‘An absolute hero’: York sporting legend dies of coronavirus, aged 59

6 Dec 2020 @ 3.43 pm
| News

York rugby league legend Geoff Pryce has died of coronavirus. He was 59.

York City Knights revealed the sad news on its website.

Born in Bradford, Geoff Pryce was one of the first players to be honoured in the York Rugby League Hall of Fame.

He is the fourth highest try scorer in the 152 year history of York rugby league.

Described by the Knights as “a true one club man”, he made his York debut in December 1980 and played a total of 286 games, with his last appearance in April 1993.

In that time he scored 101 tries. He was a member of the York Wasps side that gained promotion 1981 and 1986 and was a member of the side that reached the semi-finals of the 1984 Challenge Cup.

The club said: “Best known for his tremendous strength, he was a strong runner, often taking several tacklers to stop him.

“He played on the wing, in the pack and everywhere in between throughout his time at York. His style of play – along with his approachable nature and huge smile – made him a fans’ favourite.”

‘He left nothing out there’

Photograph: York City Knights

Knights chairman Jon Flatman offered his sympathy to Geoff’s wife Kay and his family. “He will be sorely missed by everyone at York City Knights and the York rugby league community that he served and supported so well for so many years.

“Geoff is part of the fabric of York rugby league, and we will make sure that we will honour his memory in a suitable way when we can all be together once again.”

Knights honorary club president John Stabler added: “My memories of Geoff are all good. He was an absolute joy, a great sense of humour and just a loveable man.

“My early memories of Geoff were as a barnstorming winger who had both pace and strength in abundance. There was a buzz in the crowd when the ball went out to his wing.

“When he moved into the 2nd row he combined those block busting runs with an ability to tackle anything that moved for the full 80 minutes. He left nothing out there.

“An absolute hero, we will never forget him. When all this state of affairs is over we must pay tribute to the great man in a fitting way.”

Pryce was guest of honour at the Knights opening game of the 2018 title-winning season against Bradford Bulls, where he delivered the match ball in front of over 4,000 adoring fans. He also led the team out at Toronto Wolfpack in 2019.