Former Blackburn MP and Labour cabinet minister Jack Straw's contribution to the town's youth zone has been celebrated at a special event at Ewood Park.

The former home and foreign secretary was praised for putting in the 'hard yards' to ensure the continued success of the project.

Mr Straw - who chaired Blackburn and Darwen Youth Zone from 2015 until December last year - said his eight and a half years in the post had been “fantastically interesting and rewarding”.

The 'Supper Club' event at the Blackburn Rovers' stadium on Wednesday last week was hosted by new chair Wayne Wild.

Mr Straw - MP for Blackburn from 1979 to 2015 - will remain a youth zone trustee,

Its chief executive Hannah Allen described working with him as an amazing opportunity, and highlighted the successful position of the charity is in, with the exciting £3.1 million Fuse Box redevelopment at the Blackburn base, and £3m that will enable Blackburn with Darwen Council to double the size of Darwen Youth Centre through the Youth Investment Fund.

She said these successes were down to the 'hard yards' Mr Straw had put in with the team.

Before a question and answer session, Mr Wild told 110 patrons and supporters from the local business community: “This is a surreal moment for me.

"Jack has been a very instrumental figure throughout my life. I’m exceptionally proud to be able to be sat here with you, asking some questions.”

Mr Straw fielded questions on a wide range of topics, from his experiences early in his career to his opinions on current issues.

Blackburn and Darwen Youth Zone’s founder and trustee, Andrew Graham, in his closing remarks said: “Jack Straw has been involved in the Youth Zone project from day one, even when he was serving in the cabinet he gave the time to the project.

"You heard from Hannah about his forensic knowledge about the youth zone and passion that drove us to be one of the best youth zones in the country.

"It’s been an absolute honour to serve with you.

"We’re so delighted you’re staying on the board, and with Wayne’s leadership and brilliant trustee board that we have, we ain’t finished yet.”

Mr Straw described his time as youth zone chair of trustees as 'fantastically interesting and rewarding'.

He thanked the attendees for their support for the charity saying: “Because without your support we couldn’t do what we are now doing.”

Mr Straw added: “Wayne, you’re already doing a fantastic job, and you’ll continue to do so.

"And Andrew and I will be there to support you.”