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Famous People from Rotherham

Before I began collecting the information for this page we had a good old game of 'Name 10 Famous Belgians'. We remembered 10 famous Belgians all right, clever little so and sos that we are, though I will confess we had 'chocolate' as one of them and 'beer' as another.

When we came to play the same game with Rotherhamites it proved a tad more difficult. Although we were pretty sure that the infamous Jeremy Clarkson came from Rotherham (though I could well be wrong, in fact I wish I was) for reasons attached to the legalities of the word 'famous' we decided that omission was the only reasonable course. Somebody tells me that I am wrong - La Clarkson is actually from Doncaster. I can tell you that I breathed a heavy sigh of relief.

Jack Layden 'Good Old Sir Jack' was also postulated, but we asked six people who came from Rotherham and six people who did not, whether they had heard of him. Some of them knew of the pub. Sic transit gloria mundi as the Romans would have it. I did wonder about Stan Crowther, ex-MP, especially as I went to Thomas Rotherham College with his son Stephen, but whatever renown he once enjoyed has very quickly gone as nobody I asked could remember him.

My mother, when asked, mentioned Duggie Brown and Lynne Perrie. Now that had The Pedant scratching his head as he'd never heard of either. Still I've managed to find a bit of information about them for your delectation and delight.

My choices are therefore people I knew of or remembered together with the suggestions of a wide variety of espondents.

A miller in exile has also suggested Jive Bunny, The Chuckle Brothers and Jack Hampshire. I have managed to find out quite a bit about the first, more than I really wanted to about the second, and zilch about poor old Jack other than the fact he appears in a list of cricket umpires. I will persevere. For a bit more information about Jack Hampshire, cricketer and umpire visit here.

Several people have mentioned Chris Wolstenholme, from the band Muse. I will confess that I have heard of neither the band or the man but I have found out some information for you.

Although I had rejected a page about Tony Capstick on the grounds that he was born in Mexborough and therefore a Doncaster lad, several persons thought that I should, none the less, dedicate a page too him. All right I give up - I've been ganged up on - here it is! It turns out that he was born in York (perhaps): but what the heck!

Brian Blessed and Patrick Stewart have both been mentioned. However further investigation reveals that Blessed was born in Mexborough, which is admittedly only a snip over the border, but Stewart was born in Mirfield. So whilst they can both qualify as Yorkshire tykes neither are Rotherhamites by birth or by residence. A recent espondent has mentioned Gervase Phinn: now whilst I'd heard of Gervase and seen adverts for his talks and shows I had no idea he was a Rotherham lad. Well you could have knocked me down with feather but he was indeed born in Rotherham and you can read a bit about him at the Gervase Phinn page.

Somebody has mentioned James Toseland but he was born in Doncaster. There seems to be some dispute as to where Paul Goodison was born with one site having it Brinsworth, Rotherham and the official site having it as Sheffield. You can learn more about him here http://paulgoodison.com. Somebody else has mentioned the TV presenter James May who was brought up in Rotherham.

In fact there is an incredible list of Rotherhamites at Wikipedia People from Rotherham. I can confidently say that I have never heard of most of them.

Some famous, and some not so famous, old boys of Rotherham Grammar School can be found in the History pages at Old Boys.

Page amended January 15

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