Whitehaven RLFC is mourning the death of another popular forward.

with the death of another popular forward following the announcement of John Pringle’s passing,

Steve Phythian died aged 63 in Manchester at the weekend, with his death confirmed following the announcement of John Pringle's passing.

Phythian played four seasons at the Recreation Ground in the early 1980s under Tommy Dawes and Frank Foster, making 85 appearances and earning a player of the year award one season.

After leaving Haven he spent a season in Australia.

He was described by a former Haven official who remembered him well as 'a hard-grafting, old-fashioned prop'.

More recently, though, he had courted controversy with the publication of a book outlining his struggle to produce a special bike seat he had invented for overweight people.

He believed his invention could transform the lives of millions of obese people by introducing them to cycling, which is why he became increasingly frustrated by continued knock-backs he’d received.

Despite lots of apparent encouragement from councils and government departments he was still having to wait to get his product onto the market.

He had came up with the idea for the new seat after doing a sponsored bike ride to Blackpool for an amateur rugby club in Swinton, when he said he struggled on a hire bike.

“It was so painful, and that was when I got the idea to design my own adjustable bicycle bench,” he said at the time.

An experienced motor mechanic, he designed up to 30 prototypes for the seat in his workshop before the finished design.

The development of the seat, which was given a patent in 2013, included the use of high-density foam to create an ultra-soft seat and came as NHS bosses were warning of the billions of pounds being wasted on dealing with obesity.

Earlier this year he said: “I still keep in touch with one or two people up there because I enjoyed my time at the club."

One tale from his time with Whitehaven concerned Aussie great Wally Lewis.

“He was playing for Wakefield and word was going around that he was earning £1,000 a match," he said. "Our coach Frank Foster said to me: ‘Make sure he earns it,’ and I ended up knocking out some of his teeth."