A PENSIONER who once washed and ironed kit and darned socks for Bolton Wanderers’ top footballers will score highly with shoppers visiting a shopping centre pop-up museum.
Former rounders champion Pat Brooks, aged 82, from Farnworth, who also once received a prize from comedy legends Laurel and Hardy, answered an appeal by Crompton Place manager Malcolm Angus.
Mr Angus was looking for local people’s tales and souvenirs of Bolton’s rich sporting heritage to go on display at Crompton’s Champions at the shopping centre tomorrow and Sunday, from 11am to 3pm.
Mrs Brooks’ photos and memories will take pride of place at the temporary museum.
One of her photos shows the retirement presentation made 50 years ago to legendary Bolton and England player Harry Nuttall, who won the FA Cup with the Whites in 1923.
Another of the photos depicts Mrs Brooks’ father, a one-time Wanderers youth team coach and talent scout, with a group of players from the mid-1940s.
She has also supplied a picture of herself as a teenage rounders player in action during one of her matches in the early 1950s.
Mrs Brooks trained as a confectioner when she left school aged 14.
After she had her son Anthony, now aged 57, she was looking for a part-time job and got involved with Wanderers.
Mrs Brook said: “My father, Sidney Partridge, had been a professional rugby player with Salford and when we moved to Farnworth he got closely involved in running the football teams at a number of youth clubs in the area.
“He also became a talent scout for Bolton Wanderers and ran the club’s youth team during the mid-1940s.
“He got me a job in the laundry at Burnden Park and I worked there washing and ironing the players’ kit, sewing the numbers on the back of their shirts and even darning their socks, which clubs probably don’t do for their players now.”
As well as the photos there are is also a Bolton Evening News cutting of a tribute to Mrs Brooks’ father when he died aged 71.
Apart from being a keen follower of Wanderers, Mrs Brooks also displayed her own sporting talent.
From the age of 11 she played rounders for her school team, All Saints’ Farnworth, and was with another team, St Thomas’s Bolton, until she was aged 30.
The two-day event at Crompton Place will feature activities for the whole family including wrestling contests with Billy Bruiser, a football table with Dribble Dribble and a chance to ride a bicycle fast enough to power a light bulb.
There will also be treasure hunts and displays based around more than 20 of Bolton’s sporting greats.
Visitors will be invited to take part in a vote for their favourite Bolton sporting legen and be in with a chance of winning prizes.
Shopping centre manager Malcolm Angus said: “We were delighted to hear from Pat and her wonderful stories of her personal connections to sport in the town will really help us bring Crompton’s Champions to life.”