Farewell to Fylde rugby stalwart

Funeral service for Fylde servant
Funeral service for Fylde servant
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Chairman of World Rugby Bill Beaumont was among the congregation together with a host of former players and officials at the funeral service for Stewart Brown, the long serving press officer at Fylde rugby club, who died recently aged 70.

Much was made of the service at St Chad's Church, Poulton of Stewart's unflinching loyalty to the Woodlands club, so much so that it was revealed that the Fylde club crest was engraved on his headstone at the new cemetery in the town, where he was laid to rest alongside his mother Dorothy.
His friend and neighbour Mike Cunningham gave an excellent address, warm-hearted and honest at the same time as he talked engagingly of Stewart's two loves, Fylde and his mother
He said that if there was anyone as devoted to one sporting club in the country, then they would be few and far between.
The service was not without its amusing moments.
It was revealed that it was Stewart's last wish to be buried in his Fylde blazer and tie, but at the last minute one of his friends Ian Cosh noticed to his horror that the tie was not that of Fylde, but of Rosslyn Park!
Mike Cunningham said it was quickly changed, adding to laughter in the church: "I suppose it could have been worse - it could have been a Preston Grasshoppers' tie!"
As well as Bill Beaumont, the congregation included players from a past era among them John Nicholson, Clive Blackburn, Tom Lavelle, Martin Wallwork, Craig McIntytre, Dave Young (now club chairman) Glen Leeming, Sean and Patrick Townsend, Mark Nelson and Mel Whittle.
Stewart had been ill for the past four years, frustrated at not being able to see his team he had followed for decades.. He had been suffering a form of motor neurone disease.