DAVE Singleton’s life has been involved with Bolton on every kind of level in his 67 years.

Today, the retired international businessman is not only chairman of Bolton Lads and Girls Club but also of Bolton Vision Strategic Partnership, acting chairman of Bolton Wanderers’ Community Trust and chairman of Bolton Community Leisure Trust.

If his interests span a wide area of local life, his early fascination was relatively simple: he loved sport.

Born in Great Lever, his father was deputy leader of the town’s Labour Party “but I have always been apolitical,” stated Dave. “I have opinions but I don’t align myself with any party.”

He attended Hayward Grammar School where he took part in a majority of sports but it was running in which he excelled. His love of sport took him to Loughborough College and when he left he became a PE and sports’ teacher at Deane Grammar School.

He played football in local amateur leagues and became a long-time member of Bolton United Harriers. In his late 20s, he represented England at cross-country but was also a talented 800m runner.

He met his future wife, Liz, at Loughborough and the couple married in 1974, making their first home in Ainsworth. They have two children now in their thirties and a grandson, aged two.

After seven years at Deane Grammar School, Dave wanted a new challenge. “I didn’t want to stay in teaching all my life,” he explained. So, he joined then local company Reebok, working on market development. This began a 25-year career with the famous brand that saw Dave progress to senior vice-president and travel to countries around the world “although we always maintained our house in Bolton and kept up our local links,” he said.

He eventually left “to do some of the things I wanted to do”, and these included getting more involved in the life of the town. He joined the board of Bolton Lads and Girls Club 10 years ago and became its chairman eight years ago.

Reebok had been a patron of BLGC so Dave knew about the club. The role proved “challenging,” helping look after the 40 or so staff, hundreds of young people who go through its doors every day and its many volunteers and supporters. “I’ve learned that I am just the custodian of the legacy that has lasted over 125 years,” he said. “It is one of the most important youth organisations in the UK and it has dedicated trustees and patrons.”

Dave is a great believer in the power of the young and especially welcomed them onto the Vision Partnership. “Their views are so positive,” he added. “It’s perfectly right that they should be part of shaping what happens to Bolton in the years to come as they will be involved in that.”

He describes his own stance on the town as “positive”. He explained: “There seem to be some individuals who aren’t positive about Bolton but we have some wonderful people and organisations like the University of Bolton and some very successful events like the Ironman, the Food and Drink Festival and the Winter Festival.”

Dave believes that charities and voluntary organisations need to become more business-like and ensure their own sustainability by creating more partnerships.

“The private sector needs to understand the voluntary sector and vice versa,” he said. “We need to manage charities and, possibly, those who are doing the same work may need to merge together. We need to join up the dots.”

His work on the Community Leisure Trust is another area which Dave feels is particularly good for the town. He is pleased with the extra facilities that have been gained at the new Horwich Sports Centre, at Bolton One and at sports centres in Westhoughton and Farnworth as well as Leverhulme Park “where the gym-goers have the best view out of the window of any gym in Bolton!”

Dave is passionate about getting people together and realistic enough to view Bolton Council as an “enabler” to everyone working together rather than as a provider of everything.

As to his own future, Dave wants to continue to be actively involved “just as long as I’m effective and useful”. And judging by how useful and effective Dave Singleton has been so far, this is likely to be for some time to come.