Tributes paid to York Knights rugby legend Danny Sheehan

TRIBUTES are being paid to a York rugby legend and businessman who died suddenly at the weekend.

York City Knights has said that former player and 100 Club Member Danny Sheehan passed away yesterday (July 3).

As The Press reported yesterdaythe air ambulance was called to the LNER Community Stadium ahead of kick off at the York City Knights game against Barrow Raiders in York.

The club has today confirmed that medical professionals attended to 79-year-old Danny outside the ground before he was air-lifted to hospital, but sadly they were unable to save him.

Danny made 379 appearances for York after debuting in 1961 before going on to coach the team.

He was a born and bred York native and was based in the city throughout his life. While he played for other clubs during his career, York was where his heart was.

Danny was inducted into the Knights hall of fame in 2015 scoring 89 tries and one goal in his time at the club.

A spokesman for the Knights said: “After speaking to Danny’s daughter today, she shared that he had enjoyed playing his part in Heritage Weekend and that, on Saturday, he got to meet up with friends who he had both played with and coached.

Danny presented player Ronan Dixon with his match shirt on Saturday at our Legends’ Luncheon.

“The club are currently liaising with Danny’s family and our thoughts are with them and his friends at this time.

“Ahead of our home match against Batley Bulldogs on Monday, July 18, we will be holding a minute’s silence in his memory.

“Rest in Peace Danny Sheehan.”

York Bedding Company owner Danny Sheehan with a photo of himself from the company’s early years. Picture: Malachi Chadwick

Outside of rugby, Danny worked for 50 years at York Bedding, in Hungate, before retiring in 2007.

Danny, who owned the company with his wife Christine, began at the workshop in 1958. It had opened the year before, under the name Allen Arberry.

He said when he retired: “That’s what they called the two men who owned it – Mr Allen and Mr Arberry.

“I don’t know their first names because in those days, you daren’t call them anything but Mister.”

The couple took over the firm in 1982 and York Bed Company is now run by his son, Philip in Acaster Malbis.

Danny said he did not regret going into the business.

“I’d make the same choices again,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed it and still get a kick out of it.”

The old factory was knocked down as Hungate (York) Regeneration Ltd (HYRL) needed to purchase the 1,050 square meters of factory land and yard in order to progress the wider multi-purpose Hungate project.

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