LIVERPOOL St Helens Rugby Club are mourning the passing, aged 69, of one of its greatest ever sons, Mike Slemen.

The Liverpool winger played 31 times for England, was a member of the 1980 Grand Slam winning side and earned one cap with the British Lions.

After education at St Edwards College in Liverpool and St Luke’s College, Mike joined the Liverpool FC rugby club and never left.

His final game for the club, after 16 seasons, was the last ever game played as Liverpool FC in 1986 before the merger with St Helens, against Preston Grasshoppers.

Mike scored a hat-trick of tries in the win before spending the next three years as LSH’s first appointed coach.

John Robertson, former president of the Liverpool club, said “This is sad news indeed. Mike was a 100% club man coming to us from school and was instrumental in keeping our club going through some difficult times. He was respected by all his teammates and above all was a truly great player. The club was very proud of him”.

Ray French, Liverpool St Helens current president, added: “Wherever we go and wherever Liverpool Rugby is mentioned, we are always asked about Mike Slemen. Around our area he is a rugby legend in every sense of the word.”