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Cornish Pirates legend, Brian 'Stack' Stevens passes away aged 77

Rugby union legend, Brian 'Stack' Stevens, passed away aged 77 this week. Photo: Cornish Pirates

Cornish Pirates star, Brian 'Stack' Stevens, has passed away aged 77.

The rugby union player died on Tuesday, 10 October.

Stevens battled a rare and serious neurological condition in recent years.

Nicknamed 'Stack', he played over 500 games for the Cornish Pirates, helping the team win the Cornwall KO Cup in 1976.

Stevens made 83 appearances for Cornwall and 25 caps for England, having made his debut in a game against South Africa in Twickenham in 1969.

Stack was indeed a world-class front-row forward, who in the loose resembled a back-row forward and in this capacity he was far ahead of his times.

– The late Don Rutherford OBE, former England player and first Technical Director at the RFU

Some of Stevens's career highlights, wearing the red rose and white shirt of England, include:

  • The away game against South Africa in 1972 (on a tour when he was skipper for the game against Griqualand West)
  • The game against the ‘All Blacks’ in 1973
  • Scoring a try in the 16-10 victory against New Zealand at Eden Park - when England became the first of the four home countries to beat the All Blacks on New Zealand soil
  • Playing Ireland away in 1973, despite the threat of IRA violence - running out to a thunderous and sustained ovation at Lansdowne Road.

Stevens also played for the British Lions on their victorious tour of New Zealand in 1971.

He also played for the Barbarians, the Penquins, Harlequins, plus combined counties teams.

Alongside all this, Stevens was also a farmer.

He was made a Life Member of Penzance & Newlyn RFC and last year attended a ‘Tribute Night to Stack’ event, which was held at the ‘Westholme’ clubhouse.

Some of those in attendance included former Pirates and county players, officials and friends, and his former England captain John Pullin.

Steve Tomlin’s book, Stack Stevens – Cornwall’s Rugby Legend, was also being sold.

His outstanding rugby career has, however, been eclipsed by the courage he has shown throughout his long illness.”

– The late Don Rutherford OBE, former England player and first Technical Director at the RFU