FORMER Leigh Rugby League player and pub landlord Malcolm Yates, has died, aged 39.

Big Malcolm, of Bangor Fold, Leigh, married for the second time only 10 weeks-ago in Barbados.

A popular, larger-than-life figure around town, he collapsed and died on Saturday.

He played 65 games as prop forward for his home town club from 1977-80. During his spell with neighbouring Salford he scored 19 tries in a season - still a record for a prop.

Malcolm was a well known figure in the town as licensee of the Leigh Arms, King Street.

He started playing rugby while a pupil at St Thomas' Primary School, and later at Manchester Road School, where he was chosen to play for Lancashire Schoolboys.

He also played for Warrington.

His wife Andrea, 29, is a nurse in Wigan. He also leaves two children from his first marriage and a step-daughter.

His dad, Clifford, commented:"This has come as a complete shock for the whole family. It hasn't sunk in yet. He was really happy after getting married in December and had just moved into a new home.

"He may only have had a short life, but he lived it to the full."

The coroner has been informed.

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