WARRINGTON Rugby Union Club have paid tribute to one of their much-loved volunteers Mike Malley.

He died, aged 51, in Broadgreen Hospital, Liverpool, after a short illness and his funeral has been arranged to take place on Wednesday, March 15.

Mike, a director of Wirehouse Employer Services at the St James Business Centre, Wilderspool Causeway, has been described as the 'heartbeat' of one of the club's successful colts sides.

A statement on the club's website reads: "Mike's son, Joe, played for last year's senior colts age group and Mike had been team manager since micros.

"Helping with fixtures, writing match reports and sponsoring the team through his company, Wirehouse, he truly was the team's heartbeat.

"With age, the team became extremely successful, winning league leaders trophies, three Lancashire Cups and countless tournaments including a sevens tournament in Leicester.

"Tours to Isle of Man and trips to Twickenham and Wembley; none of which would have been possible without Mike's drive, organisation, communication and that rare ability to just get on well with people.

"As happens through rugby, Mike and his wife Claire became close friends with a group of rugby parents and enjoyed many fantastic holidays, weekends away and wonderful times together.

"Mike was always at the forefront of any game, night out or weekend away and truly lived life to the full.

"He had a positive effect on everyone he met and whilst we'll all miss him terribly our lives are so much richer for having known him."

Mikes’s funeral will take place at Walton Lea Crematorium on Wednesday, March 15, at 2pm, and afterwards family and friends will gather at Warrington Sports Club, Walton Lea Road, WA4 6SJ.

A JustGiving page in Mike's memory has already raised close to £1,500 with all donations to go to Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital. The family would welcome more donations.