FORMER Fartown coach Brian Smith has died at the age of 78.
He passed away at his home in Halifax on Monday, with a requiem mass on Tuesday (noon) followed by interment at Stoney Royd Cemetery.
Brian played on the wing for York – including in their Yorkshire Cup final defeat to Huddersfield at Headingley in 1957 – and Bradford Northern.
He then joined Huddersfield as ‘A’ team coach in succession to Henry Tiffany in November 1962, also assisting the team in a playing capacity as and when required.
He later went on to become first-team coach, helping Huddersfield win the Second Division Championship in 1974-75, transforming the Fartowners into a powerful outfit who just nabbed the title under the noses of Hull KR.
He worked tirelessly for both the Huddersfield and Halifax ex-players associations for many years, and was a leading light in organising rugby league ex-players’ Centenary and Millennium celebrations.
He was a specialist teacher of physical education with additional qualifications in athletics and spent his National Service as an Army PTI, and acted in a training capacity with Halifax youth clubs and schools rugby league
He leaves a wife Maureen, sons and daughters Karen, Andrew, Jerome, Joanne and Gabrielle, grandchildren Antonia, Luke, Joseph, Sam, Kate, Michele, Julien, Patrick and Roisin and great-grandchild Meghan-Leigh.