Former players’ ‘guard of honour’ tribute to a brave dad

FAREWELL: Jaymie is applauded off the pitch
FAREWELL: Jaymie is applauded off the pitch
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The funeral of a former amateur rugby league player who lost his brave battle against cancer will take place today.

Jaymie Smith, 40, turned out in the forwards for Adlington Rangers ARLFC for a number of years.

There’s a part of him, with his combative nature, where you felt like a stronger team with him in it. If he was in the team it put a smile on your face. He will be sadly missed

Martin Rogers

In March, Jaymie’s wish to have one last game of rugby with his old team mates was made possible when friends organised a special charity match for him.

Chisnall playing fields, Coppull - home to Chorley Panthers ARLFC - was the venue for the first annual ‘Biff for Smith’ challenge. Jaymie was applauded off the pitch after the game.

Friend Martin Rogers, who played on the day, said: “I played rugby alongside him for a number of years. He played for about eight years. I played there 22 years myself.”

Martin said Jaymie loved his rugby league and was a reliable team mate.

“He really did. He saw it differently to most people. There’s a part of him, with his combative nature, where you felt like a stronger team with him in it. If he was in the team it put a smile on your face. He will be sadly missed, I think the number of people who turned out for the match is testament to that.”

Jaymie, who leaves three sons and a partner Vicky, came from Horwich and lived in Blackrod.

The funeral will be held at Overdale Cemetery, Bolton, at 2pm. Former players will wear their rugby tops and line up in guard of honour style as Jaymie’s coffin is carried into the service. A request has been made to send donations to Christies and Cancer Research instead of flowers. A Just Giving page called Biff for Smith has been set up.

Leave your tributes to Jaymie in the comments area below.