Wigan have announced that their former chairman Maurice Lindsay has passed away at the age of 81.
Lindsay joined Wigan in 1980 and led the club through a period of transformation which included winning eight Challenge Cups on the bounce.
He was responsible for recruiting some of the biggest names in Wigan’s history. He oversaw the signings of Ellery Hanley, Brett Kenny, Martin Offiah, Dean Bell, Andy Farrell and Jason Robinson.
Lindsay is thought of as a rugby league pioneer. He left Wigan to become the chief executive of the RFL in 1992, proposing the Super League which changed the face of rugby league forever in the UK. He remained at Super League until he voluntarily retired at the end of 1999.
Lindsay re-joined the Warriors when they moved from Central Park to the JJB Stadium.
He also served on the board of Wigan Athletic under Dave Whelan. Lindsay then spent a short time as chairman of Preston North End for a short spell.
A Warriors club statement read: “Wigan Warriors sends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Maurice at this very sad time.”
RFL pay tribute to Maurice Lindsay
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. 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.”