RFL’s Head of Match Officials quits ahead of new season: ‘It’s the right time to pursue some other options’

Ben Olawumi
Steve Ganson

Steve Ganson sends Bradford Bulls' Joe Vagana (second left) off during a Super League game in 2007 - Alamy

Steve Ganson, the Rugby Football League’s Head of Match Officials, has quit his role ahead of the new season and will officially depart ‘by mutual consent’ on New Year’s Eve.

Starting in 1995, St Helens native Ganson – who will turn 54 on January 4 – took charge of more than 400 professional games as a referee, including over 300 in Super League alone.

He was among the first group of full-time officials appointed in 2007, officiating games in both the 2000 & 2008 World Cups.

Retiring from refereeing in 2013 to take up a role as the RFL‘s Match Officials Coach and Technical Director, he would go on to be appointed as the governing body’s Head of Match Officials in 2016.

Seven years on, he’s now decided it’s time for a change, and won’t be involved with the RFL beyond this coming Sunday (December 31).

RFL’s Head of Match Officials Steve Ganson quits ahead of new season: ‘It’s the right time to pursue some other options’

During his refereeing days, Ganson – whose son Josh played for both Wigan Warriors & Widnes Vikings – officiated two Super League Grand Finals, three Challenge Cup finals and two World Club Challenges.

The 53-year-old’s exit was confirmed by the RFL on their website this afternoon. In the statement, Ganson commented: “The role of Head of Match Officials is a challenging and rewarding one, but not always in equal measure.

“However, I will miss working day to day with the referees and the staff, alongside the clubs.

“I have had the opportunity throughout the departmental review to consider the future direction I wish to take personally, and I have reached the conclusion where I feel it’s the right time to pursue some other options in my career in 2024.”

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