AN EVERGREEN sportsman who played rugby until he was in his fifties has died, aged 78.

Don Shawcross, of Devonshire Road, Atherton is well remembered for kicking 1,000 goals for Astley & Tyldesley Collieries ARLFC but he began his sporting life keeping goal for Atherton Town FC.

He moved to Hyde United and became a soccer pro at Chesterfield.

At 23 the former Westleighite turned to amateur rugby league and helped A and T into a first round RL Challenge Cup appearance against York. Retired colliery worker Don also represented Lancashire Miners' rugby league side.

His 13-a-side career came to an end when the Gin Pit-based A and T side folded in the 1970s but he continued to play rugby union for Tyldesley until he was 52.

He leaves behind a wife, Connie, five daughters and a son.

The funeral is on Friday at 11am at Howe Bridge Crematorium.