Fran Cotton was a powerful and hugely competitive prop with Lougborough, Sale, Coventry and Lancashire. He played in the England front row in 31 internationals, including three matches as captain. Wigan-born Fran literally led from the front and was an outstanding member of the British Lions on three tours.

In 1987 he set up with team-mate Steve Smith a company called Cotton Traders, that grew into one of the most successful of all kit manufacturers. Fran returned to his old club Sale in 2007 as a board member, and is an honorary President of the Wooden Spoon charity organization that helps disadvantaged children.

Fran is a larger than life character whose wit and wisdom brightens up any occasion.