Saints chiefs pay tribute to stalwart fan

Ray Gent
Ray Gent
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Saints chiefs have paid tribute to a devoted fan who was pronounced dead after being rescued from a St Helens lake.

Author Ray Gent, of Up Holland Road, Billinge, was discovered at Carr Mill Dam by emergency teams shortly after he had been reported missing.

He was pronounced dead at the scene and an inquest into the underlying cause of his death has been opened and adjourned.

No medical cause of death has yet been returned.

A devoted Saints fan, the 66-year-old hit the headlines in the early 2000s when his campaign for better coverage of rugby league in the national press received widespread support.

Then Saints coach Ian Millward and most of his players added their backing.

Skipper Chris Joynt, vice-captain Paul Sculthorpe, Keiron Cunningham, Anthony Sullivan and Aussies Peter Shiels and Dave Fairleigh were among those to sign his 30,000-signature petition - which he ended up handing in at Westminster.

In a brief statement, a Saints spokesman said: “All at Saints pass on our deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

“Ray was a stalwart of rugby league who will be sadly missed.”