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Tributes paid following death of York Rugby League star Laurie Milner
9:28am Saturday 26th October 2013 in Sport
TRIBUTES have been paid to long-serving York Rugby League star Laurie Milner following his death, aged 81.
Milner, from Stanley in West Yorkshire, played for York 295 times between September 1953 and September 1965, scoring eight tries.
He has been described as an old-fashioned hooker, with a mastery of the dark arts, and probably a player who did not achieve the recognition he deserved, at least partly because he played for a relatively unfashionable club.
York RL statistician Stuart Evans remembers seeing Milner – who, according to a cutting of a York win at Doncaster, became “one of the first players ever to be sent off twice in a match” – in his heyday.
“He was one of the old school of hookers, shall we say, where you had to fight for every ball,” said Evans. “He knew all the tricks of the trade – the loose arm, the foot across, and others we shan’t talk about.
“He was an excellent player, a very, very good hooker at a time when there were many, many good hookers around.”
Milner, originally a farmer and later a bricklayer by trade until his retirement aged 64, had signed for York from amateurs Stanley Rangers, following another club great, Willie Hargreaves, who died earlier this year after being inducted into the club’s new Hall of Fame.
After leaving Clarence Street, Milner had a year at Wakefield Trinity before finishing his playing career with Bramley.
He passed away earlier this month at a nursing home in Wakefield following a stroke and heart failure.
He leaves behind a widow, Mary, three sons, John, who played for Wakefield, Gary and Tony, and seven grandchildren, Leigh, Tiffany, Helen, Adam, Thomas, Danielle and Alex. Adam, 21, is continuing the family’s rugby league heritage, as a player at Castleford, also playing hooker.
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