IT all started when Jim Rourke took his young son Frank to
play football in the park and was joined by other local youngsters.
From this small acorn grew the mighty oak of "Rourke’s League". For
many years, supported by his wife Louise, he dedicated himself to
nurturing the talents of local youth. Long after others would have
lost their enthusiasm, he remained a familiar figure, alongside his
stalwart helpers, on the local playing fields.
In fair weather and foul, he was there guiding and encouraging
his players. Importantly, not only did he foster sporting talent but
also he strove to inculcate a sense of team spirit and fair play, so
often apparently lacking in today’s approach. He was later supported
and eventually succeeded by his son, Frank.
As if all this were not enough through Formby Junior Sports Club
he also devoted many hours, again supported by loyal helpers, to
teaching chess, again with the same expectations of good conduct.
Prize givings reflected these ideals. Talent was rewarded, but there
were also shields for unselfish behaviour and commitment! Many
people have been enriched by his skills.
In 1977 his own efforts were acknowledged when he was awarded the
MBE. He was justifiably proud but typically he remained modest and
This quote by one ex-pupil will be typical of the thoughts of