Fans honour war hero Rovers player

Eddie's grave at Vlamertinghe near to the town of Ypres, in Belgium, where flowers will be placed on Sunday

Edwin Gladstone Latheron

First published in Sport by

A GROUP of Blackburn Rovers fans from Belgium are preparing to pay tribute to one of the club's true heroes on the 90th anniversary of his death.

This Sunday, members of the Belgian website for Rovers fans - www.blackburn.be - will lay flowers at the grave of former player Edwin Gladstone Latheron who died on October 14, 1917, aged 29 at the battle of Passchendaele in the First World War.

The midfielder, who played for Rovers from 1906 until March 1917 when he joined the army, is buried at Vlamertinghe near to the town of Ypres, Belgium.

The battle, notorious for the sea of thick mud Allied and German forces fought in, was launched in July 1917 for control of the village of Passche-ndaele and lasted until November.

Luc Goderis from www.blackburn.be is leading efforts to honour Latheron's memory. He said: "He was killed in action and left behind a wife and a young child. Exactly 90 years later, we just want to say Eddie, we never will forget you'.

"Comfortable on either side of the field, he was an accom-plished goal scorer and a gifted playmaker with an unquenchable enthusiasm and established himself as a fans' favourite."

Latheron was born in Grangetown, near Middlesb-rough, on December 22, 1887.

Related links

He was discovered by Rovers playing for Grangetown in the Lancashire Combination League in 1906 against Blackburn Crosshill in an FA amateur cup tie.

Rovers had originally gone to watch another player but it was Latheron who caught their eye and Rovers paid £25 to bring him to Ewood Park.

Signed by manager Robert Middleton, the 5ft 5in inside forward went on to become the club's top scorer in the 1912/13 season when Rovers finished fifth in the league. He also won two league titles with the club in 1911/12 and 1913/14.

On March 17, 1913, Latheron won his first international cap for England against Wales. He scored a goal in their 4-3 victory and he played in the next international against Ireland on February 14, 1914.

These were the only two international caps he won.

In nine years at the club he scored 120 goals in 303 games.

Latheron served on the Western Front with the Royal Field Artillery as a gunner.

More than 13,000 Allied troops lost their lives in the same 24-hour period as him.

Duncan Gardiner, secretary of the Blackburn Rovers Disabled Supporters' Club, said: "I think it's a great gesture and it's nice to do something that honours someone who died fighting for their country."

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree