Clayton have been stunned by the unexpected sudden death of stalwart Mark Anderson.

The long-serving prop collapsed at his home on Sunday and shocked club officials immediately cancelled all their scheduled fixtures this weekend as a sign of respect.

Clayton spokesman Dave Pickthall said: “Mark joined the club as an 11-year-old and was still playing this season as second-team coach.

“He was an athletic, rugged prop on the field but a gentle giant off it. He was quite simply a smashing lad who was popular throughout the amateur game.

“All our past and present players, plus many from other local teams, are meeting at 1pm this Saturday at the clubhouse to pay their own tributes.”

Anderson, who died aged just 40, played in Clayton’s finest hour when they narrowly lost the 1996 Yorkshire County Cup final 13-9 after extra time before a record crowd at Headingley.

He was a permanent fixture in the first team pack that dominated the local scene over the past two decades.

Anderson was also joint-coach of the West Bowling under-17s junior team which included his son.

Meanwhile, West Bowling’s chances of completing their Carnegie Challenge Cup preliminary-round tie against Normanton Knights look to be doomed as their Bankfoot Oval pitch is icebound.

The rules of the competition dictate that should the match be called off, the home club must make arrangements to complete the tie the following day and that the fixture takes priority over any subsequent matches.

Bowling spokesman Dave Garside explained: “We looked at the possibility of playing at Brighouse Rangers but their pitch was frozen solid last week, as was the Undercliffe ground at Rawdon Meadows.

“So if, as expected, we have another wipeout this weekend, it will be up to the RFL to sort the matter out.

“At the moment we are exploring every possibility of getting the game underway.”

Bradford Dudley Hill, who were expecting Australian Josh Garden to make his National Conference Division One debut at Saddleworth, will have to wait at least another week as the hosts are under siege with 15-foot snow drifts.

The Jack Senior Memorial Bradford Cup games – Queensbury take on Dudley Hill A, Odsal Sedbergh face Bank Top Harriers and the local derby tie between Birkenshaw against Wyke – will require a thaw of epic proportions to go ahead.