Rugby league world mourning death of Michael

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THE rugby union circles in St Helens are mourning the death of Michael Allen - who made the right flank his own at Red Rocks from 1976-95, writes Denis Whittle.

But his family’s love of the union game will continue to live on through Mike’s son, Ethan, who is an up and coming player at Aviva Premiership side Sale Sharks.

Michael Allen sadly passed away at his Prescot home last week at the age of 54, following a brave battle against a brain tumour.

Standing 5ft 10ins tall and tipping the scales at 12 stone, Mike was always ideally built for the wing.

And it was a position which he highlighted with countless breathtaking tries, boosting his overall tally to record proportions.

Highly personable Allen often shared dressing room pegs with some of West Park’s most successful teams.

He played alongside the likes of fellow backs Rob Briers, Bill Lawrenson, Joe McCormack, and brothers Stephen and Tony Mousdale.

Up front in the “engine room” were forwards like Malcolm Worsley and Tony Ward - who both captained the side - county cap Barry Barton and charismatic hooker Bernard ‘Bonk’ Barrow.

Off the field, legendary Tony Greenall ruled the roost as chairman and Billy Bold, of copperplate handwriting and briar clenched between his teeth, was secretary.

The onerous press duties were entrusted to yours truly!

But Michael Allen’s commitment to the West Park cause remained constant for years after he finally hung up his boots following a 19-year career.

He went on to coach the under 15s side and, as the owner of the Star Value superstore in St Helens town centre, he also acted as club sponsor.

His funeral is set to take place at Prescot Parish Church at midday this Friday (January 25).

The service will be followed by a wake at the Victoria Hotel in Prescot.

No doubt a glass or two will be raised in memory of a wing icon whose name will continue to be etched into Red Rocks folklore.