Dave Chisnall, a straight talker with a lovely nature say Kelly and Murphy (From Warrington Guardian)
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Dave Chisnall, a straight talker with a lovely nature say fellow Warrington Wolves greats Ken Kelly and Alex Murphy
FAMILY, friends and the rugby league community say farewell to Dave Chisnall at his funeral tomorrow.
Chissie, a member of Warrington’s conquering 1973/74 squad, died on Thursday, January 10, aged 64, from cancer.
He made nearly 600 appearances for eight clubs, Lancashire, England and Great Britain between 1967 and 1985, including 210 for Warrington during his most successful playing spell.
But the colourful character made his mark off the field, too.
Ken Kelly, who was captain during Chissie’s second spell at Wilderspool, paid tribute to his close pal.
“I first met Dave over 40 years ago when he was at Leigh and I was at St Helens,” said Kelly, aged 60.
“We just hit it off and clicked.
“What I most liked about him was that he was straight to the point, he’d tell you how it was.
“We had rows like any other married couple but we always got over them. I’m made up I knew him for so long.”
Kelly, who featured in 301 Warrington matches between seasons 1976/77 and 1986/87, recalled times they shared.
A 16-0 cup success in October, 1982, was a stand-out memory.
“Dave was on the bench for the Lancashire Cup Final against St Helens at Wigan,” he said.
“As soon as he got on the field he had a go at Harry Pinner to put him off his game. He knew all the tricks.”
Their rugby connection continued after Warrington.
“When he went to Runcorn (Highfield) as coach he asked me for some help,” he said.
“I remember the first game of the season was away to Carlisle.
“It was the day before my 37th birthday, I was two stones overweight and Dave said just go out there and organise, spray the ball about.
“But it was a red-hot day and I told him at half time that I could hardly breathe. He just said I’d be all right – it’ll do you good!”
Alex Murphy, who signed Chissie for Leigh and then brought him to Warrington, saw qualities in Chissie to make him his assistant coach at St Helens and Leigh.
“He had a good temperament as a coach – he could handle people and had a lovely nature,” said the 73-year-old.
“It is very sad. The poor lad has had a bad time and suffered, but he fought it to the end.
“He will be giving advice from up there now and wagging that finger at Eric Clay (referee). He will be sadly missed.”
He leaves behind wife Carol, sons Lee and Phil, daughters Jeanette and Michelle, as well as seven grandchildren.
The funeral takes place at St Helens Parish Church, Church Square, WA10 1AF, on Thursday at 11am.