EX-PROFESSIONAL rugby league player Alan Rathbone has died.

Rathbone, aged 57, played two seasons for his hometown club Warrington after spells with Rochdale Hornets, Leigh and Bradford Northern.

The second-rower or loose-forward, who had the nicknames ‘Action’ and ‘Rambo’, made five appearances for Great Britain while at Bradford.

Rathbone, who grew up in the Bewsey area and represented Warrington Schoolboys, was renowned as a hard man within the tough high-collision sport.

The Wire signed him from Bradford in June, 1985, and Rathbone went on to make 33 appearances in primrose and blue before playing his last game for the club in April, 1987.

During that time, he featured in Warrington’s 34-8 Lancashire Cup Final defeat to Wigan at Knowsley Road in 1985. He was sent off for a late tackle on ex-Wire loose-forward Ian Potter.

Rathbone was a substitute in the 18-4 John Player Trophy Final loss to Wigan at Bolton Wanderers’ Burnden Park ground in January, 1987.

Then living in Westbrook, he told the Guardian in an interview in 2007 how, after his career had finished, he had suffered badly with arthritis as a result of all the injuries he suffered from playing the sport.