Father Brian Crane, former port chaplain, parish priest of Saint Paschal Baylon, Liverpool and chaplain to Everton FC, died on Tuesday 4 October at the age of 78 and in the 49th year of his priesthood.
Brian Crane was born in Liverpool on 28 July 1938, the son of Michael and Gladys Crane. He attended St Patrick's and St Charles' schools and Liverpool College of Technology. He studied for the priesthood at Campion House, Osterley, the English College, Lisbon and St Joseph's College, Upholland. He was ordained priest by Archbishop George Andrew Beck in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King on 8 June 1968.
He had five appointments as assistant priest at Sacred Heart, Liverpool in August 1968; at St Luke's, Whiston in September 1969; at St William's, Ince in November 1971; at St Marie's, Southport in February 1973 and at St Mary's, Woolton in April 1979. In September 1985 he was appointed parish priest of Our Lady of Walsingham, Netherton but after a brief tenure was transferred the following April to St Benedict's, Warrington.
After more than four years in Warrington he moved to Stella Maris, Bootle to work as port chaplain with the Apostleship of the Sea. In January 1992 he was named parish priest at St Paschal Baylon, Liverpool. After recovering from a heart attack early in 1995 he took up an appointment as chaplain at the Lourdes Hospital, Liverpool. He retired to Woolton in 1998, though when his health permitted it he supplied in local parishes.
He was a fanatical supporter of Everton and was very proud to have been the club's chaplain for nearly 25 years. Frequently too he would regale those in his company with tales of his experiences as chaplain on board various cruise ships, including the QE2.
His funeral Mass was celebrated at St Mary's, Woolton by Archbishop Malcolm on Friday 14 October, followed by burial at Allerton Cemetery.