RFL leads tributes to Lofthouse
The Rugby Football League have paid tribute to Lord Lofthouse of Pontefract, president of the All Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group, who died on Thursday after a short illness at the age of 86.
Lord Lofthouse, a one-time player with Featherstone, was MP for Pontefract and Castleford from 1978-97 and deputy speaker of the House of Commons from 1992 until receiving a life peerage in 1997. He was a founding member of the Parliamentary group and served as its chairman for many years until becoming president in 2011.
"On behalf of the RFL I would like to extend my sympathies to the family of Lord Lofthouse at this sad time," said chief executive Nigel Wood.
"Lord Lofthouse championed the sport in Westminster all through his political life and rugby league owes a great debt to him for all his unstinting work on our behalf.
"He was a strong figure in the process which brought the RFL and BARLA together in 2003 to create a single governing body, as a result of which rugby league has been able to continue to grow in strength."
Group chairman Greg Mulholland, the Leeds North West MP, said: "We in the group will remember Geoff for his passion for the sport he loved and the communities it supports, excites and serves.
"We believe him to be the only Member of Parliament to have played rugby league at professional level."
The funeral will be held at All Saints in Pontefract on November 8.
- Royal visit 'charade' as work at Staffordshire Place is covered up
- Stafford MP Jeremy Lefroy in talks with university bosses over Stafford site future
- Failed judicial review over controversial Hixon planning application bid to cost thousands
- Drink in the atmosphere ... Tickets on sale for Wildlife Trust food and beer festival
- Jewish businesswoman Sam Caldicott slams anti-HS2 group for 'disgusting' video
- Stafford Hospital A&E consultant calls for 'an end to mud-slinging'
- Shoppers mourn loss of town centre "flagship" store
- Stafford MP Jeremy Lefroy calls for an end to 'hospital bitterness' after incidents mar peaceful protest
- Police aim to deliver a car crushing blow
- Volunteers sought for Stone clean up operation