BARLA in mourning over

The sport of Rugby League is in mourning following the death of Andrew Bennett, who died suddenly aged 51 on Tuesday morning.

Andrew was a member of the BARLA Board of Management, secretary of the Pennine League and also public relations officer for the Halifax League.

A forward with Greetland All Rounders in his playing days, before becoming involved with the administration of the game, Andrew was a referee for 15 years.

Andrew was married to Lesley, his second wife, and they have a daughter Charlotte. He also has a son Matthew from his first marriage.

BARLA Chairman Maurice Oldroyd said, "Andy was absolutely honest and straight and an outstanding administrator. His death is a real body blow to all of us. He brought a breath of fresh air to the BARLA Board and will take some replacing. Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family."

The funeral of Andrew Bennett is to be held at St Peters Church, Sowerby at 11:00am on Wednesday 24th September, followed by cremation at Elland Crematorium at 12.00am. Following the cremation friends and family are invited back to Elland ARLFC.

In other news:

Rudd steps down as Young Lions Coach.

Ian Rudd has stepped down as coach of the BARLA Great Britain Young Lions with immediate effect due to personal reasons.

Wath Brow Hornets coach Rudd has held the coaching reigns of the Young Lions since May 2001, in which time he returned from the Young Lions 2001 tour of Australia with six wins from seven, including a first ever Test victory against the Australian Schoolboys Emerging States. He also coached the BARLA youngsters in test series against the touring Australian Schoolboys, both home and away test matches against France and more recently on their tour of New Zealand.

Current assistant coach Carl Briscoe has now taken over and will be assisted by Widnes St Maries U18s coach Steve Hunt. Former Chorley Borough and Lancashire Lynx forward Briscoe currently coaches Wigan St Patricks U18s and is an ideal replacement having been Rudd's deputy.

Young Lions Manager Joe Elliott said, "Regrettably Ian has decided to stand down as coach. I would like to place on record my thanks to Ian for all his hard work. He has been a fantastic person to work with and I know he was very well respected by the players and staff alike."

He added, "We have installed Carl and Steve as the new coaching team and are sure that they will be able to carry on the great work that Ian started."