Tributes paid to rugby league legend ‘Budgie’

030107   in B1   1/1/03     pics AH' Albert Firth, landlord of the Albert pub on North Street, with the bar collection bootle for St Catherines Hospice which is nearly full of coins worth around �200 to be donated.
030107 in B1 1/1/03 pics AH' Albert Firth, landlord of the Albert pub on North Street, with the bar collection bootle for St Catherines Hospice which is nearly full of coins worth around �200 to be donated.
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Former Scarborough publican and rugby leagye 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 Wakefield 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 disease on Monday last week.

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 in North Street.

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.”

Trinity historian Lee Robinson said: “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 today.

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