All at Newcastle Falcons are deeply saddened to learn of the death of our friend and former colleague, Steve Black.
'Blackie', as he was universally known, spent two spells on the club's coaching staff - but he was so much more than that.
The jovial Geordie was the spiritual heartbeat of the Falcons from the very early days of professionalism, helping steer Newcastle to promotion and then the Premiership title at the first attempt.
Winning multiple domestic cups under his watch, Blackie's unique motivational talents saw him succeeding with the Welsh national team and the British & Irish Lions, as well as with Newcastle United and Sunderland football clubs, and numerous other elite sportspeople.
Much more than his sporting achievements, Blackie was a friend to all of us - a proud Geordie who understood the value of people, and how to inspire them.
Steve had a huge circle of family, friends and colleagues. He will be missed by so many and remembered for his huge heart, pro-active influence and infectious positivity.
His family will share funeral arrangements in due course, and ask for stories and memories to be shared. He spent his life bringing a smile to everyone’s lives, and we should all remember those big cuddles and many laughs he brought to all.
Our deepest condolences go out to his family, and his many, many friends. You will never be forgotten.