Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Rugby Clubs and Pals Pay Tribute to Tragic Coach

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Rugby Clubs and Pals Pay Tribute to Tragic Coach

Article excerpt

TRIBUTES have been paid to a respected rugby league coach and former player after his sudden death.

Stephen Gartland played professionally for Rochdale Hornets, Oldham Roughyeds and Swinton Lions. He also played and coached at Rochdale Mayfield.

The father-of-two, who was 45, was found dead in Castleton, Rochdale. The death is not being treated as suspicious.

Friends have been sharing details of the social media campaign #ItsOKAYTOTALK, which raises awareness of male suicide, in Stephen's memory. Many have posted 'okay' selfies on Facebook.

Stephen, an engineer who lived with his wife Joanne in Turf Hill, Rochdale, and was known to friends and rugby league fans as 'Garty', passed away on Friday, August 19.

He became a popular and successful youth coach after hanging up his boots. Hornets, who signed Stephen from Oldham St Annes in 1989 as a teenager, paid tribute to a 'great servant to rugby league' and said the Gartland name was 'synonymous' with the sport. …

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