WEST Hartlepool’s first ever director of rugby, Barry Taylor, has died after a long illness, aged 77.
The Australian, who coached with success at club, provincial and international level, was appointed West boss in 1994-95.
But the no-nonsense former Manly, New South Wales and Australian Under 21 coach lasted less than half a season at Brierton Lane despite stunning wins over Wasps and Bristol and a narrow defeat to Bath in an absolute classic.
After leaving West, Taylor, universally known as “Tizza”, spent short spells at Rovers and Sheffield before returning to Australia and his home in Sydney which he shared with wife, Enid.
In recent years, he had suffered from dementia and died last week aged 77.
His funeral service took place on Friday at a packed St Matthew’s Anglican Church in Manly, whose town’s rugby team he played for and coached with distinction.
As coach of the Australian U21 team he developed talents such as David Campese and Michael Lynagh.