Tributes have been paid to much-loved Harrogate RUFC stalwart Graham Siswick following his sudden death, aged 70.
The club’s first team manager sadly passed away on Wednesday following a short battle with cancer.
Dave Doherty, ‘Gate’s director of rugby, described a man known to many as ‘Sizzy’ as “the best bloke you will ever meet.”
He added: “This is a huge loss, Graham is irreplacable, not just at the club, but as a human being. The high regard that he was held in by so many is testament to what a wonderful man he was.
“He did an incredible amount of work for Harrogate RUFC but away from here he was a decicated husband and father who did so much good for his church and in the local community.
“I can honestly say that I am honoured to have had the chance to work alongside him over the last two years.”
Mr Siswick, who is survived by his wife Jennifer and daughter Deborah, lived in Wetherby before relocating more recently to Harrogate.
After his ‘Gate playing career ended, he assumed the role of 1st XV manager and remained in it for more than a quarter of a century.
He also acted as club chairman on two separate occasions and managed the Yorkshire rugby union team for a decade.
“The players here recognised that Graham genuinely cared about them,” Mr Doherty added.
“He went over and above in terms of the way he looked after them and kept working for the club even up until the last few days of his life.
“He’s touched generations of members here and we’ll never be able to replace him.”
Numerous tributes have also been paid to Mr Siswick on social media.
Ex-’Gate player Sam Bottomley Tweeted: ‘A great man who will be truly missed! Epitomizes what Harrogate Rugby Club is about, true club legend!!’
Ian Hopper added: ‘Very sad news. Sizzy will be sorely missed at the club, and rugby in general has lost one of its great men. RIP.’