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One of rugby league’s greatest ever referees Fred Lindop passes away

It’s another sad day for rugby league after the passing of former referee Fred Lindop.

Born in Wakefield in 1938, he refereed in both rugby league and rugby union.

He took charge of 22 test matches including the 1970 World Cup Final as well as five Challenge Cup Finals.

He was also the first official to take charge of a match in Russia.

In 1989 he was awarded an MBE for his services to the sport and in 2009 was inducted in the Rugby Football League’s Roll of Honour in 2009.

Remarkably, he also helped establish the University of Sheffield’s rugby league team a year before officiating in a World Cup Final: 1969.

He did some coaching as well developing players at Eastmoor in Wakefield and Oulton Raiders in Leeds.

He passed away this morning and the RFL referees twitter page has paid tribute:

His passing comes after the sad passing of David Oxley CBE, who died at the age of 85, and sends condolences to his family and friends.

David joined the RFL in 1974, when the sport was at a low ebb, and led its modernisation and transformation before leaving in 1992 at the compulsory retirement age of 55.

He remained closely involved, and was appointed to the ceremonial role of President for 2013-14, a period which included the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.

Simon Johnson, the RFL Chair, said: “David Oxley was a hugely significant off-field figure in the history of the Rugby Football League and the sport of Rugby League in this country, and as Chair of the RFL I send deepest condolences to his family and many friends, inside and outside the sport.

“It is a remarkable tribute to David’s personality that despite holding the position of Chief Executive for a long period, and taking many tough and important decisions, he remained such a popular and respected man – and also an outstanding ambassador for Rugby League in the corridors of power.

“All now involved with the RFL recognise our debt to those who have gone before us, and David Oxley will always be remembered for his contribution to the sport.”

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