It is with regret that we have learned that former Rovers forward Jim Fryatt sadly passed away at the age of 79 on Friday June 5th in Las Vegas.
A much sought after centre forward in the 1960s, Fryatt plied his trade mainly in the lower divisions during a nomadic career.
He started out in youth football in the Southampton area, before joining Charlton Athletic and embarking upon a football career that would see him score 189 goals in 499 league games.
He had spells with Southend United, Bradford Park Avenue, Southport, Torquay United and Stockport County, before the burly striker was signed by Rovers manager Eddie Quigley for a fee of around £30,000 in 1968.
He made his debut in a 3-1 win against Bury at Gigg Lane in October 1968, with his first goals for the club coming in a thrilling 3-2 home win against Birmingham City when Fryatt bagged a brace, including a last-gasp headed winner.
His most memorable goal in Rovers colours came in the FA Cup fifth round tie against Manchester City in January 1969 when just over 42,000 fans packed into Ewood Park. Fryatt’s headed goal put Rovers on level terms, before City powered their way back to a 4-1 win.
He was sold to Oldham Athletic in February 1970 for £8,000, having scored eight goals in 41 appearances during his time at Ewood Park.
Pancho, as he was known, due to his mutton chop sideburns and drooping moustache, helped Oldham win promotion, before spells with Southport, Philadelphia Atoms, Stockport County and Torquay United, before moving back to America, where he ended his playing days in the North American Soccer League.
After retiring, Fryatt worked as a slot machine repair mechanic in Las Vegas and then at a local golf club. The thoughts of everyone at Blackburn Rovers are with Jim’s family and friends at this sad time.