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Honor James


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It is with great sadness that BARLA have been informed of the passing of StuartMcDonough aged 82yrs who passed away at the Royal Oldham Hospital on the 14th November following a stroke two weeks earlier.

Stuart was a BARLA Life Member and was instrumental in the formation of BARLA in 1973 and was the first full time steward that Oldham St Annes ARLFC had at their ground. He was also a Tour Manager of a BARLA Great Britain side to play in France where he kept rugby league legend Ellery Hanley amongst others players in that party under his wing.

There is not a club in the Oldham area that has not been loaned a piece of Rugby League memorabilia by Stuart, shirts, balls, caps and photographs amateur Rugby League in Oldham has definitely lost a champion of the sport.

Stuart’s grandson Jason Smithies, “All I can say that he inspired me to play rugby league, and not only play, his total dedication and love of the sport helped me start a university rugby league team at the University of Teesside in 1991. I and all those who my granddad spent time with are better people for knowing him.”

BARLA Chair Spen Allison, "On behalf of BARLA I would like to pass on my condolences to Stuart’s wife Emma and family and are thoughts are with them at this sad time. Stuart was a champion of the amateur game especially in Oldham where he was a stalwart of the sport and he will be very much missed.”

Steve Manning

BARLA Media Manager

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