Constantine developed a love of football while studying at
Shrewsbury School. After leaving university he moved to
Lancashire where he became friends with John Lewis. On 5th
November 1875, Constantine and Lewis, organized a meeting at the
St Leger Hotel in Blackburn to discuss the possibility of
establishing a football club in the town. Seventeen men attended
the meeting and as Charles Francis pointed out in his book,
History of Blackburn Rovers (1925): "all present, including
several young fellows who had just finished their education at
public schools, signified their willingness to participate in
the game and the motion to create a club was carried
John Lewis agreed to be treasurer of Blackburn Rovers Football
Club and Walter Duckworth, a former pupil of Clitheroe Grammar
School and the son of a local timber merchant, was appointed as
the club's first secretary. Two local businessmen, Alfred
Birtwistle, directory of a local firm of cotton manufacturers,
and Richard Birtwistle, whose family owned cotton mills in the
Blackburn area, also became involved in running the club. Jack
Baldwin, the son of a wealthy Blackburn businessman, also agreed
to play for the team.
J. T. Syckelmoore, a former student of St. John's College,
Cambridge and a teacher at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School in
Blackburn also joined the club. So also did Thomas Greenwood,
who was appointed captain of Blackburn Rovers. His two brothers,
Harry Greenwood and Doctor Greenwood, also played for the club.
Blackburn Rovers played their first game on 11th December 1875.
The team included Constantine, Alfred Birtwistle, Walter
Duckworth, John Lewis, J. T. Syckelmoore, Thomas Greenwood,
Harry Greenwood and Jack Baldwin. The game ended in a 1-1 draw.
The team played its early games at Oozehead, a piece of farmland
on the road to Preston. In 1877 they began playing matches at
Pleasant Cricket Ground. At a game against Preston Rovers in
December, Henry Smith, collapsed and died of a heart-attack. The
following year Blackburn Rovers moved to the ground used by the
Alexandra Meadows Cricket Club.
According to the author of The Book of Football: "It was a
modest beginning, and as the enthusiasts had no idea of the
future that was in store, no complete records were kept for the
first few seasons." Those existing documents show that Arthur
Constantine apparently left the club in 1877.