BWRG Finder Guru Reunites BWFC Fans
We often reminisce on Remembrance Sunday and the McGreavy family are no different. A few years ago, as they talked about their memories of their late Father and Grandfather- Jim McGreavy. The conversation turned to Arthur Ridley. Arthur was Jim’s mate and they attended all the Bolton Wanderers matches together at Burnden Park. By then they hadn’t seen or heard of Arthur for well over 20 years. They believed he was from from the Deane or Daubhill area of Bolton.
Jim’s Sons Tony and Paddy McGreavy, and his Grandson Glen, felt that Arthur had been an important part of Jim’s life and their own childhood- so they resolved to find him.
Glen Turns Detective Using BWRG and BWFC Facebook Groups
Glens role as a Recruitment Consultant at Search Industrial meant he was well connected and great at finding people and information online, So, with very little information to go on, Glen started to post in several facebook groups. Although he received some support online especially in BWFC related forums, no news of Arthur turned up. Glen continued to look for Arthur knowing only his name and a very approximate age together with one rather unusual detail- that Arthur had a wooden leg. Even this unique detail however, did not bring anyone forward.
Enter Bolton Wanderers Remembrance Group – BWRG
Following the death her Father Alan Parkin in 2019- People tracing expert Nicola Girling- founder of Finder Guru, was amazed to discover that her Father’s friends had set up a Community Group in his honour. The group grew in numbers with an increasing online presence and Bolton Wanderers Remembrance Group went from strength to strength. Nicola became an admin assisting the other team members and as she got more involved with the running of the group, became aware that fellow BWFC fan Glen was looking for an old Burnden attendee-Arthur Ridley.
Nicola approached Glen with an offer to help the McGreavy family and set about her own search for Arthur. Glen was also a friend of her late Father Alan Parkin, and a member of BWRG.
It was important to find Arthur soon as possible due to the fact that he was assumed to be in his 80’s. The worst case scenario was that Arthur had passed away, but finding no evidence to support this gave the search a renewed energy and with that, some real hope that Arthur would finally be found.
The Finder Guru Steps In
Nicola is well used to tracking people down for her role as a people tracer, but it was her Genealogy skills that were needed first of all so assemble a family tree for Arthur and work out his date of birth, along with his relatives, to start the search.
However it wasn’t that simple- because it turned out that the records Nicola was looking for contained no Arthur. She did however, discover a Joseph Arthur Ridley fitting the description. This would explain why Glens search was unsuccessful despite his best efforts.
With this as the only real possibility, Nicola built this mans family tree and after establishing Joseph Arthur had married a Joan, she then investigated if they had children. More research found 3 Daughters , including a set of twins.
This proved to be the vital piece of information, which meant asking the McGreavy family to jog their memories and try to remember is their Arthur Ridley had twin Daughters.
The answer came back as a yes!
With this new information Nicola was able to track down one of the Daughters- Susan Ridley. Susan was absolutely thrilled when she was told the McGreavys wanted to find her Father, who has always used his middle name of Arthur. Susan remembered Jim McGreavy fondly and the bond that her Father and Jim shared. She recalled very fond memories of the McGreavy family and their days at Burnden Park supporting The Wanderers. Arthur had lived in the Breightmet area for many years, and alone since the sad passing of his Wife Joan.
On Wednesday 5th of May, Glen received a phone call from Arthur and Susan and arranged to pick them up on Saturday 8th May, the day of the battle for promotion match of Bolton Wanderers against Crawley. The location was to be The Vulcan Inn, Deane. This was an appropriate venue for several reasons- Arthur was originally a Deane lad. And the The Vulcan Inn is the home of Bolton Wanderers Remembrance Group- BWRG Several members and ex players would be in attendance on the day, which meant an absolutely perfect situation for Arthur to meet his long lost friends.
“My Dad Paddy and my Uncle Tony were absolutely buzzing that Arthur got in touch. To be honest I was nervous going picking them up on Saturday as I was on my own just didn’t know what to expect but it was fine. Arthur is once again part of our family. My Grandad would have been so happy to have that happen” Glen McGreavy
The families enjoyed a fantastic day together. Attending the reunion were Paddy, Tony, Ryan and Glen Mcgreavy along with Arthur Ridley, his Daughter Susan and his Grandson Chris.
“Nicola, it was a brilliant day. Thank you so much for finding us. So much laughter, joyful memories told. My Dad was so pleased. It was perfect, meeting the lads again, the weather was great, and the match was the icing on the cake. For Dad it was like stepping back into the past. We are all meeting up again soon. Its a new lease of life for Dad” Susan Ridley
We never knew how quickly the Bolton Wanderers Remembrance Group would grow, but the good it does in the community is outstanding. Having Nicola come on board as an admin for the group has led to these Bolton families finding each other again and we couldn’t be happier for them all” Allan Mather- Founder of BWRG
The Vulcan Inn Landlord- Carl Grundy, was thrilled to host this reunion.
If you are wanting locate a long lost friend or family member, please contact Nicola here. Over 15 years experience of reuniting families and friends.
BWRG are fundraising again this year for their 3 nominated charities. John McGinlay- ex Bolton player is an Ambassador for both BWRG and Bolton Hospice . so the hospice will benefit again this year from BWRG fundraising efforts. Corporate sponsors are still needed for the John McGinlay golf day, and teams welcomed.
Whysup ,a Bolton based Mental health and Addiction support service, will once again receive the support of BWRG- and we are pleased to say that Liam and Mark are paid up members of BWRG.
Finally, BWRG continue to partner with Bolton Wanderers Community Trust supporting them with regular donations to help the charitable arm of BWFC continue their work in the Bolton family.