Lancaster football historian receives national recognition

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The Lancaster Guardian’s very own football historian has been praised by the national sports writer of the year.

Terry Ainsworth, 81, who began writing articles on local football history for the Lancaster Guardian in 2000, has struck up a friendship with Riath Al-Samarrai, at the Mail on Sunday.

And in a recent full page article, Riath gave much of the credit to Terry who had provided a lot of the information via one of his football talks which he’d watched on YouTube.

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The talk was about legendary Tottenham Hotspur manager, Arthur Rowe, who in 1951 led Spurs to their first top-flight title.

Terry Ainsworth with former Spurs player, Steve Perryman, at Morecambe FC in 2016.Terry Ainsworth with former Spurs player, Steve Perryman, at Morecambe FC in 2016.
Terry Ainsworth with former Spurs player, Steve Perryman, at Morecambe FC in 2016.

Raith said that one of the pleasures of writing his articles for the Mail on Sunday was the people who he got to know.

He described Terry as a ‘lovely chap and a lover of all sport and particularly football.’

“He is an historian of the game and one of his areas of greatest fascination is Tottenham Hotspur. Recently, he gave a talk in his local pub in Lancashire about Arthur Rowe whose influence on the game is rather incredible but whose name has largely faded from view.”

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Terry Ainsworth.Terry Ainsworth.
Terry Ainsworth.

Raith devoted much of the article to Rowe on the 30th anniversary of his death.

Terry said he was ‘really chuffed’ to be mentioned in a national newspaper and Raith has even said he would like to attend one of his talks if he’s ever in the Lancaster area.

The reason why Terry is so interested in Spurs is a story in itself and goes back to his childhood in Caton.

Terry’s 6th birthday – January 3 1948 – coincided with the first radio broadcast of Sports Report which he listened to with his football-mad mum, Doris.

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One of the results was Sheffield Wednesday 1 – Tottenham Hotspur 0 and a curious Terry asked his mum why the Sheffield team was named after a day in the week. After his mum’s explanation, Terry asked if Tottenham was named after one of his comics – The Hotspur – and from that day on, he’s been a Spurs fan.

Terry went on to play for local teams and even had a trial with Blackburn Rovers. Over the years, he has collected thousands of football photographs and gives regular talks in Lancaster.

Such is their popularity that the December one is already full.