Andy Last has hailed the influence of his former junior coach and club legend Johnny Whiteley on his 90th birthday.
Last holds a close relationship with the man who held his current position half a century ago, having been coached by him during his younger days.
Speaking to hullfc.com, Last said: “Johnny is someone that I am closer to at Hull FC than probably most other people. That’s purely down to the fact that the club I played for as a junior was Eureka, which Johnny founded.
“His influence was huge on us as young players. He’d open the clubhouse doors after a game and you would be able to go in and watch some of the guys having a game of snooker, and he’d put on a few orange cordials for the young kids.
“You’d have some brutal sessions with him, as well. He used to come and take the multi-gym sessions for us. We started with a 5k run and he gave us dumbbells at the age of six and seven, but he was always supporting us.”
Last continued: “I’ve got a lot of time and admiration for Johnny. The things he used to speak to me about when I was just a young kid was always about hard work, honesty, giving your all and the importance of physical fitness.
“I’ve prided myself on that and that’s Johnny’s influence. The fact that at the age of 90 he’s still getting on his bike, still going out for walks, he takes his fitness clubs shows how much of an inspiration he is.
“It’s just a shame I never got the opportunity to see him play. My grandparents and older-generation family members have said what a fine player he was.
“He’s been a wonderful ambassador for the game and a wonderful ambassador for Hull FC. I hope he has a wonderful 90th birthday.”