A dedicated local rugby coach who pioneered woman's touch rugby sessions has sadly passed away.

Tributes have been paid to Wirral RFU's Brendan Bailey from Spital, who has died at the age of 74.

A statement on the Cheshire RFU website explained his significant involvement with the association.

He first became involved with Cheshire RFU in the mid 1990’s as the assistant coach to the County U19 Colts. He was involved with Wirral, Cheshire and the then Wirral Rugby Development Group that was chaired by Wirral BC.

Described as someone renowned for getting things done, Brendan was also endlessly enthusiastic and a huge influencer of other volunteers.

He pushed people along in the Wirral Floodlit Cup organisation. He worked with the council and the RFU over the World Cup Message Ball (1999 World Cup) and again with the World Cup Tour in 2003/4.

Brendan looked after the West U15 District side from 2000 for more than 13 years. He was team manager, coach and organised the venues and officials. He was instrumental in contacting and encouraging new coaches.

His significant efforts contributed to the success of the County U15 & U16 squad of which he was part. He later became the team manager of the County U16 Squad a position he held for the last few years.

One of his proudest achievements was setting up and administering the Ladies midweek rugby sessions at Wirral RFC and later got involved in organising and promoting women’s rugby within the wider Wirral area.

He was immensely proud of the summer touch league he created. He also gave his time freely coaching the younger years at Wirral Grammar School.

Brendan's involvement with Wirral RFC stretches back as far as 1970, where he was a player for 20 years before assuming various coaching and key organising roles.

Cheshire RFU said : "Brendan was a thoroughly decent man; cheerful, hardworking and effective, who would always offer his help and support. Age grade rugby and hundreds of players owe Brendan a huge debt of gratitude.

"Cheshire & Wirral Rugby have lost a good man and the world is a poorer place for his passing."

President of Wirral RFC, Dave Van Der Zwan, said: "Brendan was associated with Wirral Rugby Club since the late 60s. He first came to us as part of a musical band and started play because he liked rugby.

"He played a lot of first team games, mainly on the wing because he was like a whippet.

"He was always Mr Positive. He would always take the young lads under his wing and the ladies teams.

"To me he was Mr Wirral Rugby Club. I don't think we could speak to highly of his achievements and everything that he did."

Leighton McKibbin from Wirral Grammar School for Boys said: "I came up here from South Wales to be a teacher in 1985. He was really one of the first people that I met at the rugby club. He made me feel so welcome.

"He was friendly and supportive and in my first year of teaching it really persuaded me to stay here.

"We never ever had an argument in 36 years of knowing him. Unbelievable.

"He was a truly wonderful human being. I don't think anyone ever had a bad word for him."

Brendan’s funeral is being held at Landican on Thursday October 1. Although it is a private ceremony, arrangements are in place for the cortège to go up Thornton Common Road from the main road and into Wirral RUFC car park at about 12 noon and then proceed back down Thornton Common Road.

Members of Wirral will be in the car park and also lining the road.