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Lots of messages of support and tributes for family of ‘Mr Blackburn Olympic’ who has died

Ivy Saints football team was set up in 1959 but the club later became Blackburn Olympic and that name was picked by John ‘Jack’ Barlow who was the manager and secretary.

Mr Barlow appeared in the Lancashire Telegraph in 2009 when the team celebrated their 50th anniversary.

The 86-year-old lived in Blackburn all of his life but died on May 13 after a short illness.

Jack went to school at St Thomas’s at Audley and then went on his national service with the army to Trieste in Italy.

He then worked with his mum and sister in a mill as a winder foreman, before moving onto a job with Northrop, and then finally a position at Phillips (previously Mullards) as a wire foreman.

But it was his love for sport in the local area that he was well-known.

Son Andrew said: “Sport was a passion and he loved to get people involved and put everything into it. With Blackburn Olympic he was running the team and it consumed all of his time and was part of his hobbies.

“People that used to play tell how he used to get people to take up football.

“It has been amazing to see how many people have reached out to us with messages of support since he died about his life and what impact he had.

“He has left a legacy with the football club and also served on the sports council.”

But it was not only football, as Jack also helped with a bowling club.

Andrew added: “We used to have a caravan in the Lake District and he took up crown green bowling and worked at running the Corporation Park Bowling Club.”

Mr Barlow also loved holidays with his wife Christine.

Andrew said: “Because he was based in Italy with the army, he always loved being there and they also went to Spain with friends for a couple of years.”

Mr Barlow went into hospital 12 months ago with pneumonia and managed to not get coronavirus but Andrew added: “He had issues with his kidney which took its toll in the past few months and had been struggling.”