Ronnie Clayton’s family and former team-mates gathered at Ewood Park to mark the renaming of the Blackburn End in his honour.

On Friday the home end of Ewood Park was officially renamed the Ronnie Clayton Blackburn End, ahead of the game against Arsenal, to commemorate the life of one of the club’s greatest-ever players.

Clayton died last year aged 76 having dedicated his life to Rovers, making 665 appearances between 1951 and 1969 as well as captaining England.

Clayton’s wife Valerie and friend Bryan Douglas were among those looking on with pride at the two huge iconic images now on display outside the renamed stand.

Also among the gathering were Mick McGrath, John Byrom, Mike Ferguson and Roy Isherwood, who all played alongside Clayton for Rovers.

Having been revered by the Blackburn supporters, Douglas believes it is fitting that it is the home end that has been renamed to mark Clayton’s life.

“The Blackburn End is the right place for it to be,” he said.

“Ronnie always had time for the fans of the club, or anybody else for that matter.

“Wherever he went, if you speak to his wife they could never get anywhere because he insisted on stopping if anybody recognised him, which many people did, especially in and around the Blackburn area.

“Ronnie would be absolutely over the moon about this.

“It’s a pity it wasn’t done while he was still here but I’m over the moon it’s happened now.

“To see his name, he’d perhaps be a bit embarrassed but he’d be chuffed all the same.”

“I know Ron would be so pleased,” said his wife Valerie.

“We’re very proud of what Blackburn Rovers have done for him.

“I only wish that he had been here to see it because he would have loved it. It’s the best place to be, in the home fans’ end.

“The club have always been very good to us, they’ve really looked after me very well since Ron died.”

The two images of Clayton on the exterior of the renamed stand overlook the Jack Walker Statue and Byrom said: “To have it out there, with Jack Walker looking up at him and those two big signs up there, it’s magic.

“You couldn’t get him up there any bigger, so he’ll stand out for along while! Those pictures out there are terrific.”

Ferguson said: “It’s been a long time coming, it probably should have come before but while there’s a lot of criticism of the owners at the moment I think they’ve got to be commended for what they’ve done for Ronnie.

“For people like Ronnie, like Bryan, who have never left the club, I think there should be something, whether it’s a bar or a stand.

“When you look at Burnley you’ve got the Jimmy McIlroy Stand, yet Jimmy left.

“I hope we do something for Bryan before anything serious happens to him because Ronnie would have loved this tribute if it had happened while he had been alive.

“We shouldn’t have to wait and I hope they don’t wait so long for Bryan.”

“It’s a shame that he had to pass away for this to happen,” added McGrath.

“But it’s well deserved and I hope people appreciate it.

“Ronnie’s spirit will be here because Val still comes and so do his grandchildren, so he’s still here with us."