Vale Keith Holman, MBE

The Australian Rugby League and its state affiliates today pay tribute to Keith Holman, MBE who passed away overnight after a long battle with illness.

Holman grew up in Sydney's Surry Hills and served with the Royal Australian Air Force during WWII before he was spotted playing in Dubbo and recommended to the Western Suburbs Magpies.

In 1948 Holman joined the Western Suburbs Magpies and began a lifelong association with the black and whites that saw him play over 200 first grade matches for the club as well as 33 games for New South Wales and 32 Tests for Australia.

After his playing career ended Holman served as a very successful referee and controlled the 1971 decider between South Sydney and St George, making him the only person to both play in and referee a Grand Final. Holman also went on to officiate in two Test Matches in 1972 between Australia and New Zealand.

Despite having already coached the Magpies in the 54-55 seasons as a Captain-Coach, Holman's greatest success in the coaching ranks came in 1977 when he guided his beloved club to a win in the Amco Cup.

Holman also served as a member of the NSWRL Coaching Council for many years and is a life member of the NSWRL.

ARL Chief Executive Officer, Geoff Carr has paid tribute to Holman's lifetime contribution to the game.