolly, vice-chairman of the Blackburn Combination, apologized for the absence of Mr. R. T. Porter, the chairman, who was recovering from a rather serious accident.

1933 â€" 34

Another good season.

A good story. In a Lancs. junior shield match a Burnley versus Burnley United. Rishton were leading 5 goals to 1, Wally Burton having done the hat trick, when the home secretary was asked if a collection for the gate was going to be made. He remarked he could play 50 great players and will get nowt from this lot.

1935 â€" 36

Another great year. Went through the league without a defeat and won the Lancashire Junior Shield and was beaten in the Birtwhistle cup final by Shaws Brook. Also won the A Thomas medal competition. Our finest side yet.

Goal Keeper
Dick Yates
Right Back Right Half Back Left Half Back
Harry Hughes Ben Pratt Albert Bennett A. Tattersall
Centre Half Back
Harry Pickup
Outside Right Inside Right Inside Left Outside Left
Tom Well Wally Barton Joe Hargreaves Chris Green
Centre Forward
Fred Campy

Reserve Jack Turner


A letter was sent from Rishton Football Club with reference to the rent paid for Holt street recreation ground and asking for a reduction in the amount paid. The council resolved that the rent be reduced to £3 10s 0d for the playing season.

1938 - 39

On August 11th 1938, An invitation was made to the council from Rishton Football Club in connection with a visit from the Cotton Queen of Great Britain on September 28th 1938.

Finished in 3rd position in the league.

1939 â€" 40

Winners of the Birtwhistle cup.


Harold Ashworth

Right Back Right Half Back Left Half Back Left Back
Jack Johnstone Joe Hargreaves Jack Lemon Jim Haddon
Centre Half Back
Harry Pickup
Outside Right Inside Right Inside Left Outside Left
Harry ? Albert ? Bill Wood Chris Green
Centre Forward
Tom ?

Reserve: Jack Turner

During this season, Rishton football club were instructed to leave the goalposts on Harwood Road Recreation Ground, so the children could use them during the week. This was due to the parks being opened during the week for children.

The clerk wrote to Rishton Football Club on the 8th February 1940, demanding the early payment of the rent at £3 10s 0d per season for the use of Harwood Road Recreation Ground, for the following seasons:-

  • 1937 - 38

  • 1938 - 39

  • 1939 - 40

1940 - 41

Won the Lancashire Junior Shield for the 3rd time, a record for the L. F. A., no other club in Lancashire had won it 3 times before. The final was played at Ewood Park on Saturday January 11th 1941.


Bill Roach
Right Back Right Half Back Left Half Back Left Back
Jack Johnston Yates Jack Turner Eddie Howson
Centre Half Back
Harry Pickup
Outside Right Inside Right Inside Left Outside Left
Harry Bell Bill Rock Joe Hargreaves Harry Whittaker
Centre Forward

Reserve Harry Hargreaves

A proud uniformed team with great stroking powers. Tom Aspden being the best centre forward of many good ones. In April he had beaten the record of Purdy 74 in 1927.

Press Cuttings

Press Cutting from Ewood Park Final.

League Table


  Pld Won Lost Drn For Agst Pts
Rishton 24 19 3 2 103 35 40
Stanhill 24 16 7 1 94 59 33

Audley W. M. C.








Shaws GB








Haslingden St Mary's








J & S leavers
















Mill Hill St Peters








Haslingden Grane








Hy. Liveseys








Eclipse Mill








Electricity U








T & R Eccles








Rishton 5, Mill Hill St. Peters 2.

I do not suppose that even the most churlish of the 1,000 spectators who saw this Lancashire Junior Shield tie would complain at the fare which was provided. To me, it was junior football at its best; it was a rousing contest from start to finish; and I enjoyed it immensely. Except in the all-important matter of goals, there was little between the sides, for while Rishton were superior in the opening half, St Peters were definitely on top in the second. How, then, did the visitors come to win this game, and by so heavy margin? One reason was, they got their blows in first. They built up a substantial first-half lead, and, thanks to the solidity of the defence, they kept it

Coming to individuals, the one player who stood out among the rest was Campey, a Padiham lad, who, since coming to Rishton - his birthplace, by the way - has come to be regarded as the most dangerous centre forward in Blackburn Combination football. Other Rishton stalwarts were Pickup, at centre half, and Hughes and Tattersall at back. Many times in the second half St. Peter’s seemed certain to score, but either one or the other of this indomitable three did the seemingly Impossible thing.

It was impossible not to admire St. Peters for their splendid second-half rally, even to sympathise with them in that all their pressure at this stage should be so scantily rewarded. Their approach work was all that could be wished for, and in this regard I would specially mention the two right-wingers, Corston and Baldwin. Hargreaves too, at centre, despite the attentions of Pickup, gave quite a good display.

His goal was a beauty, and comported himself that were it not for his comparative frailty of build, he would probably go far in the game. Yet for sheer football craft, the St. Peters forward that most attracted attention was Father Slevin, their respected priest. There was a distinctive quality in the Father’s play which betokened the real artist, and St. Peter’s can count themselves fortunate in having his services.


H. Hughes

Rishton, the Blackburn combination club, are on the crest of the wave at the moment, and all eyes were centred on them to-day when they met Little Lever in the semi-final of the Lancashire Junior’ Shield. In beating Unsworth three weeks ago, the whole side revealed excellent form, with H. Hughes, the right back outstanding. I hope they have “filled the bill’ again. I had no fears with regard to their attack, one of the best I have ever seen in junior football anywhere, and if the backs and halves played as well as they did against Unsworth, their visitors to-day will have been given a gruelling time. Hughes Is a real tower of strength, and Rishton have their secretary, .Mr. G. R. Henry. to thank for obtaining his signature.

He was brought to the club by Mr. Henry from Great Harwood St. John’s, when that club disbanded; at a time when Rishton were raced with a big problem owing to “Bill” Conolly migrating to Blackburn Technical College. That was two years ago. and  since then Rishton folk have never regretted the move. I am sure.

Hughes is definitely one of the best backs playing in the Combination to­day, and, as Anthony Tattersall’s  partner, he Is admirably suited. A two footed player. Hughes would probably have gone far In the game, but business reasons keep him at home.


At Rishton, before 800 spectators. Owing to Little Lever’s late arrival, the start was delayed 20 minutes. The visitors had the best of the opening exchanges Briggs, on the left, being much in evidence. In further pressure Hewart had an easy chance, but his shot was well saved by Yates. At the other end Pickup had a lovely drive diverted for a corner, from which Green placed just wide.

Hewart broke away and opened the visitor’s account. For Rishton, Burton headed just wide from a corner, Rishton’s men attacked, and during a melee in the goalmouth Burton equalised. Rishton's centre-forward Campey, was carried off Injured

Half-time - Rishton 1, Little Lever 1.

Full time - Rishton 4, Little Lever 1.

Run up to final

Once more, a team from the Blackburn area may win the Lancashire junior Shield. Rishton beat Little Lever 4-1 In the semi-final on Saturday, but in the process they had many anxious moments, and in fact, their opponents could do anything but score during one period of the second half. Indeed, I would even go so far as to say that in no previous round have they been so near to defeat. Granted the fates were against them, as, for example, in the first half, when in their efforts to wipe out an early deficit they only missed by inches Even when the equaliser did come the cost was dear, in that Campey was so severely injured as to be unable to resume after the interval. Thus handicapped, Rishton were pegged back in their own quarters, so much so that even their most partisan supporters despaired of their chances. Campey's return fifteen minutes from time made little difference, for he was more or less a passenger. The visitors kept up their relentless pressure, and it was only by the solidarity of their defence at this period that Rishton saved themselves.


However, time was called, and with it that brief respite that seemed to do Rishton a power of good. An extra period was played during which the tables were completely turned. In the rapidly-fading light, we saw Rishton at their best, moving with machine like precision, and so rounding off their attacks as to get through three times. Thus was seeming defeat turned into glorious victory.

If it is permissible to single out any of these Rishton lads for special praise, I would mention Pickup. This tall, well-knit centre-half was a host in himself, beating back many an attack, and getting to everything that came his way. Next in order of merit came Hargreaves, at inside left. Up to extra time commencing, Hargreaves had been singularly unfortunate, but he led the way with two of the winning goals, and to that extent Rishtonians should hold him in high regard.

While Rishton were qualifying for, the final of the Lancashire Junior Shield the weather caused the post­ponement until this afternoon of the other semi-final between Astley Bridge and Westhoughton. Both have already won the trophy and the two secretaries have written me during the week expressing their confidence of gaining the shield once more.

Westhoughton have twice won the shieldâ€"1925-26 and 1927-28- and are keen to make history by winning It three times. Their earlier games have resulted as follows:

  • 1st round. Astley and Tyldesley (a) 5 - 3
  • 2nd round, Worthington's Temp (h) 6 - 4
  • 3rd round, a bye.
  • 4th round. Haydock (a) (extra time) 3 - 3
    • Replay (h) 2 - 1.
  • 5th round, Leyland Red Rose (h) 3 - 0

They have had difficulty keeping their team up to strength through players going for trial games - a pretty common complaint while recently their captain and centre half was injured in a pit accident. They hope to have him fit for the final!

Astley Bridge won the shield in 1933 - 34 by beating Charley Old road Congregational, Bolton Heywood St. James’s, Lancaster County Mental Hospital, Astley and Tyldesley, and Little Lever (final). Last season they reached the third - round of the Lancashire Junior Cup, beating Westhoughton and Lytham before losing to Fleetwood. Their previous hurdles in the shield competition have been:

  • 1st round a bye
  • 2nd round. Chequerbent. 8-0.
  • 3rd round. Halliwell St Thomas’s 7-0
  • 4th round. Shaws Glazed Brick 2-1
  • 5th round, Haslingden St. Mary's 3-2

They have teams in the South-East Lancashire League and Bolton Combination. The former team is doing well, and it is this eleven that plays in the shield competition.

Press cuttings from the Final.

From the Daily Post

But Rally with Vigour


Both sets of forwards put in some clever approach work on the slippery surface. Hargreaves missed a good chance for Rishton, sending high and wild after obtaining a favourable scoring position.

Nine minutes after the start GREEN put the Colliery in front, heading through a low cross from the left after slow work by the Rishton backs. Straight from the kick off Rishton attacked and a fine centre by Green was only just off the mark. Westhoughton did the bulk of the attacking, Aldred initiating several dangerous advances.


A grand centre by Ralph's sent two of his inside forwards hurtling into the net in a vain effort to connect, a narrow escape for Rishton. From a long clearance, J. Green was going through well when he was unceremoniously bundled off the ball. Appeals for a penalty were ignored. In the next Westhoughton attack Cowburn lobbed just over.

Rishton suddenly woke up. and the Westhoughton backs, unprepared for the onslaught, presented the opposing forwards with plenty of scoring chances. Only one was accepted however, C. GREEN netting after 25 minutes with Makinson at the other end of the goal.

Another move similarly upset Westhoughton, and the goal was lucky not to fall again. Yates was not idle, and he did well to stop a close shot from the lively Hulbert. Eight minutes from the interval Rishton went ahead. WALL easily beating Makinson after some clever work by Green and Hargreaves.

Just on half-time Cowburn headed a free kick against the post with Yates beaten.

half time - Rishton 2, Westhoughton C. J. A. 1

Rishton resumed where they left off and Hargreaves just failed to convert a pass from the wing. A temporary revival gave Westhoughton three quick advantages none of which they improved upon. A long run by Wall brought Rishton their first corner and then when H. Sutton failed to clear, Campy was too slow to accept a great opportunity.

The next 21 minutes were devoid of interest, play deteriorating considerably, and neither goal was seriously threatened. Campy was off injured for several minutes and while he was away, Wall, left with an open field, over-ran the ball and lost a good chance of scoring. Rishton had the better attack, Westhoughton being more enthusiastic than constructive.

In a last desperate raid Westhoughton were unfortunate to be pulled up for offside when only a few yards from their objective. They tried hard to equalise, but were unsuccessful.



Lancashire Junior Shield Final By Optimo

There was a disappointing attendance at Deepdale, where Rishton, members of the Blackburn and District Combination, met Westhoughton Colliery Joint Association. Teamsâ€"

Rishton: K. Yates; H. Hughes, A. Tattersall: B. Pritt, H Pickup; H. Almond; T. Wall. W. Burton, P. Campy, J. Hargreaves, C. Green.

Westhoughton C. J. A.: .J. Malkinson, H. Sutton. J. Sutton: F. Latham, J T. Aldred. W. Roberts; H. Ralph's, J. Green. H. Cowburn, S. Wright. R. Hulbert

Referee: Mr. W. E. Twist. Preston.

On a hard pitch Rishton were the first to provide any entertainment. Hargreaves and Green made a tricky run, and the former shot high over when Campy pushed him a through pass. H. Sutton cleared strongly for Westhoughton, who took the lead surprise style after nine minutes, when defensive floundering over on the right allowed Hulbert to get across a centre which Green easily headed through. Rishton defence got plenty to do, with Almond a constructive force. Pickup, at centre-half, defended dourly.

Yates did well to jump and divert a centre from Ralph's. Rishton’s forwards were rather slow moving. When the right wing broke away Wall’s centre went behind Burton, who was dashing for shooting position. Yates and his backs managed to beat off Cowburn when the leader was racing through. It was scrappy football, but both sets of defenders did well.

Cowburn lobbed a shot over. Then Rishton took the game in hand, though slack defensive work assisted their equaliser. Following a scramble to the right, the ball skidded across goal, and Green had the simple duty of turning It through, Malkinson being at the other end of the goal.

Rishton’s team work had improved, the attack swinging the ball about with better understanding. Almond and Tattersall were prominent in checking Hargreaves, after smart solo work, failed with his shot, while at the other end stocky little Yates stopped a. good drive from Hulbert. Rishton took the Lead after 36 minutes when Hargreaves smartly lobbed the bail to the right where Wall shot It through smartly.

Cowburn had hard luck when he hit the Rishton upright with a header near the interval.

Halt-time - Rishton 2, Westhoughton 1

The game was keenly and sportingly contested, with Rishton slightly the better in the finer points. During a strong raid Pritt put the ball across strongly, but Hargreaves narrowly failed to get his head to it. A touch would have meant a goal. Next minute Yates had to save from Cowburn. Though small, the crowd was strongly partisan. Westhoughton having some lusty shouters.

Rishton had the better blend in attack, Burton being a keen raider. Roberts took the ball up from the Westhoughton goalmouth to pass to Ralph's, but despite the enthusiasm of the Westhoughton attack they were being well held, the Rishton defence being sound throughout. 

After an uneventful interlude of big kicking, Westhoughton attacked hotly, but secured only an unproductive corner. Campy, a gallant raider had to receive attention when he took a tumble in midfield.

Hulbert lost a chance of equalizing when he shot wildly. Roberts, who had gone outside right, was In the wars, but quickly recovered.

Final â€" Rishton 2 - Westhoughton 1

Presentation of Trophy to B Pritt.

Presentation of the trophy to B Britt.

1941 - 47

Rishton closed down after their great season in 41 for the duration of the war.

Resurrected in 1947 to win the league championship.

A letter was read from the Rishton Football Club requesting the tenancy of the Holt Street Recreation Ground on the 24th July 1947. The application was granted. It was further Resolvedâ€" That the rental for the above tenancy be £3 10s. 0d. per annum payable at the end of the football season when a re-application must be made for the continuation of the annual tenancy.

Amateur football pays tribute to one of its outstanding personalities who, at 60 died on the 23rd of October 1954

Farewell to ‘Gid’ Henry

There will be regrets at the passing of Gideon Henry: let them be leavened by the thought that he died as he probably would have wished to die ‘with his boots on.’ so to speak. (He was out in the rain helping to fix up the nets for their home game with Blackburn West when he collapsed, to pass away a few hours later; -

Gid Henry
Gid Henry

I do not know whether in any way he could be aware that the end was near, but on the two occasions I spoke to him, during the fortnight before his passing I was left with the impression of a somehow more tranquil, gentler Gid Henry than the little dynamo who had made such a forceful impact on the amateur football scene over the years (nearly 44.of them) he had been the everâ€"present Secretary of the Rishton Football Club (which started with Gid a founder as Rishton Congregational FC. in 1911).

It is impossible to speak of Gid Henry without speaking of Rishton: it is impossible to speak of Rishton without mentioning Gid. More than any other individual, he must have the Credit for the remarkable consistent honours winning record of the Rishton Club, for it was his volatile methods of administration that ensured that, generally speaking, they always had a winning team. Every season Gid offered to wager that Rishton would be in the first four of the Blackburn Combination’s First Division. He never had any takers, nor would he have lost if he had had them. Of all Rishton’s honours, however, Gid was most proud of their record of having won the Lancashire Junior Shield three times - and it is highly improbable, indeed, that this will ever be equalled.

Gid Henry was a oneâ€"man club. Yet by his ebullient personality he contrived to add lustre to the tradition of the junior football movement generally. He often showed himself a believer in the end rather than the means. He achieved his end (the keeping of a winning team), but he will mostly be remembered by the means for the tales of his exploits (and that is the right word) in the service of his club had made Gid’ Henry a legendary figure long before he died. These tales will remain like a silver thread. Contrasting yet harmonious, enriching the golden tapestry of our junior football lore.

Of this unique, swashbuckling junior administrator who was of the old school yet always abreast with the foremost of the new. I wrote an article in this Magazine a few years ago. It ended with these words:

"Gid Henry, football pioneer, has added a magnificent chapter to the history of junior soccer, It is men such as he who keep the game alive at its very roots.”

Let them be his epitaph. H. EGAN‘



Rishtons Football team Circa 1951.

In the Lancashire Amateur Cup Final, played at Ewood park in 1950, the club drew a gate of £443 17s 0d.

The dedication of the Chairman of Rishton FC Mr Jim Clarke in the late 1950's. This was the time before the teams were sponsored and at Rishton we only had One strip each for the first and reserve teams. The first team was playing at Haslingden on a Friday evening, during the game the heavens opened and we came off the ground at full time like drowned rats. All the wet strips were thrown into a bag and as far as the players where concerned they were forgotten. However, the next day we had another match at Rishton. When we turned for the game the strip was distributed to the players and the strip (I think) very slightly damp but warm. The reason for this was that The Chairman Jim Clarke worked at the NORI brick works and he had gone to the brick works early on Saturday morning and placed all the individual strips on the Kiln to Dry. If that is not dedication I don't know what is.

Regarding the lady who made the coffee and pies, I don't know whether she is related to the Ridings, but Mark Riding was an elderly member of the football committee, and at half time at home games his wife would make a large container (probably a small milk urn) of coffee, I think she added a pinch of salt, and this coffee was truly welcome on a wet and cold winters day by all the players.

The club is rightly proud of the following players, all internationals, that have graced the Holt Street recreation Ground:

  • Jack Hughes, Blackburn Rovers & Wales

  • Sam Wadsworth, Huddersfield & England

  • "Aussie" Campbell, Huddersfield & England

  • Jackie Milne, Arsenal & England


The Blackburn and District football Combination was set up in 1977? Rishton were competing in the 2nd Division that year, and won the league to gain promotion in to the Premier League.


During the 1980's Rishton were still playing their football on Holt Street Recreation Ground, and were members of the Blackburn and District Football Combination in 1983. The entrance fee for this per season was £28.50, and you also had to be a member of the Lancashire F. A. as well.

In 1982 - 83 Rishton 1st team finished 3rd from bottom in the premier league, and things weren't looking any better for the Rishton reserves, the second team finished bottom of Division 3, and the third team finished bottom of Division 4. The entire out combining a total of 24 points between them out of a possible 144 points. The 3rd team doing worse with just 1 win all season.

The club secretary at this time was R. Sinton of 22 Parker Street. All the teams were now playing in red, and the only team not playing on the Holt Recreation ground was the 3rd team who had took up residence at the Memorial Park playing fields in Great Harwood.

Modern Day

Rishton are still playing their football in the Sunday leagues.

In season 2008/2009 Rishton United Seniors and Rishton United Juniors became one club known as Rishton United FC, the club now provide football from the nippers age group right through to adulthood.

A missive from Sandra Barlow, whose mother used to make the Coffee for the players at half time recalls how 2 steel buckets were carried onto the rec and the players were also supplied with a tray of pies for half time!! As Sandra points out, "Goodness knows how they played football after that!".


History of Rishton Football Club by Author unknown.

Sandra Barlow (via email)

Rishton on Record, The Festival of Britain 1951.

Frank Watson (via email)

Steve Clarke (Blackburn and District Handbook 1982 - 83)