Phil Bentham resigns from RFL role

James Gordon

Former Super League referee Phil Bentham has resigned from his role as a match officials coach.

Bentham, 49, had been acting as head of match officials in recent months, with Steve Ganson on an extended period of leave due to an unspecified medical issue.

An RFL statement said: “Phil Bentham has informed the RFL that he will leave next month to pursue other career opportunities outside the sport.

“We thank Phil for his fine refereeing career and the work he has done since, as a match officials coach and recently as acting head of match officials.

“A recruitment process is in place to fill two match officials coach roles.”

Bentham, who hails from Leigh, refereed seven major finals during his career, including the 2011 and 2014 Super League Grand Finals and four Challenge Cup finals.

He also was in the middle for the 2014 Four Nations Final in New Zealand.

His refereeing career came to an unfortunate end in 2018, when a collision with Widnes forward Chris Houston resulted in him suffering a slipped disc in his neck.

Houston was banned for two matches for the incident, which followed a similar one involving the same two individuals a year earlier.

Bentham was no stranger to injuries during his career, suffering a fractured tibia in an incident with Hull KR’s Shannon McDonnell in 2012, while he pulled a hamstring while touch judging a cup match between Leeds and Huddersfield in 2015.

His exit is the latest in a number of departures relating to the match officials department in recent years.