Hull FC have revealed that former record breaking coach, Arthur Bunting, has passed away at the age of 80.
Bunting is generally regarded as the club’s greatest-ever coach, guiding the Airlie Birds to just about every trophy and major final available between 1978 and 1985.
Most notably, he was at the helm of the world record-breaking season that saw Hull win every one of their 26 league games in 1978-79, a record which has never been equalled or bettered since.
During his time as coach, Hull enjoyed success in the league, won the Yorkshire Cup three times, the John Player Trophy, the BBC2 Floodlit Trophy and famously the Challenge Cup in 1981-82, beating Widnes in a replay at Elland Road.
Following his days as coach, Bunting remained a regular and much-loved presence around the club and attended most games until recently.
He spoke of his delight at seeing the squad of 2016 lift the Challenge Cup at Wembley for the first time last season, as well as being recognised as one of the club’s most notable characters during the 150th anniversary year in 2015.
Speaking on behalf of everyone at the club, Hull FC’s Executive Director, James Clark said: “This is a very sad day for everyone connected with the club as we lose one of the finest people to ever be associated with Hull FC.
“His record as a coach speaks for itself, unprecedented success and deservedly recognised as the man responsible for overseeing a golden era in the club’s history.
“However, for all those who knew him around the club, his close friends and former team mates, he is remembered as the perfect gentleman, kind and supportive, and a genuine rugby league fan with a brilliant sense of humour. He had a smile for everyone.
“His love for the sport and the club was infectious, whilst his humility and modesty for a man of such stature in our history was admirable and perhaps it never truly hit home how respected and adored he still is today.”
He added: “The thoughts of everyone at the club go out to the whole family, as well as his close friend Richard Marriott, with whom he shared many match days at the Boulevard and the KCOM Stadium.”
The club will be paying tribute to Arthur at their upcoming games against Salford Red Devils and Castleford Tigers.