RFL appoint former MP as president

Referee incident Salford

The Rugby Football League have announced Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, as it’s new president following the RFL council meeting in Huddersfield earlier this month. The former MP is a enthusiastic rugby league supporter and is the Honorary Vice President at Leigh Centurions.

He was elected mayor of Greater Manchester in May 2017. Prior to that he was the MP for Leigh from 2001. In government, Burnham held Ministerial positions at the Home Office, Department of Health and the Treasury. In 2008 he became Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, before returning to the Department for Health as Secretary of State in 2009.

Andy Burnham said: “Being asked to represent the proud sport of Rugby League is one of the greatest honours I’ve ever been given.

“Over the years, my love of the game has grown and grown – as a sometime player, a touchline dad and an avid supporter of Leigh Centurions. At a time when other sports have become more detached from their communities, rugby league remains rooted in theirs and that community spirit is its great strength.

“I will seek to use my time in the privileged position of President to raise the profile of the sport in any way I can.”

Burnham is expected to start his new role in July 2018 after succeeding the outgoing Air Commodore Dean Andrew OBE RAF.