The John Slater Foundation

John Slater was born on 6 April 1889. He was a native of Adlington, Lancashire and attended the National School.

In 1906, when only 17 years of age, he was selected to play football for Bolton Wanderers, being one of the youngest players in first class football – a record which probably stands today! When his football career was flagging he set up a coal merchants business with the benefit of a loan of £200 from his uncle.

In the following few years he had a meteoric rise and became a major industrialist of his day. He was involved in the cotton, pottery and shipping businesses and moved to Cheadle, near Stoke, where at 28 he won a seat on Stafford County Council. He won an important by-election in 1932 and was elected Conservative Member of Parliament for Eastbourne. His many industrial interests included being the chairman of Berry Hill Collieries; John Bright and Brothers, Rochdale; spinners, weavers and bleachers; director of Keramische Werke AG, Bonn, sanitary potters and engineers; Settle Speakman, Colliery Proprietors; and many others including companies in Denmark and France. His industrial empire employed no less than 35,000 people by the early 1930s. He was an outstanding parliamentary debater of his day and in his short parliamentary career spoke on many major industrial topics on coal and cotton. He was widely regarded as a possible Chancellor of the Exchequer, but his glittering career was unfortunately brought to an untimely end by his sudden death at his annual constituency dinner on Friday, 15 February 1935, aged 45.

His widow, Elizabeth and his only child Irene, established the John Slater Foundation in 1964. Over those years the Foundation has donated a total of approximately £4.5m to a range of charities associated with worthy causes and also largely financed the building of the Elizabeth Ann, a lifeboat for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

Read a recent article on John Slater from the PFA website.

The Committee of the Foundation is presently:

Christopher J Saunders OBE (Chairman)

Christopher J Band

Tom Tutton

Andrew Brotherton

Michael Darch

Richard Saunders


Richard Thompson, HSBC Trust Company (UK) Limited

The Foundation is presently fully committed to its programme of giving and unfortunately is not able to receive any further new requests of any nature at this time.

Should this situation change an appropriate announcement will be made on this website.