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The Baron Mk11

Andrew "Pugwash" Birch.

32 posts in this topic

Sad news of the passing of "Puggie", he was Hornets to the core. RIP mate.

 

Does anyone know when the funeral is?

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Very sad news Indeed'

R.I.P Captain

You sure was 1 on your own.

I'm sure funeral details will be on here in due course Baron.

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Really sorry to hear this. Not only a Hornets supporter through and through but a true Rugby League fan. My condolences to his family.  R.I,P Andy.

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So sorry to hear of Andy Birch"s passing.He was Hornets through and through also a ARLFC referee.I am glad he got to see Hornets lift a trophy and represent the club as the nuber one fan.My condolences to his family and his brother Stephen.

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They don't make them like Puggy any more, Hornets and Rugby League through to his core. The club has lost it's No 1 fan. I'm just glad he was at Leigh at the end of last season to see us pick up that trophy. RIP matey.

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RIP Puggy

Hornets to the very core, at least he will take the memories of last years GF win with him.

At true Hornets hero

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Really very sorry to hear about Andy, Wondered why he hadn't posted on here for a while.

Hornets cannot afford to lose supporters such as Andy.

RIP ANDY

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A true Hornets legend. We needed a thousand more like him. RIP Andy.

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Sad day for his family. Sad day for Hornets. No1 club man and RLF fan.

How's about clubman of the year presented with the Pugwash trophy?

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It's a sad day. I spoke to Andy's son earlier - he did say that his dad's instructions were that everyone coming to celebrate his life should wear their Hornets - or their club's - shirt. I'm away with work at the moment, but we're speaking again on Saturday - so will share any details as soon as I have them.

 

All I can say is that Andy had Hornets in his heart and his soul. He lived a Hornets life - through the ups and the down - with great pride, loyalty and humour. A sad day.

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Very sad news best wishes to his family at this sad time. Rest in peace from an Oldham fan.

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Top bloke, Hornets and RL through and through.

 

RIP Andy.

 

Spelly.

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I am his brother, Stephen. I have just returned home to Canada today from two other family funerals and had a message waiting for me. As you can imagine I am total distraught. I was with him on Saturday and he seemed fine.

We shared many wonderful times at rugby games and many arguments about the game and Hornets but never let those arguments affect our love for each other. It was not as easy for him getting to games following his disabilities. There are some, possibly many, on this site who helped him get to his beloved Hornets.

I remember with great fondness driving him down to Cardiff for the Hull v Leeds final his only trip to new Wembley for Warrington v Leeds. I helped him get round to the ground in his new motorised wheelchair (his 'electric chair') earlier this summer to see that great win over Fev.

His first Hornets game was a school trip to the 1965 Lancs cup final (Graham Starkey taught both of us). He caught the bug.Our dad then took us on our first Wembley trip in 67 for Barrow v Featherstone on Ellen Smiths.

It has been a difficult few years with first our mother passing away and then his wife Barbara. I hope to see as many of you as possible at his funeral.

gob bless you all

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Wow,what a great post Stephen,I`m sure I never met Andrew,but I also got hooked on Hornets and the game of rugby league at that 1965 Lancashire Cup Final at St.Helens with my good mate,Philip Halstead. I didn`t agree with everything Andrew posted on here,and he certainly put me in my place a few times,but his love for Hornets could never be questioned and it`s a sad day for the club to be losing such a true supporter. I hope Hornets office closes down during the time of Andrew`s funeral ensuring they,the board,and as many players as possible,have the chance to be there for his final game. RIP.

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Very sad news indeed.   I never met Andy but a couple of years ago he sent me a message asking if I would write a short piece for the programme when Hornets played Town.   I sent my piece and we exchanged many more messages that season until we lost touch.   My condolences to his family and friends, he was as many have already said Hornets through and through.   RIP Andy

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Trying to reach as many of you as possible and this is possibly the most efficient means.  Please feel free to pass on to others.

 

Given the circumstances there has to be a post mortem which will not happen, given the holiday weekend, until next week.  This means funeral unlikely to happen before September.

 

His sons and I are positive he mentioned to us he had pre paid for his funeral.  Alas his sons have been unable to find the paperwork and the various funeral homes they have contacted have not admitted to having taken his money!  If he mentioned to any of you who he had made this arrangement with please would you let me or his son, stephen, know.  I can be reached at birch@mcmaster.ca and his son has a mobile 07931169551.

 

One final request, if Jim Stringer reads this please could you contact me.  I have tried to contact you but the e mail address I have for you is very old and not in use.

 

I am enjoying reading your posts - they are bringing me and my family much comfort. 

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Trying to reach as many of you as possible and this is possibly the most efficient means.  Please feel free to pass on to others.

 

Given the circumstances there has to be a post mortem which will not happen, given the holiday weekend, until next week.  This means funeral unlikely to happen before September.

 

His sons and I are positive he mentioned to us he had pre paid for his funeral.  Alas his sons have been unable to find the paperwork and the various funeral homes they have contacted have not admitted to having taken his money!  If he mentioned to any of you who he had made this arrangement with please would you let me or his son, stephen, know.  I can be reached at birch@mcmaster.ca and his son has a mobile 07931169551.[/size]

 

One final request, if Jim Stringer reads this please could you contact me.  I have tried to contact you but the e mail address I have for you is very old and not in use.[/size]

 

I am enjoying reading your posts - they are bringing me and my family much comfort. [/size]

Stephen, you have mail.

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So sorry to hear the passing of Andrew.

 

I had the pleasure of meeting him a few seasons ago at Spotland and we had a great chat. I kept in touch with him through Facebook, and was saddened to hear him suffering with his illness,

 

My deepest condolences and sympathy to his Family, Rochdale Hornets and its supporters.

 

Not only a loss to Hornets, but Rugby League.

 

Rest in peace in Andrew, I hope wherever you are, you're in a better place. Goodnight and god bless

 

Best Regards

 

Brian.

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I heard the sad news from a former colleague of mine and Andy's last night. We spent an eventful few years working together at Lintfield in the REGC on Dane Street, some of the best years of my working life and Andy was a great contributor to that. His love for Hornets was expressed daily and he would often describe how Barbara's winnings would be spent on building a great team should the lucky numbers ever come up. He even got me, an ardent fanatic of the round ball game, to watch his beloved Hornets on the odd occasion, something I have often said I would repeat but never seem to find the time. I will have to address this fact if only in tribute to Andy. We kept in touch for a while after we left Lintfield but due to email address changes etc we finally lost touch. I was saddened also by the news both Barbara and his mum died in recent years this must have been hard on Andy and his sons. He was a man with a great sense of humour and strong principles and was never afraid to speak his mind. This made him great fun fun to know and he never let life's knock backs keep him down. He had tremendous spirit and would always be planning his next big adventure, be it holidays with massive maps of Europe being produce at dinner time, photography trips to balloon fiestas or visits to away games at Workington with a stop off in the Lakes all where planned in detail like a major military operation. The world is a little less colourful today and my condolences go out to his brother Steven and to Martin and Steven his sons. If details of the funeral can be posted when they are known I would very much like to attend. This is very sad news, RIP Andy gone but never forgotten.

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I was very shocked to hear of Andy's passing as I was with him on Sunday, and due to visit him yesterday.

Despite all the heartache and struggles he has faced over the last few years he was always upbeat and ready to support his beloved Hornets when at all possible.

A true gentleman who will be sadly missed by many.

Condolences to his sons Steven & Martin and his brother Stephen and his family in Canada.

RIP

Peter Walker & family.

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It is very sad news. Puggy was a heart on the sleeve supporter, his passion got the better of him at times but my word he loved Hornets with a vengeance and would give anything for the cause.

I hope something can be done within the stadium to remember him.

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Andy's funeral will be at 1.00pm on Friday 5 September at Rochdale crematoruim.

 

It would be wonderful to see as many of you there as possible and please don't be shy at coming and saying hi to me and/or his sons.

 

There will be a get together after the funeral but details will be announced later.

 

Thank you all for your kind messages and memories. Please pass this information on to anyone you think might be interested.

 

I was sent the piece in the Rochdale Observer - which was nice except for the medical details being all wrong!  He did not lose his first leg in a motorcycle accident nor was he diabetic.  "Lazy reporting" I hear Andy saying  - and he wouldn't have expected anything else from them!

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