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21 October 2020

The club is saddened to confirm the passing of our former player, Mike Holliday.

It was with profound sadness that yesterday evening we learned of the untimely death of our former player, Mike Holliday.

Mike was an extremely accomplished and skilful player who never gave less than 100% for both of his home town clubs, Folly Lane ARLFC and the Lions. Mainly a second rower, he emerged through the system at Folly, our community partner club, and then followed in the footsteps of older brother Les in making the transition to the professional game with Swinton.

Mike made his first team debut for the Lions in August 1985 in what was Swinton’s first game back in the old First Division – this being against St Helens at Burnden Park, Bolton.

Later in the 1985/86 campaign Mike was part of the Swinton “A” team which won the Alliance Challenge Cup Final against Leeds at Headingly, but sadly the Lions’ first team narrowly failed to avoid relegation.

However, the following season, 1986/87, Mike played a key role in Swinton’s march to a promotion and Premiership double, which culminated in that magical afternoon at Old Trafford when the Lions defeated Hunslet. That occasion was a real family affair, with brother Les as captain, and father Bill (a former Swinton and Great Britain star himself), coaching it.

Mike played his 42nd and final game for the Lions on 4th October 1987, during which time he had scored seven tries. After his pro career finished Mike retuned to Folly Lane where he was a hugely popular figure.

On behalf of everyone connected with Swinton Lions we extend our heartfelt condolences to Mike’s mum Doris, to Bill and Les, and to all of his family and many friends.


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