Funeral held for Saints commentator Ron Hoofe

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Characters are few and far between in this day and age - and St Helens have lost another of its most charismatic figures following the death of Ron Hoofe, who funeral was held this week, at the age of 70.

Everyone in town knew Ron from his days as a bus driver, always smiling and joking with his customers.

He was also a die-hard Saints’ fan and in the early days of video technology his commentaries of club matches were legendary - even if on some occasions the language turned a little blue!

Historian Alex Service, quite rightly, dubbed him the Voice of St Helens Rugby League on the club news line.

Alex said: “For more than a decade, you could hear his distinctive tones in every self-respecting pub and club in the town the week after the match.

“At the end of the day, it was always his love and enjoyment of the game that he portrayed with such infectious enthusiasm and an often wicked – yet never demeaning – sense of humour.

“He was a real one off, a larger-than-life character, with his wit and banter honed by years of driving buses around the St. Helens and the Merseyside region.

“Ron began his stint with the microphone in the mid-1980s, with Brian Peers on camera and continued well into the new millennium.

“His commentaries highlighted an era when the Saints tried desperately to get one over on their deadly rivals from the other side of Billinge Lump.”