LEEDS RHINOS players will wear black armbands during tomorrow’s home game against Wakefield Trinity as a mark of respect for former ‘A’ team and assistant first-team coach Norman Smith, who has died following a brain haemorrhage, aged 69.
Born in Kirkstall, Smith was Leeds’ ‘A’ team coach under Maurice Bamford and became assistant-boss when David Ward took over the reins in 1989.
He was also closely associated with the Dewsbury and Milford clubs, having spells as a player and coach at both.
Leeds legend Garry Schofield was at Leeds during Smith’s time there.
He said: “He was a great character and an excellent coach.”
Former Leeds scrum-half Gavin Brown, who is now on the coaching staff at Milford, said: “Norman was a great bloke.
“It is a sad loss for our club and rugby league in general.”
Milford are inviting former players to join them on the pitch for a minute’s silence before Saturday’s home derby against Hunslet Warriors in the National Conference League.
Wakefield are in mourning for former scrum-half Keith Holliday, who played in their three Wembley wins in the 1960s – scoring two tries against Hull in 1960 – and is sixth on the club’s all-time list of appearances.
He played 438 times for Wakefield from 1952-66 and later had a spell as player-coach at Bramley.