Rochdale FC

Tommy was, for a short period, chairman of Rochdale FC. He joined the board of directors in 1985 and became chairman in May 1986. He left 18 months later, with four other directors, after an accountants report stated the club was insolvent.

Brochure Article

From the 1987 Spring Tour brochure:

Rochdale Programme picture

Tommy’s sporting ambitions were recently realised when he was elected Chairman of Rochdale Football Club. It seems only yesterday when as a nine year old boy, he stood on the terraces cheering on his local sides, Oldham Athletic and Rochdale. Like so many youngsters, he dreamt one day of playing professionally for them. Eventually the pull of showbusiness became too strong and he put away his football boots and baggy shorts, to pursue his career with Bobby. However, he never lost his love for the game and throughout the years has keenly followed Rochdale’s fortunes. Now Chairman of the club he loves, he takes the challenge very seriously. His ambitions are not only to win promotion, but to see them play on the lush green turf at Wembley.

While constant touring, pantomimes and summer seasons, prevent Tommy from seeing as many games as he would like, on Saturdays off he takes his two eldest grandsons to help him cheer on the team from the stand. When not watching football, he often turns out for charity football matches and golf tournaments.

One of Tommy’s other interests is Karate and he has recently been awarded his orange belt. He is also a keen keep fit fanatic and has a fully equipped Nissan International gymnasium in his home. “I love all kinds of sports. Although I don’t claim to be a world-beater at any of them, I find the participation wonderfully relaxing and rewarding, but I get really mad when Bobby beats me at Tiddlewinks!”


From match against Scunthorpe United, Saturday 13th Dec 1986.

Football programme

Unfortunately, as most of you are aware it has been necessary for Rochdale FC and Mr Vic Halom to part company. This has been due to the fact that after 2 1/2 seasons, the team under Mr Halom has achieved very little success.

Myself and the board are hoping to appoint a new manager in the near future. At present the team is being managed by Brian Taylor, supported by John Bramhall the team captain. Hoping you will give them all your support.

T Cannon

When Tommy resigned from the board, former director David Kilpatrick explained “Two years ago, when Mr Cannon became chairman, we suffered a major blow of losing £55,000 a year due to changes in funding by the Football League. Mr Cannon is part of a successful comedy duo and Mr Ferguson is a highly successful local businessman. I could not live with their level of expenditure and that is why I resigned. We took a chance. In Eddie Gray we have a man of considerable character and at the start of the season it looked as though things were going our way. but in four or five matches the whole thing has disintegrated. I don’t criticise the directors for trying to bring success to Spotland, and no one could have forecast what has happened.”

Their official website describes it as follows: “The club was thrown into turmoil in the mid 80s when comedian Tommy Cannon, portrayed as the club’s saviour initially, allegedly caused controversy and uproar in the town when the new look Board of Directors made a series of decisions deemed not in the best interests of the club. Cannon eventually resigned in 1988 after an EGM was called by shareholders but behind him he left a whole host of debts.”