Dalbag Singh, also known as Dave, died recently and although Covid lockdown restrictions meant the number of people that could attend his funeral was limited, many Newport people turned out as his procession travelled through the High Street.
Mr Singh came to Newport as a boy and studied at Burton Borough School, and later worked at Protolabs.
He joined Newport's rugby union club in the 1970s and was well-liked and highly-rated by many teammates.
A statement from Newport Salop RUFC mourned "a star from the past".
The statement said: "It is with great sadness to inform you that Dalbag Singh has passed away at 64 years of age. We understand that his death was caused by Covid/pneumonia.
"Dalbag started playing for Newport around 1972/73. Chris Wilde’s records show him playing, he thinks, his last game in April 1991."
Andrew Watson Jones said: "He was a winger of high repute. I played a lot of rugby with Dalbag and rate him as one of the best wingers that I played with at Newport.
"He was a great 'finisher', but he could score tries from a long way out as well. He was a real gentleman off the pitch but a fierce competitor on the pitch, but always fair.
"In the days before leagues, when we used to play all the Shropshire clubs home and away, as well as Shropshire Cup competitions, he was well-known and highly respected around the Shropshire circuit. He also played a number of seasons for Shropshire RFU."
Town mayor Peter Scott said: "I knew Dalbag – I never called him Dave – since we were kids. His son Poven runs New Street Car Care, and Raja runs the Shakespeare Inn.
"He was always well-liked, not a nasty bone in his body.
"He was a big family man and a gentleman."