Tributes pour in for a great ambassador and veteran of rugby league

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TRIBUTES have been paid to rugby league stalwart Tony Dean, of Ackworth near Pontefract, after he lost his battle with cancer.

His long and distinguished playing career included stints with Castleford, Hunslet and Batley.

Dean, who died aged 65 on July 18, earned a Rugby League Challenge Cup winners’ medal with Hull in 1982. He went on to become coach at Wakefield Trinity for 18 months from 1985.

His son Lee, 27, said: “He was not just a brilliant rugby league player but he was a top dad as well.

“He’d do anything for anybody and he would drop everything to help people out. He really was the best dad in the world.”

Lee Robinson, club historian at Wakefield Wildcats, said: “Tony had a great personality as a coach, generally full of humour as well as encouragement for the youngsters at the club and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

“Everyone at Wakefield Trinity Wildcats sends their condolences to Tony’s family and friends at this difficult time.”

Hull FC owner Adam Pearson also paid his own tribute in which he said Dean was a not only a fine player but a great ambassador for the sport.

Dean leaves wife Susan, sons Lee, Paul and Phil, and grandsons Sam, Ben and Jack.

His funeral will take place at St Cuthbert’s Church in Ackworth from 1pm on Friday, August 1.

Mourners are invited to celebrate Dean’s life and career afterwards at the Frog and Moose, Wakefield Road, Ackworth.

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