Death of Rovers legend Gant

FEATHERSTONE Rovers great Laurie Gant MBE died on Tuesday. He was 82.

Mr Gant, who lived in Wakefield, served the club with distinction as a player and coach and masterminded Featherstone's first Challenge Cup success in 1967.

He made 112 appearances for Rovers, scoring 15 tries and a goal, after switching from Wakefield Trinity at the start of the 1947-48 season.

Mr Gant was a member of the Rovers side that lost against Workington Town in the club's first Challenge Cup final appearance in 1952 but he returned to Wembley to mastermind one of the club's finest hours by plotting the downfall of Barrow 15 years later.

He received the MBE for services to Rugby League in 1981.

He was a life member of Wakefield branch of the Royal British Legion, president of Featherstone's Past Players Association and was still a regular at the Lionheart Stadium, despite recent ill health.

Mr Gant was also a grade one referee.

Featherstone chairman Glyn Robinson said: "He was a true gentleman, not only a legend at Featherstone Rovers but also in Rugby League. Even after coming through a serious operation he kept a smile on his face. He will be sadly missed."

Mr Gant served in the Royal Navy during World War Two and while on patrol on a converted fishing trawler between Gibraltar and Malta was part of a crew that famously sank a German U-boat.