Rugby League has paid tribute to John Pattinson, the RFL Community Board member and BARLA Vice-chairman who died on Wednesday while on holiday in Australia. He was 59.
John was heavily involved in the community game for many years and had been a huge influence on the game, especially in his home county of Cumbria.
Awarded the prestigious BARLA Silver Boot in 2005 (pictured above) for his tireless work as secretary of Cumbria Amateur Rugby League, he went on to hold various administrative positions within the game including BARLA Three Counties Chairman and played an active role on the association’s international committee.
“It is terribly sad news,” said Richard Lewis, RFL Chairman and Community Board Chairman.
“John was a passionate Rugby League man and a valued member of the Community Board and his input into the group was greatly appreciated.
“He had a lifelong involvement in the game both as a player and then an administrator and I know I speak for all the Community Board when I say he will be sorely missed.”
Lewis’s thought were echoed by RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood.
“John was a Rugby League man through and through and the game was a huge part of his life.
“He played an active part in many different roles and in recent years has brought some really vital input to the table as the community game enters a defining moment in its history.”
BARLA Chairman Spen Allison was also quick to pay tribute to the work that Pattinson had done.
“I am still in a state of shock following the news of the sad loss of John,” said Allison.
“My immediate thoughts are with Fiona his wife and their family and on behalf of BARLA I send our condolences.
“John was my Vice Chair of the Association, Chairs of the International and Three Counties Committees, BARLA Representative to the Community Board, Secretary of Cumberland Amateur Rugby League and a stalwart of the game in Cumbria for many years.
“He was a great right arm for me on the Board and at meetings was always prepared to listen to all sides before giving an opinion. When John spoke you listened.
“He was a visionary to taking the game forward; John’s shoes will be big for someone to follow him.
“God Bless John RIP.”
A minutes silence will be held before the BARLA Under-23s game against the Ukraine at Heworth on Sunday.