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08 September 2021

Mike Peers joined the Lions in September 1981 from hometown club Warrington for whom he had made 55 first team appearances. Mike was a “players’ player”, operating as a natural loose forward. Mike had the lot, a good rugby brain, great hands, sidestep and an astute kicking game.

Mike’s natural skills encompassed leadership and man management. As the Lions’ ‘A’ Team player coach his contribution was pivotal in the lead up to the club’s halcyon season of 1986/87. By then appointed joint first team coach with Bill Holliday, the Lions took the inaugural Second Division Premiership Trophy played at Old Trafford against Hunslet, and also won promotion to the First Division.

Mike’s humour was wicked! Picture this. Swinton ‘A’ were away to Carlisle at Penrith in the bleak midwinter and we had been reassured that the pitch was playable. On arrival, Mike, myself and the three match officials slipped and slithered towards the centre spot where you could almost see your reflection in the frost and ice. With the straightest of faces Mike said, “Who has declared this match on? Torville and Dean?” We were on our way home within ten minutes.

Mike Peers didn’t need a CV – just ask the players he played with and coached. For myself and so many it was a true privilege to have shared a small part of Mike’s life as a colleague and a friend.

A young lad who grew to love the game and it’s people, who in turn loved him for the very same reasons.

“Farewell old friend, the game is o’er, the whistle’s blown, the flag we lower.”

Say not in grief he is no more, but in thankfulness he was.

Mike Peers played 37 games, and scored 5 tries and 3 goals for the Lions. But these statistics are a mere drop in the ocean, his contribution to rugby league and to our club was a tsunami.

Mike Peers RIP

The club would like to thank Steve Moyse for preparing these words.


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