IT is with great sadness that we report the passing of one Liverpool St Helens most loved and longest serving members, Norman Knowles.

Norman, aged 90, will be particularly remembered by the most recent crop of players at Moss Lane, particularly the teenagers and Colts just starting out in the game, as the 2nd XV Godfather.

After starting with the original St Helens RUFC just after the Second World War, Norman, known as a speedy fly half and centre, played through four decades at Moss Lane from the 1st XV right through to the Veterans.

His brother Roy, also a St Helens player for over 10 years, recalls that he got a new pair of boots for his 50th birthday.

Thereafter he co-ordinated the team selection process, notifying every player, every weekend, by postcard, for many years, until technology took over.

By now a Life Member and together with his great friend and colleague John Kenrick, he decided that while most eyes, understandably, were on the 1st XV, the lads in the second XV could do with regular support and encouragement.

The pair began following the second team, home and away, in all weathers, for nearly 20 years, frequently transporting the team to all parts of the North West.

Only Norman’s failing health in the last year or so brought their match day support to an end.

John Kenrick recollects that Norman felt strongly that all levels of the club should be supported and took special pride in encouraging those new to the team and giving it a go.

“He loved it, and got a great deal of pleasure from seeing lads enjoying the game of rugby,” said John.

LSH President Ray French said: “Moss Lane will not be the same without Norman.

“He seems to have been here forever.

“Everyone loved and respected him as a former player, hardworking club man and fervent supporter, particularly of the team that he made his own, our 2nd XV.

“We will all miss him”.

The funeral is on Tuesday 28 November 11.30 at St Luke’s Church, Knowsley Road.