Blackburn Rovers fan meets club hero 40 years after moving to Australia

This Is Lancashire: Andrew Clarkson, Bryan Douglas Norm and Anne Powell, Norm’s lifelong friend Dave Clark and his wife Susan. Andrew Clarkson, Bryan Douglas Norm and Anne Powell, Norm’s lifelong friend Dave Clark and his wife Susan.

AN ‘avid’ Blackburn Rovers fan who emigrated to Australia in the 1960s met his footballing hero on his first trip back to his hometown.

Before making the move Down Under, grandfather-of-three Norm Powell, who went to Blackburn Technical and Grammar School, and is now in his late 60s regularly attended matches at Ewood Park, where he watched Rovers legend Bryan Douglas play.

After emigrating, the former retirement village manager would keep up-to-date with news from Rovers and would also spend his spare time playing and then coaching both adult and junior teams soccer.

Following his retirement, he and his wife Anne, who had never visited Europe, decided to take a month-long holiday as their ‘trip of a lifetime’, including a visit to Blackburn for the club’s last home game of the season.

As a surprise, friend Barbara Clarkson, who lives in Honiton Avenue, decided to write to Douglas, 78, to ask if he would meet one of his biggest fans.

Barbara said: “In his recent emails, when commenting on the current demise of Blackburn Rovers in comparison to other eras, Norm had mentioned Bryan Douglas so much that I decided to try and set up a surprise for him.

“Mr Douglas responded very generously, by not only meeting Norm for a handshake, but inviting the whole group of us up to the Clayton/Douglas Lounge and buying us all a drink.

“He spent three quarters of an hour chatting with Norm and my brother Dave Clark and made us all feel very special.

“Norm said it was the first time he had sat down at Ewood Park and afterwards, he said that meeting his hero was ‘the sparkler in the cherry on the icing on the cake of his trip’, so I think we can say it was a success.”

Comments (12)

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6:24pm Thu 9 May 13

1952 rover says...

Now he was a player. And a gentleman as well.
Now he was a player. And a gentleman as well. 1952 rover
  • Score: 3

8:05pm Thu 9 May 13

juanbbien says...

The Rovers would not have had the success in the early sixties without the massive contribution Bryan Douglas made on the pitch
The Rovers would not have had the success in the early sixties without the massive contribution Bryan Douglas made on the pitch juanbbien
  • Score: 4

9:11pm Thu 9 May 13

lusorover says...

Bryan Douglas - quality then and quality now. A true star from a previous era who can still shine.

A dying breed?
Bryan Douglas - quality then and quality now. A true star from a previous era who can still shine. A dying breed? lusorover
  • Score: 4

12:47am Fri 10 May 13

Bazzer says...

lusorover wrote:
Bryan Douglas - quality then and quality now. A true star from a previous era who can still shine. A dying breed?
I rather think a dead breed, as opposed to dying.
[quote][p][bold]lusorover[/bold] wrote: Bryan Douglas - quality then and quality now. A true star from a previous era who can still shine. A dying breed?[/p][/quote]I rather think a dead breed, as opposed to dying. Bazzer
  • Score: 0

1:35am Fri 10 May 13

SWP supporter says...

Brilliant to watch, mesmerising skills, and cheeky with it. My hero
Such a pity he had no kick, and couldn't head
Brilliant to watch, mesmerising skills, and cheeky with it. My hero Such a pity he had no kick, and couldn't head SWP supporter
  • Score: -2

5:17am Fri 10 May 13

mcleodj says...

All being well, I willl be in Australia from June 20 to July 31, mainly in Brisbane and Port Douglas, and would love to meet with Rovers' supporters. I was the youngest - and by now almost the oldest - Rovers shareholder. My dad was co-founder of the Rovers Supporters club and my uncle, Jack Caton, was for a time Chairman of directors.
Way back!
All being well, I willl be in Australia from June 20 to July 31, mainly in Brisbane and Port Douglas, and would love to meet with Rovers' supporters. I was the youngest - and by now almost the oldest - Rovers shareholder. My dad was co-founder of the Rovers Supporters club and my uncle, Jack Caton, was for a time Chairman of directors. Way back! mcleodj
  • Score: 0

5:35am Fri 10 May 13

SWP supporter says...

SWP supporter wrote:
Brilliant to watch, mesmerising skills, and cheeky with it. My hero
Such a pity he had no kick, and couldn't head
Should have mentioned, this was the era of the heavy leather ball, so no wonder a little bloke like his struggled with kicking and heading
[quote][p][bold]SWP supporter[/bold] wrote: Brilliant to watch, mesmerising skills, and cheeky with it. My hero Such a pity he had no kick, and couldn't head[/p][/quote]Should have mentioned, this was the era of the heavy leather ball, so no wonder a little bloke like his struggled with kicking and heading SWP supporter
  • Score: 0

10:27am Fri 10 May 13

jaysay says...

Dougy was my hero back then too I have a framed picture on my wall taken with Bryan a few years ago
Dougy was my hero back then too I have a framed picture on my wall taken with Bryan a few years ago jaysay
  • Score: 0

11:32am Fri 10 May 13

Caspar the ghost says...

Bryan Douglas gave me hours of football enjoyment, he was a genius and I can remember seeing him at Bury dribbling around 3 players then the goalkeeper before walking the ball into the net, picking it upand trotting back to the centre with the ball in his hands. Great, wonderful, and always the "cheeky chappie". Thanks Bryan, you were always a gentleman.
Bryan Douglas gave me hours of football enjoyment, he was a genius and I can remember seeing him at Bury dribbling around 3 players then the goalkeeper before walking the ball into the net, picking it upand trotting back to the centre with the ball in his hands. Great, wonderful, and always the "cheeky chappie". Thanks Bryan, you were always a gentleman. Caspar the ghost
  • Score: 0

9:46pm Fri 10 May 13

jackmetickler says...

SWP supporter wrote:
Brilliant to watch, mesmerising skills, and cheeky with it. My hero Such a pity he had no kick, and couldn't head
ya see if he was my hero; I wouldnt be bringing up the negatives...
isnt that why we make them hero's because of what they are good at and not what they may lack!
[quote][p][bold]SWP supporter[/bold] wrote: Brilliant to watch, mesmerising skills, and cheeky with it. My hero Such a pity he had no kick, and couldn't head[/p][/quote]ya see if he was my hero; I wouldnt be bringing up the negatives... isnt that why we make them hero's because of what they are good at and not what they may lack! jackmetickler
  • Score: 0

2:25am Sat 11 May 13

brfc95 says...

mcleodj wrote:
All being well, I willl be in Australia from June 20 to July 31, mainly in Brisbane and Port Douglas, and would love to meet with Rovers' supporters. I was the youngest - and by now almost the oldest - Rovers shareholder. My dad was co-founder of the Rovers Supporters club and my uncle, Jack Caton, was for a time Chairman of directors.
Way back!
Let me know if you make it to Melbourne mate, life long fan here!
[quote][p][bold]mcleodj[/bold] wrote: All being well, I willl be in Australia from June 20 to July 31, mainly in Brisbane and Port Douglas, and would love to meet with Rovers' supporters. I was the youngest - and by now almost the oldest - Rovers shareholder. My dad was co-founder of the Rovers Supporters club and my uncle, Jack Caton, was for a time Chairman of directors. Way back![/p][/quote]Let me know if you make it to Melbourne mate, life long fan here! brfc95
  • Score: 0

9:18am Sat 11 May 13

Gaz M says...

This is what the club is all about a friendly local family club, that was until the Venkys took over!!
This is what the club is all about a friendly local family club, that was until the Venkys took over!! Gaz M
  • Score: 0

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