Tributes paid to former Wakefield Trinity and Castleford Tigers player Dave Sampson
Former Wakefield Trinity and Castleford Tigers player Dave Sampson has died aged 76.
Mr Sampson also appeared 279 times for Bramley, coached at Castleford, was a popular publican and a published author.
His pubs included Sampson’s Free House, the Travellers in Stanley, and The Ship on Lee Moor Road.
Hundreds of messages of condolence have been posted since the announcement.
Daughter Rebecca Sampson said: “The family would like to thank everyone for all the lovely comments we have received.”
Passing on his condolences to the family Castleford Tigers Supporters Club Secretary Paul Burns-Williamson said: “On behalf of the CTSC can I pass on our deepest condolences for the sad loss of your father.
“Our thoughts are with you, your family and the friends of Dave at this very sad time.”
He was capped for England at Wakefield’s Belle Vue ground, playing against France in May 1963.
He retired from playing, by this point at Castleford in early 1980.
He became part of the coaching staff that led Castleford to win the 1986 Challenge Cup at Wembley.
Wakefield Trinity posted a tribute to Mr Sampson – ‘another of its 1960s heroes’. The club said: “He looked back on his Trinity days, which brought 26 games and ten tries in three seasons with fond memories.
“He was always proud of playing for his hometown team, alongside his brother (Malcolm) at a time when the club were one of the best in the league.
“It was a difficult first team to squeeze into with Neil Fox at left centre and tough colleagues in Willis Rushton and Tony Thomas.” Mr Fox remains the sport’s all time top scorer.
Trinity added: “A larger-than-life character, he never left his village of Stanley and returned to play and coach Stanley Rangers well into his 40s.
“Twenty years ago, he wrote his first book, the first of many, and if you want to know about the life and times of David and his family, have a read of Fast Lane to Shangri-La.”
His funeral is on August 6, 10am at Wakefield Cathedral, followed by a service at Stanley Cemetery at 11am, and the wake is at Stanley Rangers Sports Club after. There are no restrictions on attendance.
People can donate in his memory to a liver disease organisation and to Wakefield Talking Newspaper via John Bell at Arthur Bell’s Funeral Directors on 01924 822281
Mr Sampson leaves wife Mavis, children Dean, Jonathan, Rebecca, grandchildren Olivia, Joseph, Mason, Evie and Isla, and great grandchildren Billy and Bleu.
Readers paid their tributes to Dave Sampson online.
Sara Simpson said: “Really sad news, sorry to hear this, condolences to the family.”
Mark Rudd said: “He was a legend. Always spoke to Cas fans on these sites. Shocking news.”
Veeks Utu Solomona said: “He was such a lovely man. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all during this sad time.”
Malcolm West said: “Condolences to his family and friends. He was a true RL lad.”Derek Whale said: “Great player and coach for Cas. Had some great nights in his pub, will be sadly missed.”
Debra Pryor said: “Another legend taken far too soon.”