It is with great sadness that we have to announce the sudden death of John Lowey, aged only 61, on 5th August 2019.
John Lowey will be fondly remembered by the supporters of Blackburn Rovers as an industrious midfield player who had the ability to deliver the most accurate of corner-kicks.
He signed for Manchester United, as an associate schoolboy in September 1972, and having served his apprenticeship he signed professional terms in March 1975. Twelve months later he had joined the exodus to the United States to play in the NASL with Chicago Sting. He scored five goals in 23 appearances for Chicago before returning the England in the summer of 1977. He came on trial to the Rovers in July 1977 and also spent some time with Port Vale. He signed non-contract forms with the Rovers and appeared in eleven Central League matches before joining Port Vale in December 1977.
Unable to break into the first team he returned to America in March 1978 and signed for ASL club California Sunshine, where he scored ten goals in twenty-one games.
In October 1978 he returned to England to join Third Division Sheffield Wednesday. He made his League debut in a 1-1 draw with Oxford United at Hillsborough and later that season would appear in the epic five-match F.A. Cup-tie against Arsenal.
The following season Wednesday accompanied Rovers in winning promotion to the Second Division but John only appeared in thirteen games. It was whilst languishing in the Central League team at Hillsborough that Howard Kendall took the gamble to sign the still relatively inexperienced striker for £25,000.
Initially, John struggled for goals and the arrival of Norman Bell, in November 1981, resulted in John losing his place in the team.
However, with money tight and resources thin, Bob Saxton opted to convert John into a left-sided midfield player. It proved to be an astute move for John made a great success of the position. He formed a successful partnership with Simon Barker in midfield as the two complimented each other with different skill sets. John was not a midfield dynamo as such, but more a perceptive reader of the game who knew what position to take to intercept opposition passes and then move the ball on to Barker or the wing pairing of Ian Miller and Noel Brotherston. It was a simple but effective style and one that worked remarkably well during the early 1980s.
John was also a wonderful exponent of the corner kick which were delivered with unerring accuracy – usually onto the heads of Glenn Keeley or Derek Fazackerley who combined to score a number of vital goals from such kicks.
John left Ewood in the summer of 1986 when the ‘old guard’ was starting to be broken up. He moved to Wigan and then had loan spells with Chesterfield and York City before joining Preston North End in August 1987. A short spell with Chester City, where he again linked up with Derek Fazackerley, followed towards the end of the 1987-88 season.
In the summer of 1988 John made the move to Brisbane Lions and continued his footballing career in Australia which was to become his home after his retirement from the game.
John was very popular with all his colleagues and he will be sadly missed. We all offer our sincere condolences to his family.
Blackburn Rovers Senior Record
Football League 136 + 5 appearances 14 goals
F.A. Cup 6 + 0 appearances 1 goal
Football League Cup 9 + 0 appearances 1 goal
Total 151 + 5 appearances 16 goals