Sign in to follow this  
Hornets Nest

Eric Fitzsimons

Recommended Posts

Very sad to hear of the passing of Eric Fitzsimons – he had been ill for quite a while. He coached Hornets between 1986 – 1987 and was responsible for giving Neil Cowie a trial at Hornets and as we know that turned out to be a great success.

It was a tough time in the mid 80’s for Hornets but Eric had good contacts in Australia and this always helped booster the squad – players like Gerry Byron and Craig Pucell (if my memory serves me).

Whilst at Hornets Eric was always willing to pull on the shirt for the “A” Team when numbers were down. He scored a classy try in the corner v Oldham one Saturday afternoon at the Athletic Grounds and somehow in the excitement I ran on with the water instead of the sand (no kicking tee’s around in those days). Howls of laughter followed the loudest being from the Chairman Fred Wood and Eric himself. After the laughter had died down Eric slotted the goal from the touchline to bag the victory against the owd enemy – class.

Eric was the first coach at Hornets to produce extensive statistics during the game for post-match analysis – he employed a colleague from within the education system at Oldham to do these for him and again as we all know these statistics are still heavily relied on today – he was way ahead of the game.

Eric always had lifelong friend Iain McCorquodale by his side at most of the clubs he was at and this included Hornets, they worked as a team. Iain like Eric was very fond of Hornets and had a few spells assisting the club, there was always a healthy debate as to who was actually the best goal kicker – they were both prolific.

Anyway that’s just my short tribute I’m sure Hornets fans will have other great memories.

R.I.P Eric God Bless

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice bloke, always had time for a chat. Remember him kicking 6 out of 6 for Hunslet at the Athletic grounds then somebody nicked his boots from the VP bar. RIP Eric. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Craig Purcell, HN wife's maiden name was Purcell. I kept telling her they were related ( they wasn't )

RIP Eric.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eric was on everyone's mind on Sunday there was many fond memories spoken of him 

Last year Chris Churm arranged for Eric and his guests to come to a game ,with Eric going on the pitch for recognition of his services to Rochdale Hornets 

I personally spent many a Friday night in the Cock &Magpie with him & Liz ,a truly  lovely gentleman who loved not just his family  from the bottom of his heart ,but his Rugby League family too each & every man & boy he had come across so many happy hours listening to his tales 

Eric loved his time spent in Rugby League & he had  so many friends & memories 

To Liz & his family our thoughts and prayers are with you all 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A great loss to the RL family, Eric was fondly remembered at Hunslet where he could effortly slot goals from either touchline and we had a minutes silence for Eric last week .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


League Express Yearbook 2018/19 - Order Now


Rugby League World - Nov 2018

Rugby League World - Nov 2018



League Express - Online Now

League Express - Every Monday