The Perfect Presents

Lancashire Telegraph: Rovers are feeling the Christmas spirit Rovers are feeling the Christmas spirit

‘TIS the season to be merry, the season for giving - and East Lancashire’s sporting stars shouldn’t be left out. Here MATT DONLAN plays Santa and gets aboard his sleigh to bring cheer and gifts galore...

BURNLEY FANS The Clarets have got what is pretty much an ideal gift for this time of year, they are top of the league at Christmas – and they want to stay there.

ROVERS FANS The team is actually shaping up on the field but the background is still shrouded in confusuon. Ewood devotees would love to see new owners of their football club.

ACCRINGTON STANLEY The Reds seemed doomed earlier in the season as they were rooted to the foot of League Two. They have turned results around well but James Beattie’s men need to carry on stringing wins together.

JAMES BEATTIE Stanley’s manager likes to be a dapper boss in the dugout - but he is still second to Exeter’s Paul Tidsdale in the sartorial stakes. Beattie could do with an even smarter wardrobe.

ARRAN BRINDLE West Craven’s England women’s cricket star would love nothing more than to perform better than the chaps and win the Ashes in Australia this winter.

GARRY FLITCROFT The former Rovers star is starring as a manager with non-league Chorley and his Magpies are flying in the Evo-Stik League Premier Division and are in the last 16 of the FA Trophy. How about promotion and a trip to Wembley for Flitty’s men?

SHAYNE SINGLETON Colne’s star boxer Shayne ‘The Pain’ Singleton is now a welterweight and the perfect gift for the best fighter East Lancashire has produced in years would be a British title belt.

CHRIS NORBURY Accrington snooker star Chris Norbury made a welcome return to the spotlight with his appearance at the UK Championship at York as he claimed a notable first round win. The potter will be hoping for more of the same in 2014.

PAULA WALKER Blackburn’s bobsleigh ace is geared up for a glory run at the Winter Olympics - and all she will hope for is a good run and the possibility of a medal.

STACEY KEMP Skating star Stacey will be heading to Sochi with her partner Dave King and Britain’s number one ice dance pair will have the support of the nation as they try to upset the odds.

JORDAN RHODES Blackburn hotshot Rhodes says he wants to stay at Ewood Park - and would love nothing more than to score the goals that take Rovers back into the Premier League.

DANNY INGS Ings is the latest in an increasingly long line of free scoring Burnley forwards and he has been on top form this season to take the Clarets to the top of the Championship. If Ings can carry on scoring then who knows where they will finish come May.

OCKERT ERASMUS The South African cricket ace has enjoyed his time with East Lancashire - but has yet to get his hands on any silverware. For 2014 he will be professional with Foster’s Lancashire League champions Accrington...and he would love them to repeat that feat.

ASHAR ZAIDI Accrington pro Zaidi had signed for Church but then landed a deal with Sussex. Big times could await the big-hitting star spinner.

ROSSENDALE RUFC The Valley side have become the area’s leading rugby union team and they are enjoying a terrific season in National League Three North and they deserve promotion and a higher profile.

CHORLEY PANTHERS The rugby league boys are hoping against hope that the success of the recent RL World Cup will lead to inceased interest as fans realise the code is the best of the two.

HOGHTON CC The tiny club made big headlines last summer when members staged a vigil to keep travellers off their Smithy Brow ground. They will certainly not want a repeat of those scenes in 2014 as they bid to win promotion back into the top flight of the Palace Shield.

DANIEL BARRITT Barrowford co-driver Barritt is back in the big time of the World Rally Championship alongside Elfyn Evans – it’s a big year for the pair and glory could be around the corner.

ROB HEYS Accrington Stanley’s chief executive got a ban from football for his betting activities. He will just want a better 2014.

LAURA MASSARO East Lancashire’s squash superstar is the number two ranked player in the world. Can she hit the top spot in Commonwealth Games year?

CRICKET FANS Lancashire won promotion and the sun shone. Okay, the Ashes have not been good - but a summer of top weather is the only gift needed.

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