A HOMEGROWN Warrington Wolves centre and great-grandfather has died three months shy of his 65th wedding anniversary.

Penketh resident and former Capper Neill and Laporte employee Ron Herbert, who featured over 40 times across eight seasons for The Wire alongside the likes of Brian Bevan and Gerry Helme in the 1950s, died on Good Friday at the Countess of Chester Hospital.

He would have turned 88 this coming Monday.

Ex-Crosfields amateur Ron, a former pupil of Bolton Council and Boteler Grammar schools in Latchford, attracted attention from Warrington RLFC because of his blistering speed.

Living in Reynolds Street at the time, he ran for Lancashire Schoolboys and won the running mile in 1947 at Boteler.

He scored two tries on his Wire debut, coming nine days after his 18th birthday as left centre to Albert Johnson in a 19-0 win at Salford on April 21, 1951.

His last appearance came as a winger to Laurie Gilfedder in a 12-8 loss at Leeds on January 25, 1958.

In all, he pulled on the Wire first-team shirt 41 times - mostly as a centre - and touched down on 20 occasions, including a hat-trick against Bradford at Odsal on April 23, 1953.

Ron dislocated his shoulder several times and needed an operation which ended a rugby career he had shared alongside some of rugby league's all-time greats in a strong Wire era.

He played centre to the Bevan brothers, Brian and Owen, on numerous occasions.

And among the games he played on the wing he had The Wire's last Championship-winning captain Albert Naughton as his centre.

Ron was proud of his rugby league career and shared anecdotes with his family and friends, including about the world's record try scorer Brian Bevan.

He shared a room with the Australian wing wizard for an away game and when Ron returned to the room in the evening 'Bev' was asleep with his pillow and Ron’s. So Ron slept without one as he did not want to disturb him.

He would always say that Bevan did not have a drink the night before a match and would get an early night!

Ron would also remark how the team's physio spent so long bandaging Bevan before matches that the other players did not get a look in!

He became a draughtsman at Hanson and Edwards and later a petrochemical engineer at Capper Neill and Laporte, travelling the world with his job.

Ron leaves his wife, Alma, sons Ron Jnr and Neil, daughter-in-laws Anne and Julie, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

His funeral will take place at Walton Lea Crematorium on Friday, April 23, at 12.20pm.