Wigan Grammar School
John Wild
John Bradburn
Prince Andrew
JWild Athletics

John attended the School from 1936 until 1943 before joining the Army as a glider pilot.  During his school years, he demonstrated considerable sporting prowess as a rugby centre and as an athlete.  He was a member of the first fifteen for three years and his athletic ability culminated in his being runner-up in 1942, and then joint winner in 1943, of the O’Donahue Cup for senior athletics on sports day.

Friends from his school days remember John showing considerable early promise as a storyteller which was to play such a significant part in his life in later years.

Early in his military service, as a sergeant glider pilot, he took part in the ill-fated air and land operation at Arnhem.  John was captured and imprisoned, but later managed to escape.  He was totally unaware that he had been reported as killed in action.  His family received a letter of condolence from King George VI and a memorial service was held at Wigan Parish Church.  Four months later, his family received the joyful news that he was still alive.

John married his wife Judy in 1949 and subsequently took over the management of the family firm, comprising Hindley Green Brick Works and the Crank and Burton Shop.

Golf was his main hobby and he served as Captain of Wigan Golf Club, Captain of Liverpool Golf Captains Society, President of Lancashire Golf Union and the English Golf Union and a member of the Royal and Ancient.

He blossomed from being a storyteller into a renowned after dinner speaker at golf and other functions all over the country and overseas, including Australia and the United States.  Prince Andrew, Duke of York, was a special guest at a dinner at Wigan Golf Club when John was the main speaker and was so impressed by John’s speech that he willingly accepted an invitation to play a game of golf on John’s home course.

Many Wigan Grammar School old boys have fond memories of John’s fascinating and humorous speech at the annual reunion dinner in 2005.

John leaves a wife Judy and two sons, Michael and Ian.  His funeral took place at Haigh Parish Church in April 2010.