'True gent' of grassroots Rugby League in Wakefield passes away after contracting coronavirus

Tributes have been flooding in for a 'true gent' of grassroots rugby league who died this morning after contracting the coronavirus.

Tuesday, 14th April 2020, 4:03 pm
Dave Roberts sadly died this morning.

Dave Roberts, who was the chairman of Eastmoor Dragons, was admitted to Pinderfields Hospital several weeks ago and passed away in the early hours of today.

The married father-of-two was 62-years-old.

The Woodhouse Road club released a statement on social media this morning saying: "It is with great sadness that we have to announce the passing of Dave Roberts, club chairman at the club. He was a great character and a huge part of the club .

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"The Dragons family have lost a true friend and gent."

Dragons committee member James Ganley, who had known Mr Roberts for 25 years, said: "He was my first coach and everyone in Eastmoor knew Dave.

"Nobody had anything untoward to say about him. He was a great guy, friend and coach.

"He played for the club when he was young but had a career-ending injury and has done every job in the club since then.

"He was well known and well respected in the Rugby League community.

"He is known as Mr Eastmoor and I think that's a fair description.

"For me he will be remembered for what he has done for armies of young men, and to some extent young women, in the community.

"I don't think you can measure how much he will be missed. A lot of us are just still in shock."

Messages from clubs and others connected to the sport have also been posted this morning.

Ossett Trinity Tigers sent out a Tweet that reads: "Our condolences to @EastmoorARLFCOA at the passing of Dave Roberts, who sadly passed away after suffering with Covid-19. Dave gave so much to the game from Eastmoor Dragons to GB Barla."

Mirfield Stags added: "Mirfield Stags are saddened to hear the news this morning at the passing of Eastmoor Rugby League stalwart and true gent Dave Roberts.

"Dave did so much for Rugby League and his beloved Eastmoor club.

Rugby League fan David Raybould said: "Awful news. I had lots of dealings with Dave over the years he was a salt of the earth guy who did lots of great work for the sport."

Rugby League coach Jo Phillips also said: "Spoke to Dave on a couple of occasions, always so warm and passionate about Rugby League."