Former Rugby League chief executive and ex-Wigan Warriors Chairman Maurice Lindsay dies at 81

Former Wigan Warriors Chairman Maurice Lindsay dies at the age of 81. Credit: PA images

Former chief executive of the Rugby Football League (RFL) and ex-chairman of Wigan Warriors Maurice Lindsay has died at the age of 81.

Maurice, who joined Wigan in 1980, has been described as a "visionary” by the club.

They won eight league titles under his leadership and also eight consecutive Challenge Cups between 1985 and 1992.

Lindsay later went on to lead the RFL and was one of the instigators of Super League and the switch to summer rugby in 1996, for which his club were rebranded as Wigan Warriors.

Wigan said they were “deeply saddened” by his passing.

They said: “Lindsay was respected and admired throughout the world of Rugby League and will be forever remembered as a visionary – proposing the Super League which changed the face of Rugby League forever.

“Wigan Warriors sends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Maurice at this very sad time.”

Lindsay served as chief executive of Super League before returning to Wigan following their move from Central Park to the JJB Stadium.

He also served on the board of Wigan Athletic alongside owner Dave Whelan, and had a brief stint as chairman of Preston North End.

RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer said: “Maurice Lindsay will be remembered as one of the most significant leaders in the sport’s history.

“First at the Wigan club, where the strength of his personality was critical in their emergence as arguably the greatest club side of all-time in this country, one which dominated domestically and flourished internationally, and whose impact extended well beyond Rugby League.

"Then when he moved to the game’s central administration at the RFL, he was the leading figure in driving through the inception of the Super League in 1996, which genuinely transformed the sport.“

"He was a truly unique character, a wonderful raconteur, always had a twinkle in his eye – and he lived a remarkable life. Rugby League would not be where it is today without him.”