By Denis Whittle

Countless friends at Knowsley Road and the Rugby League family at large have been saddened by the death of a stalwart fan who earned folklore status for untiring efforts in aid of players� testimonials.

Irish-as-the-hills James O�Sullivan (75) died in Whiston Hospital on Friday after an illnesss of a �creaking gate� nature. He leaves his wife Marjorie (former matron at Fairfield Hospital), sons David, Adrian and Andrew, six grandchildren, brothers Aidan, Sean, and Liam, and sister Mary.

Born in County Mayo, Jimmy settled in St.Helens as a broth of a boy of 18 in 1952. He worked first at Triplex, then for his brother-in-law Rainford builder Tony Brown, before owning newsagent�s shops in Clock Face, Cooper Street, Elephant Lane and Parr Stocks Road.

Blessed with a captivating Irish brogue having kissed the Blarney Stone, and sporting shamrock on �Paddy�s Night,� personable O�Sullivan found his true niche off the field at Saints in spearheading scores of benefit seasons for grateful stars.

Aided and abetted by benefit events compere Lennie Lowe, Jimmy�s persuasive charm was irresistible to supporters throughout the town. And such off-the-cuff eloquence soon found him dubbed �Jimmy Ticket.� Knowsley Road favourites like Les Jones, Roy Mathias, George Nicholls, Mel James, Eric Chisnall, Tony Karalius, Harry Pinner, Neil Holding, Roy Haggerty and Chris Arkwright were just a random sample of the O�Sullivan testimonial �team.�

Requiem Mass will be held at St. Teresa�s Church, Newtown, on Wednesday, October 28, at 11.45am. Cremation follows, after which a buffet will be held in Jimmy�s memory at Greenall�s Social Club. He will later be laid to rest with his mother on the Emerald Isle.

Family flowers are requested with donations invited for Willowbrook Hospice and Crossroads. An honorary member of Saints� Past Players Association, the perennial O�Sullivan was included in the minute�s silence observed at the annual dinner on Sunday.

In the meantime heads are currently being put together with a view to a permanent memorial for a Knowsley Road luminary who, already a lover of the �wearin o� the green,� was also proud to sport the traditional red-and-white of his beloved Saints.
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