AN iconic Barrow-born sportsman has died at the age of 63 after a battle with cancer.

Iain Denny played professionally with Workington Town and had a hand in the early development of  England cricket captain Ben Stokes.

Iain moved to Workington at a young age and was a pupil of Workington Grammar School where he excelled at rugby union and cricket.

He started work at Chapel Bank and continued his rugby career with Aspatria where his strong-running on the wing earned him a place in the Cumbria Colts side.

He was also in line for selection with the England Colts when a leg injury halted his progress.

At the age of 20 he turned professional with Workington and after learning his trade in the A team made his debut at the end of January 1982 against Bramley, coming on as a substitute with just five minutes left.

It was quite an introduction as he scored a try with virtually his first touch and with the conversion, Lynn Hopkins landed his 100th goal of the season.

He spent six seasons at Derwent Park, a mainstay of the A team but with 26 first-team appearances to his name – 16 of them in a starting role.

A useful quick bowler for Workington and then British Steel, it was mainly cricket that occupied his sporting time after he hung up his rugby boots.

Ian joined the CSCA Under-15 management team in 1993 alongside Kenny Evans, and later Brian Bell and Ian Clark and was in this post until the end of the noughties.

Then later he managed the golden generation of Cumbrian cricket which included England captain Ben Stokes, Jordan Clark (Surrey), Graham Clark (Durham) and Jay Harrison formerly of Durham, then later Liam Livingstone (England and Lancs).

He was especially known for generating excellent team spirit within the various teams that he managed and growing an excellent team culture.

He will certainly be well remembered within the cricket fraternity and will be sorely missed.

After serving his apprenticeship as a fitter at Chapel Bank he then moved to Haig Pit and later to Sellafield.

Iain leaves a wife Sharon, two sons Grant and Luke, and a daughter Kellan as well as four grandchildren.