the School from 1936 until 1943 before joining the Army as a glider
pilot. During his school years, he
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
then joint winner in 1943, of the O’Donahue Cup for senior
athletics on sports
Friends from his
school days remember John showing considerable early promise as a
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
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
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
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
Golf Captains Society, President of Lancashire Golf Union and the
Union and a member of the Royal and Ancient.
from being a storyteller into a renowned after dinner speaker at golf
functions all over the country and overseas, including Australia and
States. Prince Andrew, Duke of York, was
a special guest at a dinner at Wigan Golf Club when John was the main
and was so impressed by John’s speech that he willingly accepted
to play a game of golf on John’s home course.
Grammar School old boys have fond memories of John’s fascinating
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.