THE FAMILY of a rugby club stalwart celebrated his life and said goodbye to him with a special event at the ground, burying his ashes on the half way and unveiling new facilities in his name.

An outpouring of tributes followed when Martin “Chucky” Ennis died in March, he was well loved character in Copeland, remembered for his wit and energy and dedication to his rugby club, Lowca ARL.

He was born in Lowca and more recently lived in Bransty.

On Saturday, those who could not attend his funeral due to Coronavirus restrictions were given a second chance to say goodbye as the family visited the Lowca ARL ground, holding a special event in his memory.

Paul Morgan, his nephew said: “The players formed a Guard of Honour and we burried his ashes on the half way line so they’re there forever.”

In another symbol of Chucky’s lasting legacy at the club he loved, the refurbished bar has been named after him.

“They told him just before he passed away and he was over the moon.”

To honour his last wish, Martin’s family and the Team 13 cycling club raised money on Go Fund Me, benefitting the Lowca ARL youth offering.

A cheque for £7,000 was donated to the club on the day and funds were also raised on the day.

Chucky was passionate about supporting the next generation of rugby players in the area.

Paul said: “He wouldn’t have wanted it any other way, he’d have been chuffed to bits to raise that money. Before he passed away, that’s what he asked for, that’s what he wanted.”

Grassroots sports clubs are in need of the support.

“It’ll go towards kits and equipment, it takes a lot of money to run youth clubs and teams.

“They go through a new kit every year. There’s so many teams to finance, it’ll go a long way to keeping them going.”

Although the family were heartbroken when Chucky lost his battle to cancer, the event was a celebration of the larger than life character.

“He’s maybe gone but he won’t be forgotten” said Paul.

Chucky’s wife Claire was in attendance along with children Stewart, Carl, Carly and Courtney.

The aim was to continue Chucky’s good work in his memory.

“We’re a positive family” said Paul.