Tributes paid to family after death of Wetherby football coach

Rangers' Harrogate League-winning side of 1999. Mark Trower is pictured second on the left, and below.
Rangers' Harrogate League-winning side of 1999. Mark Trower is pictured second on the left, and below.

The community was saddened to learn of the death of prominent footballer and coach Mark Trower.

Mr Trower, who was 49, died suddenly last week while playing football at Wetherby High School.

The cause of death is as yet unknown and is still being investigated.

Mark’s wife Helen said: “He died very suddenly, and Mark’s mum and I were very upset by that.

“He was an amazing dad, he was my best friend, and he was taken away too soon.

“He will be sorely missed.”

Mr Trower worked as a prison officer at Wealstun Prison for more than 20 years, but in his spare time he was an inspirational supporter of Kirk Deighton Rangers Football Club.

As a player for the club, Mr Trower was a member of the team who won the club’s last Harrogate and District title-winning side from 1999.

He was also part of their treble winning side the previous year.

In recent years, Mr Trower has worked as a coach with the junior club, working with the under 18 group in the 2012/13 season.

His son Luke, 18, has followed in his father’s footsteps, playing an integral role in the club’s first-team squad this season.

Luke was made captain of the seniors team in memory of his dad at their game last week.

The team won 4-0 against Pateley Bridge and Luke scored the second goal, wearing the number eight shirt - his dad’s old number.

There was also a minute’s silence before the game, and flowers were left in the centre circle at Barr Field after the match.

Deighton manager Dan Marshall said: “Luke showed so much courage.

“At 18-years-old he showed great maturity and unbelievable strength of character.”

Rangers’ junior club vice-chair Nicky Holliday said: “Mark was an inspiration to young footballers through his coaching and through his personal development of the youngsters.

“I would like to give a huge thank you to Mark for the time that he gave and the encouraging figure that he was.”

President of Wetherby Runners Athletics Club Rob Gray wrote a dedicated message to Mr Trower on Facebook on Friday, March 7.

Although not a member of the club, Mr Trower used to run to work and was active in the formative years of Wetherby Runners.

Mr Gray said: “He was a spirited, friendly and generous man, by any means I wouldn’t be alone in saying that anyone lucky to know Mark Trower would proudly call him a good friend.

“I’m sure members will join with me in wishing our sincere condolences to both and also to all of the Trower family at this very sad time.”

The funeral is on Monday, March 17 at St James’ Parish Church, and will be officiated by Wealstun prison chaplain the Reverend John Kelly.