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RL legend dies after long illness


A MAN widely regarded as the cornerstone of the first Warrington Championship side in 1947-48 has died after a lengthy illness.
Bob Ryan, a member of the Warrington RLFC Hall of Fame, made 372 appearances for Warrington and scored 37 tries in a 13-season career at Wilderspool.
He earned five Great Britain caps, two for England and was selected to play for Lancashire on four occasions.
Bob Ryan was signed from Ince Rovers in the first post-war season, and made his debut at Broughton Rangers in a 12-19 defeat, in October 1945.
For the 5ft 9in, 13st 10lb second row however, good times were on their way, as he became the cornerstone of the first Warrington Championship side in 1947/48.
Bob and team-mate Jim Featherstone were selected to tour in 1950 and missed out on the Wembley triumph.
He made his Great Britain Test debut on a quagmired Sydney Cricket Ground in a 6-4 victory.
The 1953/54 campaign saw Ryan at loose forward as Warrington achieved the Challenge Cup and Championship double. He was also in the last Championship winning side, as Oldham were defeated 7-3 on a rainy day at Maine Road in 1955.
His final game, in March 1958, was a Challenge Cup quarter final tie at Workington. The Cumbrians threw everything at the Wire including the weather, as the pack held until late on, only to lose 0-11.
At the Odsal Reunion in 2004, Bob showed everyone the strength and determination that had characterised him during his career.


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Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

1 Comment

  1. I am very sorry to learn of Bob Ryan’s passing. I’m sure that Bob will be missed by all that knew him both as a person and as one of the greatest second row forwards of his time. Indeed when he and Harry partnered one another in the second row they seem to play and think as one and in my humble opinion were the greatest second row pair at that time.

    As it has been many years since meeting with the family my thoughts are with you all

    at this time, I have always admired Bob both as a person and sportsman.

    Sincerely, Gwen Bath

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