Fred Robinson was described by Paul Medley as “the biggest legend at Bradford never to play for Bradford”.
That explained the standing ovation and rapturous applause to honour his life during Sunday’s friendly win over Hull FC.
Fred, who served as kit man for over 40 years from 1964 to 2005, passed away last Thursday.
Bulls chief executive Robbie Hunter-Paul fondly remembers Fred and summed him up by saying: “He was a philosopher, a joker, a mentor, a rascal and a gentleman.
"He was always the first person you would meet upon reaching the changing rooms and he always had a smile on his face.
“On a number of occasions you would drift into his inner sanctum of the kit room, sit down and have a cup of tea with him. He would fill you in on the dos and do nots of all things Britain and Yorkshire.
“He had a direct influence on my personality and taught me the ‘Northern’ ethos of ‘doing right’ by people.
“To me and my colleagues, he was a rock in a world that has extreme highs and lows; always having the ability to bring you down to earth or lift you out of despair.”
Head of youth Medley, who served Northern with distinction as a player, said of Fred: “He was all that rugby league is about and his words of wisdom are etched on every player he ever came across.
“Sayings like ‘if it is not right then it is wrong, son’ and ‘you need to get up earlier to beat me son’ are just a couple.
“His character was there to be seen by all and his dedication to the cause was faultless. He was the biggest legend at Bradford never to play for Bradford.”
Fred’s funeral service will be at Elland Crematorium on Friday, January 31 (noon), followed by a celebration of his life at Odsal afterwards.