BILL Chelton, a former pack star of Holker Pioneers, has died, aged 69, writes PADDY McATEER.

A big powerful front row forward, Bill joined the Pioneers under-19s side formed by Holker Street school teacher Ron Quayle in the early 1960s.

The team included the likes of Mike Caulfield, Johnny Kay, Roger Ditchfield and “Dumps” Thompson.

Bill learnt his trade at the old Alfred Barrow School and went on to become a mainstay of a strong Pioneers set of forwards.

He represented Barrow in the inter-town competition and played a vital role for the Barrow under-19s side who won the Inter-County final in 1964, beating Dewsbury at Headingley, Leeds.

On route to the final Barrow defeated St Helens and Wigan to become Lancashire champions, and Bill and Co. got the better of a Dewsbury team who included current Sky TV commentator Mike “Stevo” Stephenson and Tony Halmshaw, who both went on to gain Great Britain caps in the professional ranks.

Bill signed for Barrow in March 1968 and though he showed a lot of promise he was restricted to just one first team appearance against Rochdale.

He gave good service to the Barrow A-team before returning to the amateur ranks in 1972. Bill’s eldest son Gavin followed in his father’s footsteps making 52 appearances for Barrow in the 1990s.