Great Harwood Legends

Graham Lightbown


Today sees the start of a new feature where we recall some of the great players who’ve graced the Showground over the past 20 years.


(leading places)

  P W D L F A Pts
Kirkham & Wesham 30 22 6 2 90 20 72
Charnock Richard 30 19 9 2 69 28 66
Wyre Villa 30 16 6 8 58 47 54
Fulwood Amateurs 30 15 7 8 63 46 52
Dalton united 30 16 2 12 70 48 50
GREAT HARWOOD TOWN 30 14 4 12 60 68 43
Burnley United 30 13 4 13 65 79 43
Blackrod town 30 10 8 10 8 12 53

Doesn’t make good reading does it? Well, if it wasn’t for today’s legend, the West Lancs League might well be where The Robins would be playing this season.

Graham Lightbown is a true Great Harwood Town legend and we couldn’t have begun our series with a more deserving player.
Graham, or ‘Lighty’ as he is universally known, spent 7 years at the Showground before leaving last season. Rumour had it that he had signed for local rivals Darwen but never actually appeared for them and now he’s officially retired from the game and getting to spend some time with his lovely girlfriend Michelle.
Lighty signed for the Robins in 1995 and spent the next 7 seasons creating and scoring goals for his only senior non-league club. The cry of ‘Give it Lighty’ was without doubt the most common sound coming from the terraces during his time here. He lists his goal tally at 60-70 but I suspect that he’s being modest as I’m sure that he was the leading scorer every year.
Today’s hero lives in Rishton with the afore mentioned Michelle and works as an assistant manager for the Post Office. He enjoys most sports, in particular golf, and also likes ‘socialising’ when allowed!
Favourite other team is Blackburn Rovers, with Paul Gascoigne and David Beckham his favourite past and present players, and the best ground that he’s played on is Knowsley Road St. Helens.
Lighty’s best moment in football is when he became the first choice striker at the Showground while Harwood were in the Unibond 1st Division., after winning over Ian McGarry who became manager in the mid-90’s. Worst moment was when we were relegated from the above division on the final day of the season in that well chronicled game at Congleton.
“I have great memories of playing for Harwood, especially early on in my time there. A lot of friends who I mixed with socially also played and the coach trips when in the Unibond were great fun. I also remember the buzz I got whilst playing on the wing attacking the clubhouse. When I did something good, I got a great reception. However, it could be intimidating when not on top form.
The people who follow Harwood week in week out deserve to have a team back challenging again.”

Graham Lightbown



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