John started his brass band playing career with the Clifton & Lightcliffe Band aged 9, before successfully auditioning for the then Black Dyke Mills Band at just 14.
Over the next 15 years he played in every cornet position, including a spell as principal cornet as well as flugel horn. During his early time with the band he was also became principal cornet of the National Youth Band of Great Britain.
After being made redundant from the textile industry John studied for a BA, and become a successful music teacher. His return to Clifton & Lightcliffe Band as Musical Director in 2005 has seen him led them through a period of unprecedented success, including a number of appearances at the National Finals.
John wrote his own book on the history of Black Dyke Band, compiled over many years from an extensive personal collection of historical information. He also gives talks to local groups on the history of Black Dyke Band and has been a contributor to the Arts Award 'Explorer' initiative.