‘An utterly extraordinary and selfless human being’

Steve Prescott
Steve Prescott

Leading figures from across the sporting and political world have come together to pay tribute to Steve Prescott.

The ex-St Helens and Great Britain full back and married dad of two died on Saturday after a seven-year battle with a rare type of stomach cancer. He was 39.

Given just months to live when he was diagnosed in 2006, he went on to stun medics by undertaking a string of gruelling endurance events to raise money for the foundation founded in his name.

A book of condolence was opened at Langtree Park next to his Hall of Fame inductee profile, while council chiefs say the Union Flag will at half-mast until his funeral, which will take place at St Mary’s, Lowe House Church at 11am on Monday, November 18.

Saints chairman Eamonn McManus hailed the former Saint as an “utterly extraordinary and selfless human being”.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Steve’s family, in particular his wife Linzi, and young sons Koby and Taylor, at this extremely sad time,” said Mr McManus.

“He was not merely a great rugby player, he was a truly magnificent person and a proud son of St Helens who we were all blessed to have known and whose memory and lasting legacy we will always cherish.”

Council leader Barrie Grunewald called Prescott “a true role model”.

“Steve’s passion and commitment to St Helens always shone through,” said Coun Grunewald. “I know he was incredibly proud of our town. He was not only brave and courageous, but so inspirational to many people.”

“St Helens has lost a courageous fighter who never gave up believing he could beat this wicked illness.”

St Helens mayor Andy Bowden added: “I was so sad to hear that Steve Prescott has passed away. My thoughts are with his family and friends. Steve was a fantastic ambassador for St Helens, a tremendous role model and an inspiration to everyone.”

And RFL boss Nigel Wood said: “The word ‘hero’ is overused in sport but Steve was just that: a role model for every young Rugby League player during his distinguished playing career and an absolute inspiration to all.”