Tributes paid to Morley scrum legend

Dave Ashton

Dave Ashton

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Tributes have been paid to a former rugby star, who played in Morley’s great cup-winning side of the 1970s, as his funeral took place on Tuesday.

Dave Ashton, who passed away aged 68, was described as a “great and true friend” and a “real character”.

He played in five Yorkshire Cup finals during a 20 year spell at Morley Rugby Club during the team’s trophy-laden heyday four decades ago.

As a prop forward, he went on to captain the team and after retiring from competitive rugby spent time coaching the club’s young players.

He remained an iconic figure around the town and the club and publicly appeared to present a trophy to Morley’s over 40 side this summer.

His close friend and former team-mate Richard Binks said: “He was such a powerful player and a dynamic and aggressive scrummager.

“If he was playing today he could easily have played at Premiership level and beyond that.

“He was a true friend and a real character. He was the sort of guy who blew the opposition away on the field with his power and then off the field with his character afterwards.

“He could tell you 10 jokes in a row and you wouldn’t be able to remember them because you would be laughing so much. Dave was a massive character and a practical joker. But he was an incredibly loyal player. When we were playing against some of the best teams in the north of England it was like trench warfare but I never saw Dave take a step backwards.”

A keen gardener and golfer as well as a proud grandfather, Mr Ashton leaves behind his wife Christine and sons Paul and Neil.

A minute’s applause was held in his memory before Morley’s home game against Huddersfield last Saturday.