Friends congratulate new Lib Dem leader Tim Farron

Tim Farron
Tim Farron
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‘His other ambition was to become president of Blackburn Rovers Football Club, and judging by his efforts in politics, he might just manage it.’

Friends of former Leyland student and new Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron have told of his drive to rise to the top as young councillor.

At Lostock Hall Academy we are always pleased to receive news of our past pupils, particularly when we hear of their success stories.

Gig Brimelow

Tim, who became Britain’s youngest county councillor when he was 23, has achieved his dream of turning one of his ‘hobbies’ into a career.

Fellow Liberal Democrat David Howarth, who serves on South Ribble Council, remembers the pair being elected together in 1994.

“He was just starting out and was 22 at the time,” he said. “We used to sit together in the back corner of the chambers, and he would pass me copies of Private Eye.

“He first stood to be an MP in 1997 and I was his agent. I remember him saying he wanted to get into parliament because politics was his hobby, and he would love to find a way of making his hobby into a job.

“He was very hard working; he never stopped. It was 24/7 with Tim.”

Coun Howarth also reveals some lesser known facts about the new leader: “He was into some strange 1980s music, and one of his other ambitions was to become president of Blackburn Rovers.

“He was a big fan, and he used to have this 1960s cup final replica shirt.

“Judging by his efforts in politics, he might just manage that yet.”

Coun Howarth believes his old friend will be popular because of his humble background.

“He has what people are lacking in politics,” he explained.

“He’s an ordinary lad from Leyland who went to a comprehensive school and worked his way up.”

The headteacher of Tim’s former high school has also spoken of him being an ‘inspiration’ to students.

Gig Brimelow said: “At Lostock Hall Academy we are always pleased to receive news of our past pupils, particularly when we hear of their success stories.

“Tim Farron was a pupil at Lostock Hall High School until 1986 and we are very proud to learn that he has made such a success of his political career.”

She added: “In 2007 we were delighted to welcome Tim to our school, when he presented the awards and certificates at our annual presentation evening.

“His speech was inspirational and he gave freely of his time afterwards to congratulate our pupils and talk to them about their plans for the future.

“We wish him every success in his important new role.”

Tim, who attended Walton-le-Dale Primary School as a youngster, studied politics at Runshaw College before going off to Newcastle University.

Speaking to the Evening Post earlier this month, he credited former Leyland councillor Neva Orrell as being his ‘great mentor’ and ‘inspiration’.

He said: “She joined the party in 1949 because we are a party who believes in human rights and tolerance.

“She then spent the next 53 years of her life until she passed away finding the issues that mattered to people on the ground in Leyland, maybe their council house or whether the streets are clean.”