THE great-niece of a Blackburn Rovers hero killed in World War One said she was touched by the gesture of fans who honoured his memory.

At a grave in Vlamertinghe near to the town of Ypres, Belgium, a group of Belgian Rovers fans laid flowers on the grave of Edwin Latheron on the 90th anniversary of his death today.

The fans, from the Belgian website for Rovers supporters, said they wanted to honour the inside forward who played for Rovers from 1906 until signing up for the army in March 1917.

Latheron died aged 29 at the Battle of Passchendaele, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres, and his niece Alice Holmes, 78, of Greenside Avenue, Blackburn, revealed how he was about to return home on leave when he was killed.

She said: "What those fans have done by putting flowers on his grave is such a nice gesture and really kind thing to do.

"My mum always spoke about him and said that on the day he died he was meant to be coming home but he was blown up by a shell.

"He was always talked about in the family and he was such a character according to the stories.

"My mum, Annie, said he used to write songs to her and her sister which were really funny. He was my mum's uncle and she really loved him.

"His wife, Bertha, went to his grave every year after his death. I would have loved to have gone but because of ill-health and my poor sight I never got the chance."

Luc Goderis from lay the flowers on Latheron's grave and said he had been looking in to Latheron's life for some time.

He said: "As a Belgian Rovers-fan I'm doing this research with great pleasure. On Saturday the article was published on our website

"We just wanted to say we would never will forget him."

In nine years at Rovers, Latheron scored 120 goals in 303 games and won two England caps.

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