CRICKET AND RUGBY CLUBS UNITE TO REMEMBER RUSS
Two local sports clubs will unite this week to pay tribute and celebrate the life of Russ Brennan, who served both sides with distinction for many years.
Russ sadly lost his battle with a rare form of cancer at the end of March, having fought the disease for over a year and undergoing several rounds of treatment, including a bone marrow transplant. He had previously beaten the same condition some 15 years previously.
As a member of Ormskirk Rugby Club and Hightown St. Mary's Cricket Club, Russ, who lived in Ainsdale, notched up more than 40 years of service on and off the field. At Ormskirk he was initially a 1st XV regular, playing at centre, and went on captain the 2nd, 3rd and 4th XV in later years. He also served as Chairman of rugby, Fixture Secretary and was made an honorary life member by the club in 2013.
At Hightown, Russ captained both 2nd and 3rd XIs and was instrumental in bringing many young players through the ranks and introducing them to senior cricket. As an all-rounder, he scored almost 2,000 runs and chipped in with regular wickets throughout his career.
Last year a number of fundraising events, including charity rugby and cricket matches and the successful completion of the 24 hour three peak challenge by players from both clubs, all helped to raise almost £10,000 for the two cancer charities that supported Russ throughout his illness: The R Charity (Royal Liverpool Hospital) and Anthony Nolan.
Chris Scrine, President of the Hightown Club, said: “Russ was a competitor on the field, a true gentleman off it and a great friend and servant of the club. As captain, his ethos of focusing on youth, as the future of the club, meant he was held in extremely high regard by so many of our junior players, whose cricketing careers he helped to nurture and develop.
“Last year’s fundraising efforts were testament to just how highly regarded he is and he will be missed hugely by us all.”
Nick Jacobs, President at Ormskirk Rugby Club commented: “For almost three decades Russ graced our club both as a player and club official. In recognition of the massive contribution he made on and off the pitch he was awarded Honorary Life Membership two years ago. For many Russ was ‘Mr Ormskirk Rugby’. He is missed dearly but will never be forgotten.”
Russ’s funeral will be held at Southport Crematorium on Friday 10th April at 3.20pm. Anyone wishing to make donations can do so via Gibb’s undertakers, Southport, with monies raised going to the R Charity (Royal Liverpool Hospital) and Anthony Nolan.