Hull KR president Colin Hutton dies - tributes pour in for 'humble and honest' rugby league stalwart

Colin Hutton, left, presenting a signed Hull KR shirt to the wife of Roger Millward, Carol
Colin Hutton, left, presenting a signed Hull KR shirt to the wife of Roger Millward, Carol
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Hull Kingston Rovers president Colin Hutton, who had a 60 year association with the Robins, won the Ashes as a Great Britain coach and was a member of the Rugby League Hall of Fame, has died at the age of 90.

Rovers chairman Neil Hudgell said Hutton’s dedication for the sport was “unparalleled” and a tribute is planned before Sunday’s opening game of the season against Bradford Bulls at KCOM Craven Park where one of the stands is named after the iconic figure.

“Words cannot describe how much of a loss Colin is,” he said, about the man who served the Robins as a coach, chairman and president.

“He was an icon of Hull Kingston Rovers and he dedicated a huge

proportion of his life not only to the club but also the sport as a whole.

“His dedication for rugby league was unparalleled and he was loved and respected by everybody who had the pleasure of meeting him.

“He was a humble and modest man with a keen passion for Hull Kingston Rovers.

“Our support and sympathies are with his beloved wife Marjorie, his daughter Sue and all his family and friends at this tragic time.

“He might be gone but he will never, ever be forgotten.”

Hutton was one of those rare individuals who commanded genuine respect on both sides of the city given he made more than 250 appearances for rivals Hull FC before retiring in 1957 and starting his long association with Rovers.

He started his career with Widnes, that included his national service as a lance corporal in the Royal Engineers, before moving to East Yorkshire.

His first game in charge for Rovers coming against Bradford Northern at Craven Park on December 7 1957.

By the time of his last game in charge at Leeds on May 2n 1970, Hutton had overseen a total of 534 matches in charge, leading the club to the Eastern Division Championship and two Yorkshire Cup Finals, as well as a Challenge Cup Final defeat.

Further afield, he led Great Britain to Ashes success against Australia as coach and served as president of the Rugby Football League in the early 1990s, also being made a Life Member of the sport’s governing body. Combined with his later roles at Hull KR, Hutton is the only man to have appeared at a Challenge Cup final as a player, coach, club director, club chairman, club president and chairman of the RFL.

As well as being inducted into the Rugby League Hall of Fame in 2000, he was also only the second sportsman to receive the Freedom of Hull after his good friend and former Hull FC teammate Johnny Whiteley.