Tributes paid to one of Wakefield Trinity’s legends Albert ‘Budgie’ Firth

Albert Firth.
Albert Firth.

Wakefield Trinity legend Albert ‘Budgie’ Firth has died after a long illness, aged 77.

Mr Firth was a talented second row and prop, who played 217 times for Trinity.

He was part of the club’s most successful era, winning the Challenge Cup in 1960 and repeating the success two years later.

Mr Firth also won two Yorkshire Cup winners medals and three Yorkshire League Championships.

He lost his battle with multiple system atrophy (MSA) disease on Monday.

His wife Carol said: “He was the most remarkable and strong man I have ever met.

“Albert was loved by so many people and will be remembered by lots of people.”

Mr Firth, born in Stanley, signed for Trinity aged 16.

He played for the club between 1954 and 1962,and is one of the youngest forwards to debut in a Trinity shirt.

After spells at York and Leeds, he moved to Scarborough with his wife Carol, where they ran a number of pubs including The Angel Inn.

Mr Firth dedicated a wall in the pub to Trinity by hanging up photos and memorabilia of the club’s cup-winning team.

His wife said: “He was visited from players and people who knew him all the time.

“Even the footballers from Scarborough would come and see him. He was a very popular man.”

Mr Firth lost his three year battle with MSA – a neurodegenerative disorder that causes problems with movement, balance and the automatic functions of the body.

Trinity historian Lee Robinson said: “Wakefield Trinity Wildcats are sad to learn of the loss of one their former greats Albert Firth.

“Budgie, as he was known to all at Belle Vue, was part of the ‘pack of greats’ in the glory years of the early 1960s.

“The club’s thoughts are with the Firth family at this time.”

Mr Firth leaves behind his wife Carol and step-daughter Debbie Rowe.

A funeral service will be held at St Mary’s Church in Scarborough at 2pm on Thursday, January 15.

The family has asked for flowers only and any donations should be made to St Catherine’s Hospice.

Albert Firth learned his trade with the Wakefield Schools rugby league team before signing for Wakefield Trinity.

He scored 70 tries in 217 appearances for Trinity, a record that puts him sixth in the top scoring forwards in the club’s history.

He also earned three Yorkshire County caps and was selected in the 1962 Great Britain squad, but did not make the full team.