Beloved former Hull FC player thought he had arthritis - then incurable disease took his life

Terry Lynn (left) at Craven Park and (right) during his Hull FC days
Terry Lynn (left) at Craven Park and (right) during his Hull FC days -Credit:Supplied

The family of a dearly-loved granddad and former Hull FC player were left heartbroken when a cruel disease claimed his life just six months after his diagnosis.

Keely Lynn-Brown, 40, described her father-in-law Terry Lynn as having a "heart of gold". Terry sadly died at the age of 65 on September 1, just six months after he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.

He played for Hull FC between 1976 and 1979 and was part of the famed "Invincibles era". Keely said Terry was her "rugby pal" and he cheered on his 14-year-old grandson Lewis Lynn, who plays for the East Hull U14s, at every game.


In a poignant tribute to Terry, Keely said: "He was fun and loving and always up for a laugh. He was well into his rugby and absolutely adored his family and children. He was still young at heart and always wanted to be around the young parents and have a drink with them at our rugby games.

"Nothing ever really bothered him, you never found him in a mood or owt like that. He was never unhappy. He was such a lovely man."

Terry Lynn (centre) in his final photograph with the East Hull 14s team who are wearing MND shirts in support
Terry Lynn (centre) in his final photograph with the East Hull 14s team who are wearing MND shirts in support -Credit:Supplied

Keely recalled that Terry's first symptoms of MND weren't obvious. She said: "It started off first with his finger, it kept sticking up and it would never go back to normal and he used to laugh it off.

"We'd just think it was arthritis and think it was funny. He gradually started to slip and started to fall. And he started to get what they call a dropped foot. If you are walking up the stairs, one of your feet will drag.

A flyer for the 24-hour Boxathon event which starts on Saturday, May 25
A flyer for the 24-hour Boxathon event which starts at Crows Nest pub in Douglas Road on Saturday, May 25 -Credit:Keely Lynn-Brown

"We started to think 'That's not right,' and then his major one was when he was coming downstairs and he fell from top to bottom. That's when he started going to hospital and having tests done."

Unfortunately, Motor Neurone Disease is difficult to diagnose and Terry did not receive a formal diagnosis until March last year, two years after his symptoms began. He then declined rapidly which Keely said was deeply distressing to witness.

She said: "I've never seen someone go from 15 stone down to eight stone, it was traumatic." The family was helped by Macmillan during this difficult time.

Although many people believe Macmillan is solely a cancer charity, they also provide end-of-life support and Keely said they were "amazing". She said: "We referred to them as angels because they had a main one called Margaret, and she came to see Terry and have banter about rugby because she was a Rovers fan and he was an old fan.

"He played for both teams as well, you see. They had loads of banter and the care you get from them is absolutely amazing. If ever you had any problems, you'd ring her and she'd be there within half an hour. They're so good, it's unreal what they do."

Keely and the East Hull Youth Rugby League teams are now organising a walk and 24-hour "boxathon" to raise money for Macmillan and the U14s team. The money will be split 50/50 between the two causes, Keely said.

The event on Saturday, May 25, starts with the walk and people taking part will be carrying buckets for money donations. There is then a 24-hour boxathon at The Crows Nest pub, in Douglas Road, with an estimated start time of 12pm.

The aim is for the punch bags to be continuously in motion as the fundraisers take turns to punch them over the entire 24-hour period. Keely said anyone who turns up can also enjoy an ice-cream van, a barbecue, a bouncy castle, a raffle, and a tombola, and said any money raised will be greatly appreciated.