STAN Toft, a well-known and respected figure in education and sport, has died at the age of 67 following a lengthy illness.
Stan, who passed away at the Royal Oldham Hospital, was a former deputy headteacher at St Edwards’ Primary, Lees.
Brother Ian also taught at St Edwards’ at the same time with Stan affectionately known as ‘Mr Toft the older’ and Ian ‘Mr Toft the younger’. Indeed, Stan’s other brother Peter was also a teacher.
Stan, who was raised in Waterhead, was hugely involved in both codes of rugby.
He played union and was a stand-off for Christ College, Liverpool, and later for Oldham RUFC.
Oldham RUFC past president Steve Fox said: “I personally knew the Toft family well and was instrumental in getting Stan to join us.
“He was an excellent stand-off playing for the first team for many years.”
Oldham RUFC’s Paul Street added: “An absolute gentleman and sheer class when it came to playing rugby.
“I played with him, initially on the colts, many times. Sadly, he stopped at ORUFC quite young.”
Stan also ran the Oldham schools’ RL town team and his proudest moment was leading the team out at Wembley for a curtain-raiser before the Challenge Cup final when Oldham drew 4-4 against Hull.
He had immense pride that son Patrick, the youngest of his three children, captained the England students’ RL team.
Patrick also played for Leeds Met University and had a spell at Waterhead Warriors.
Stan was also a keen follower of Oldham RL for whom Stan’s uncle Joe Collins once starred.
Stan, whose funeral took place at St Edwards’s Church, leaves wife Jean, children Andrew, Rachael and Patrick and grandchildren Elizabeth and Annie.
Donations were for Scope, a charity dear to Stan’s heart as his late sister Valerie was handicapped.