Please register for free to leave your comments in the 'Your Say' box below.

Readers can also discuss this story in the forum by CLICKING HERE.

Alternatively CLICK HERE to email us

A RECORD-breaking rugby player who lived in Knutsford has died aged 82 after suffering a stroke.

The funeral of Bernard Ganley, a former Great Britain, Lancashire and Oldham full-back, will take place at noon today, Wednesday, at St Vincent’s Church.

Last week his son, Alex, said the ex-rugby league star had died after battling Alzheimer’s disease for eight years and suffering a stroke last month.

“He was a super fit guy and probably would have gone on for a lot longer if he hadn’t suffered the stroke,” he said.

“He used to keep himself in shape, despite Alzheimer’s taking hold of his memory, and he was still in pretty good spirits and an active guy.”

Mr Ganley was a key player of the famous Oldham side of the 1950s.

He signed from amateur club Leigh Spinners in 1950 and made his first team debut against Liverpool Stanley in 1951.

The sportsman went on to play 341 matches for the club and kicked 1,358 goals.

He made it into the Guinness Book of Records as the first rugby league goal-kicker to get more than 200 goals in a season with 219 in 1957/58.

Also, his 14 goals against Liverpool in 1959 is still a club record and his 10 goals for Great Britain against France in 1957 equalled Lewis Jones’ international record.

“He had a very full, fascinating and interesting life and lived it to the full. I’m really proud of him,” said Alex.

Mr Ganley retired from playing in 1961 and lived in Great Budworth.

He became a TV and radio presenter.

But in 2001 Mr Ganley was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and then moved to Mere Court in Knutsford.

Alex said his father had enjoyed his eight years in the town.

“People in Knutsford really looked after him,” he said.

“Even just walking about in town with him, people would come up and chat to him. It was really great.”

Mr Ganley suffered a stroke earlier last month and passed away on June 26.

“There’s going to be a massive hole in our lives, but hopefully he’s gone to a better place,” said Alex.

Donations can be made to Cardiac Risk in the Young in memory of Bernard’s youngest son James, a talented footballer who died of heart failure in 1998 aged 22.