Two popular former Keighley RUFC players have died over the past fortnight in prop David Collen and winger Eric Balderson.

David, affectionately always known as 'Codge' passed away on Friday, April 26.

He had a fall on February 8 and damaged his arm and two weeks later he was admitted to hospital with a cracked femur, as doctors discovered he had also damaged his hip when he fell.

There was further trauma to his arm while he was in hospital and he was quite poorly.

He left hospital last month and spent the remaining time in a local nursing home (situated just at the end of the road in which he lived) and died heavily sedated soon after, in no pain.

David, who was at Keighley’s last Players Reunion earlier this year, was a prominent first team prop in the early 1960s and later led the junior sides, helping to bring on new talent.

David began his career in teaching at Keighley Secondary Technical School then became a lecturer at Bradford Technical College – soon to become Bradford University.

He was later appointed Head of Science at Broadoak School a newly formed comprehensive. 

David also helped out with swimming for Brownies and Guides, going on to become a qualified instructor in the sport.

A practical and intelligent man, he leaves behind a family legacy of his beloved wife Eve, three wonderful children and seven grandchildren.

His funeral is on Monday, May 13 and the church service will be available on YouTube under Lymm Methodist Church, with the link embedded here.

Eric passed away on May 1 at the age of 85, having suffered from vascular dementia and COPD in recent years.

Keighley News: Eric Balderson pictured as part of the 1960-61 Keighley first-team photograph.Eric Balderson pictured as part of the 1960-61 Keighley first-team photograph. (Image: Keighley RUFC.)

He was a former first XV wing at the start of the 1960s, with Norman Acomb as his centre.

Eric was the youngest of 4 brothers - Johnny, Alan, Bob and Eric.

He was raised in the Riddlesden area of Keighley and was one of the last batch of young men to be called up to do his National Service in the RAF.

On returning from the services, he joined the business started by his father; once known as Balderson & Dickinson, painters and decorators and later Skipton Decor.

Keighley send their condolences to his daughter Fiona.

Eric's funeral will take place on Wednesday, May 22 at 11:30am at Oakworth crematorium.