Bridlington RUFC made an emotional return to Keighley on Saturday for the first time since they lost a much-loved club member at the West Yorkshire ground.
On the club’s last visit two years ago, Barry “Bathman” Tranmer died while the team went through their warm up procedures.
That day, the officials gave the players the opportunity to postpone the game, but the players at the time, decided to continue with the game, as they believed it was what Barry would have wanted, running out victorious by a single point.
Last weekend, the Bridlington squad asked the referee and the Keighley officials if they could observe a minutes silence before the game and to lay flowers on the pitch following the game.
Captain Ali Sutton, who was also a member of the team two years ago, said: “Most of the team had known Barry for many years, as we came up through the youth sides to reach senior rugby.”
The players had discussed making a tribute at training last week, and they also dedicated Saturday’s 19-13 win to him.
“The lads wanted to put in a good performance for him, it was a really tough game, but the lads dug in to secure another win for Barry.
“We then went between the posts at the end, in a huddle for our own minute of silence, with the flowers laid in the middle,” said Sutton.
Players discussed their memories of Barry, who would always have the bath ready for them, at the end of a game or after a hard training session.
After retiring from his duties at the club, Barry was still a keen supporter of the club and a good influence on the players, going to almost all the games, home or away, and always sitting in the front seat of the bus, so he was the first one everyone saw as they boarded for the journey home.
Head coach Rich Girking said: “It is strange how the fixture list does things like this but it was almost two years to the day since Barry died when we returned to Keighley.
“All the lads had a lot of respect for Barry.
“He was a top bloke and had been a good member of the club for a number of years and it goes to show the spirit that exists in rugby union.”