Fred still blowing strong after 50 years

MORE than 130 people attended a special surprise celebration to mark the achievements of Wakefield's Fred Lindop MBE who has refereed rugby league for 50 years.

Current Super League officials and former officials were among those paying tribute to Lindop, who joined the Wakefield Rugby League Referees Society in 1957, and is still taking charge of Pennine League games at the age of 70.

In an illustrious career, Lindop officiated 22 test matches, five Challenge Cup finals and the World Cup final between Great Britain and Australia at Headingley in 1970 before finally retiring from the professional game at the 1988 Challenge Cup final between Wigan and Halifax.

Lindop, who was brought up in Eastmoor, then became controller of referees at the RFL and was awarded an MBE in 1989 before leaving the RFL in 1993.

He has also played a prominent role as a coach of junior rugby at the Eastmoor and Oulton ARL clubs and was instrumental in establishing the Sheffield University RL team in 1969.

Lindop’s celebration evening was led by former Castleford, Salford and Wales player and now Radio Leeds commentator Ron Hill while a special recorded video tribute was shown from Russell Smith, in Australia.