Tribute to football stalwart Jim Allott, who has passed away aged 68

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The local football community is mourning the passing of one of its favourite sons.

Jim Allott (68) died on Tuesday surrounded by his family after a short, courageous battle with leukaemia.

Jim Allott with former Burnley Express sports editor Peter Higgs

Jim Allott with former Burnley Express sports editor Peter Higgs

Standing at 6ft 5in tall, Jim was a gentle giant off the pitch, but a towering presence on it.

His footballing skills were such that he once won the Burnley Express “Sportsman of the Month” award in May 1983, presented for outstanding achievement in sport.

Later that year he was shortlisted for the newspaper’s prestigious “Sports Personality of the Year” award and was invited to a special ceremony at Turf Moor. Jim’s ability with a ball at his feet first came to prominence as a pupil at Rosegrove School.

He then went on to play for Accrington Stanley, Padiham, British Rail and most notably Trinity FC.

Equally adept at both ends of the pitch, Jim was largely utilised as a goal-getting centre forward - regularly topping the goalscoring charts at the end of the season.

But he could also play as a centre half - and even enjoyed a spell as a goalkeeper.

Indeed, many of the town’s top strikers of a certain vintage still recount tales of barely getting a kick - never mind a goal - when Jim was asked to play in defence for his team.

He was part of many Championship-winning Trinity teams in the Burnley and District Premier Division and was also a frequent visitor to Turf Moor as Trinity won the Harry Walsh Cup on numerous occasions.

Jim also played for Queens Park in the Burnley Sunday League, once netting the winner with a header in the final of the Towneley Cup against Royal Hotel.

Away from football, Jim was a memorial fixer but was a man of many handy talents who could turn his hand to joinery, plumbing, decorating - even once building a bike from scratch for one of his grandsons.

Daughters Debbie and Denise said: “Dad was such a kind and caring person.

“We will miss him so much.”

Jim is survived by his wife Janice, daughters Debbie and Denise, son-in-law Lee, grandchildren Hollie, Courtney, Lukas, Olivia, Rudie, Daisy and Isabella, great granddaughter Lillie and stepchildren Samantha, Ben and Daniel.

The funeral will take place on Thursday, July 19 at Burnley Crematorium at 3pm, with a celebration of his life to follow at the Ighten Leigh Social Club.