A man, who has struggled with his memory, has praised a Blackburn Rovers event for “bringing back memories”.

David Clayton attends weekly Remember the Rovers sessions at Ewood Park. He said it has helped him with his own well-being and given him the chance to meet new people.

A lifelong Blackburn Rovers fan, Mr Clayton is part of a group that meets up every Wednesday morning, which provides the opportunity for people aged over 50 to socialise through activities, quizzes, and guest speakers.

Delivered by Blackburn Rovers Community Trust (BRCT), the charity of Blackburn Rovers Football Club, Remember the Rovers supports local residents with dementia and Alzheimer’s to rekindle memories of Rovers for those who attend.

Mr Clayton feels that coming down to Remember the Rovers has been beneficial to him. 

He said: “I’ve worked most of my life looking after people and I’ve followed Rovers the best I could.

"But now I’ve retired, I’ve struggled. It was debilitating and I couldn’t remember things, and then I saw Remember the Rovers, I came down on a Wednesday and I enjoy coming here.

“I know I can sit with the same people, and it helps with memory as I forget a lot of things, I have difficulties saying what I want to say, but here I feel you’ve got time to say what you want to say.

“It’s amazing when you look at the quiz group, you can remember so much from when you were young.

“Looking back at the players in the 1970s, when I first started going to Rovers, helped me to remember what job I was in, because I was here at this hospital, I was there at that hospital, I did this, and I can remember a lot better as I’m meeting people of my same age group, and it’s the quiz which makes you stimulate your brain.

“It’s helped me get into a routine, I go to a gym, I swim three days a week, I come down to Rovers on a Saturday and to Remember the Rovers on a Wednesday. I get a lot out of it, and it’s the people who you sit with, you get to know them. 

“When I retired, I needed to do something, so it’s given me the confidence to come here to go back into the community, it gets me motivated and up early.

“You feel it’s meaningful to be here, with all the interactions, you can have a brew and a sandwich and meet new people.”

Members of BRCT’s Remember the Rovers group have been able to enjoy unique experiences as part of the programme, which included a tour of the senior training centre to watch training and meet John Eustace and some of the first-team squad.

Participants also attended Rovers’ Championship away fixture at Middlesbrough in March. 

Mr Clayton added: “I enjoyed my trips to the training ground and Middlesbrough away, it was just good to go with a like-minded group all of a similar age, but you also had young people and middle-aged people on that coach.

"It was just a brilliant mix of people and age groups that made that day. We met some people from Middlesbrough’s similar group they have as well. 

“It was also great to speak to the manager John Eustace at the training ground, to be able to have a chat and have a laugh with the manager. It was great to meet Sam Gallagher and Tyrhys Dolan who came over to speak to us as well.”

Mr Clayton praised the support he has received from BRCT and his fellow Remember the Rovers group members. 

He concluded: “It’s a community group, it’s like a family here, we’ve supported the players and now they are supporting us and it’s part of being a Blackburn Rovers fan. 

“You’ve got to push yourself, and I’ve gone to more away games with the people I’ve met here through this group.

“Seeing people that you sit with here, going to Ewood Park and away games, I went to Middlesbrough, Leeds and Coventry, you’ve got a community supporting you and I’ve donated a small sum as it’s important to support something.

“It’s a really meaningful project and that feeling of people my own age and people at Blackburn Rovers Community Trust who can support you.

“Everyone has a role to play in it and it’s a brilliant group.”