Where Are They Now? Blackburn Rovers 1974-75 Third Division Champions
KEN BEAMISH has clear memories of the game that was the pivotal point of Blackburn Rovers push to win promotion from the Third Division.
It was February 15 and the visitors to Ewood Park were top-of-the-table Plymouth Argyle who had beaten second-placed Rovers 2-1 at Home Park 11 days previously.
Argyle raced out of the blocks and were 2-0 up inside 18 minutes thanks to Hugh McAuley and John Delve. Rovers then had a Don Martin penalty saved by Jim
Beamish pulled a goal back before half-time before two quick goals from Martin and Mike Hickman turned the game on its head. The same duo then scored another two.
From that 5-2 victory Rovers lost only one more game, against Colchester, but Beamish admits they dropped more points than they should have.
“That Plymouth games was huge. We went 2-0 down very early. I then got pulled down for the penalty only for Don to miss it but fortunately for us I managed to get a goal back.
“In the second half we just ran away with it. It was an important game but there were still three months of the season to go.
“It was good in the respect that we took our nearest competitors for the championship apart. But what stood out for me that season was we were top of the league and knocking everybody over.
“But then around Easter onwards, it suddenly became hard work. In the last half a dozen games it became a little bit difficult to get results.
“There were games we should have won easily but we struggling to get results. I don’t know why that was, Sir Alex Ferguson called it squeaky bum time.
“Personally I never felt any different but results didn’t come easily for us. Even in the last game when we had won the title after going to Port Vale and won 4-1 we could only draw 0-0.
“And you think why? We were all celebrating and wanting to go out with a bang but only drew with Wrexham, it was very strange.”
1. Barry Endean: Managed his home town club Chester-Le-Street and is a now a semi–retired builder in the town.
2. Paul Bradshaw: Was a security advisor in Wolverhampton and then a baggage handler, now lives in Altrincham and is unable to work because of a back injury.
3. Roger Jones: Coached at York and Sunderland then worked as a painter and decorator before becoming Swindon’s kit man.
4. Don Martin: Became player-manager of Corby, and ran a painting and decorating business. He died in November 2009 aged 65.
5. Tony Parkes: Served on the Blackburn coaching staff between 1982 and 2004 acting as caretaker manager six times, had a spell at Blackpool before returning to scout for Rovers.
6. Ken Beamish: Managed Swindon before returning to Ewood Park as commercial manager in 1990 until August 2012. Now works for AFC Fylde.
MIDDLE ROW FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:
7. Glenn Wright: He’s living and working in Clitheroe.
8. John Waddington: Set up a retail empire while at Bury and in 1999 sold a chain of 70 cash and carry warehouses, now lives in Portugal.
9. Graham Hawkins: Went onto manage Wolves and dabbled in the pub and pottery industries, now lives in Nantwich and works in youth development for the Football League.
10. Graham Oates: Returned to his native Bradford after finishing his career in the United States and ran his own cardboard manufacturing business.
11. Mick Wood: A physio at the FA centre of excellence in Scholemoor but for the last 27 years has been working for Bradford City Council Leisure Services and is a facility manager.
12. Neil Wilkinson: Lives in Lytham St Annes and ran his own blind and curtain business until being struck down with Alzheimer’s in his early 50’s.
13. Derek Fazackerley: Has coached and scouted for Newcastle, England, Blackburn, Bolton, Barnsley, Man City, Huddersfield, Leicester and is now Birmingham’s first team coach.
FRONT ROW FROM LEFT TO RIGHT
14. Mick Heaton: Managed Workington and then a sports shop but was a debt collector when he died after a car accident in Haslingden in April 1995 aged 48.
15. Kevin Hird: Ran Rovers’ community scheme and lives in Colne and ran his own soccer schools and worked as a special needs teacher.
16. John Kenyon: Lives in Blackburn area and has worked as a carer in the health service.
17. Pat Hilton: Coached Gillingham’s youth team, then worked on the Channel Tunnel and for BT but now lives in Holland, Michigan and is a technical director of TNT Dynamite.
18. Stuart Metcalfe: Lives in the Blackburn suburb Mill Hill and worked as a nurse in Calderstones for over 20 years and has also been a radio summeriser.
19. Mick Higgins: Has been Accrington’s assistant manager and Great Harwood, where he lives, manager.
Andy Burgin: He ran a pub for six-and-a half years then managed a health club before becoming a caretaker of a private school in Blackburn.
Mike Hickman: After working in Australia for ten years he was football development officer at Reading under Mark McGee and followed him to
Leicester and Wolves. Has also worked in Japan.
Bobby Hoy: He quit football to become a folk singer working the Yorkshire club circuit. Then delivered car parts for Dews Vauxhall and lives in Lindley, Huddersfield.
Tagged Blackburn Rovers