TRIBUTES have been paid to former Barrow rugby league winger Ian Holland.

Holland shot to fame as an up and coming winger in the early 1970s with the famous Orrell rugby union club which saw him gain two caps for Lancashire.

His performances saw him come under the spotlight of several league clubs but it was big spenders Salford who won his signature in 1973.

However he was up against former union internationals in Keith Fielding (England) and Maurice Richards (Wales) and though he was limited in first team appearances he did manage to play in the 1973 Lancashire cup final with Richards pulling out through injury.

Within a year he was off to pastures new with Oldham for a fee of £4,500 - his centre partner being Tony Wainwright who later joined Barrow.

Holland made 28 appearances scoring 7 tries and kicking 22 goals before joining Swinton in the 1975-76 season.

In late 1976 Barrow paid £2,700 for Holland who stayed until 1978 and made 51 appearances. He crossed for 12 tries, kicking five goals, plus a drop goal.

Hollands first game for Barrow was at home to Wakefield and his final game was at home to Leigh.

While at Barrow he represented Cumbria off the bench in his one appearance.

He played for five clubs in total —- Salford, Oldham, Swinton, Barrow and Rochdale Hornets where he ended his playing days after a five-year stay in which he captained the side for a spell.

The funeral will be at St Helens Crematorium at 3pm on Friday, May 29.

Mr Holland’s death had no connection with Covid 19.

Ex players spoke about the former team mate. Tough as teak Malcolm Flynn said "He was a bit of a hard man who liked to mix it. unusual for a winger. The opposite wingers must have feared him as they often choose to come inside the field of play rather than try and beat him down the touchline.

I rember once in a game at half time he had a cut on his hand and the physio Maurice Hughes said. Ive just pulled some ones tooth out your hand."

Steve Hogan added "Holland was a hard case not many wingers got past him he was a Frank Foster (Coach) type of player, a tough one His speciality was the high tackle he would hit them hard

.He was only here a year but like to socialise and have a pint with the lads after training though he lived out of town."

Derek Hadley who spent over twenty years at Barrow said "He was a bit robus player one to be wary of ,trouble was he gave away too many penalties.One day Frank Foster told him at half time to pack it- in giving away penalties."