Chris Kendall has paid tribute to Robert Hicks as a referee following the latter’s decision to step away from a full-time role.
Hicks instead has been appointed the RFL’s Director of Operations and Legal – meaning his video refereeing role at the France versus England international double header in Perpignan was his last as a full-time match official.
The flame-haired official has been a member of the RFL’s panel of full-time officials since 2011, when he also joined the RFL’s legal team.
And, Kendall has had his say on Hicks’ departure in an emotional statement: “Congratulations on a fantastic career @Rob_hicks81 one of the best in the business. It has been an honour to work alongside and learn from you. We have shared some brilliant memories on and off the pitch along the way”.
Hicks himself couldn’t wait to get started in his new role:
“I’ve loved being part of the full-time officials squad, as much for the team spirit and togetherness as for the big matches I’ve been involved in.
“But this is the right time and reason for me to revert to a part-time and mentoring role, allowing me to devote the majority of my time to Operations and Legal.
“It’s a wide-ranging role covering all areas of regulation, from the Community Game to the Super League.”
Referee Gareth Hewer and touch judge Tony Martin also hung up their whistle and flag respectively at the end of the 2021 season.
Congratulations on a fantastic career @Rob_hicks81 👏 one of the best in the business. It has been an honour to work alongside and learn from you. We have shared some brilliant memories on and off the pitch along the way https://t.co/II99y43ayq
— Chris Kendall (@KendallRef) October 25, 2021