by | Dec 24, 2023

90 years young, that’s our Jack!

Jack Wolfenden, known for many years until his recent retirement as “the oldest ball boy in football” is celebrating his 90th birthday today (24th December) and everyone at Ramsbottom United wish him every happiness on his special day.

One of our small band of volunteers for 40 years, Jack would help out around the ground during the week but be the first person you would see at the ground as he would be selling the match day programmes at the gate.

The former mill worker in the town, Jack just turned up at the ground one day prior to a cup match to ask if there was anything he could to do to help out and, for over four decades, he would still be involved, coming down on his bicycle to work around the ground.

His efforts were immortalised when the stand at the top end of the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium was renamed “The Jack Wolfenden Stand” back in 2006.

But it was his efforts in chasing the rogue footballs that disappeared into the River Irwell that stood him apart and gave him his “oldest ball boy in football” moniker, armed with his long fishing pole once his programme selling duties were completed, he would disappear behind the main stand and haul in the balls that were floating down.

He called time on his volunteering in 2019 on both sides of the fence, often helping out at the cricket club too – whether it was marking the pitch, divoting, painting, undertaking general repairs or washing and preparing the kit, Jack is the kind of legend that every club needs and we are forever grateful to him for his sterling efforts.

Happy birthday Jack!