'No more thrilling sight in Rugby League' - Tributes paid to Featherstone Rovers star Steve Evans

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“Steve Evans was one of the most talented players to ever wear the Featherstone Rovers jersey.”

These words by Terry Jones, club secretary at Rovers after Evans made his debut in 1976, have been echoed by many since the talented former player’s death earlier this month.

And tributes have been paid to the Rovers stalwart from across the rugby league world. The Express understands he died suddenly whilst on holiday, at the age of just 59.

Evans, who attended Normanton Grammar School, joined Rovers from the club’s junior academy.

In his six years there, he made 140 appearances, scoring 76 tries. He helped the team win the First Division Championship in 1977 - and was named player of the year in 1978-79.

Mr Jones said: “There was no more thrilling sight in Rugby League than to see Steve Evans in full flow.

“He was an elegant player, with natural pace, swerve, and a brilliant side step.

“His was an extremely impressive legacy for which he will always be remembered.”

By the age of 19, Evans was already playing at a representative level for Yorkshire and England. He was also captain for the Great Britain under 18s side whilst still at school.

And in 1982, Hull FC paid a £70,000 transfer fee for the talented three quarter.

Keith Bell, former Rovers teammate, said: “He came on to the scene as an 18-year-old and took the game by storm. He was a young fresh face, with lots of pace, and used to score tries for fun.

“He was a Featherstone lad through and through and loved playing for his club.”

Evans made 166 appearances for Hull, including when he played for the team against Rovers in the 1983 Challenge Cup Final at Wembley.

He later enjoyed stints with Wakefield and Sheffield, before returning to Featherstone as club chairman in 2004, after retiring from the game.

He served at the helm for two years, and helped to get Featherstone Lions and Rovers working more closely together.

Featherstone councillor and Rovers fan Maureen Tennant-King, who knew Evans and his family from a young age, said: “He was a great rugby player and scored some fantastic tries. He was approachable. He always had time for you. He will be sorely missed.”

His funeral will take place on Tuesday, October 10. It will be held at St Giles Church on Market Place in Pontefract at 11.15am. Club members and fans are all welcome to attend.

Steve Evans. Picture by Phil Dawes, courtesy of Hull Daily Mail.