GROUP activities were cancelled, teenagers warned to stay away from dance halls and public swimming baths ordered to increase the level of chlorine in the water, when East Lancashire was hit by a polio epidemic in the summer of 1965.

But Blackburn Rovers were on the ball to ensure the safety of its players, who were setting off for Holland on a pre-season tour.

The team were given sugar cube immunisations at Ewood before their departure and this image from our archives shows them lining up to take their shot.

From the left are George Sharples, Walter Joyce, George Jones, John Byrom, Andy McEvoy, Mike Harrison, Keith Newton, Mike Ferguson, Bryan Douglas and, at the front, Ronnie Clayton.

The month-long epidemic left one young teenager dead and another 48 confirmed cases, with upwards of 70,000 vaccinated at special clinics set up across the town.

Although the first cases were from Little Harwood, by the time the outbreak petered out, it had hit families in Accrington, Clitheroe, Barrow, Baxenden and Clayton-le-Moors.

Dr John Ardley, Blackburn's medical officer said: “I believe this is the worst case of poliomyelitis we have ever had in Blackburn; I would urge people not to mix, but stay by the fireside and watch tv – it’s safer.”