Steve Ganson retires to take up new referee coaching role

Rugby League senior referee Steve Ganson has retired from refereeing to take up a new position in the RFL Match Officials Department.

Ganson, 43, has been appointed as Match Officials Coach and Technical Director and will start his new role on Monday (April 15).

Steve Ganson said: “I have been very fortunate to have enjoyed the career I have, the last 23 years have taken me on a fantastic journey and given me experiences I’ll never forget.

“This move has all come about very quickly but opportunities like this don’t come along very often and I’m really excited to make the move into coaching.

“I feel the time is right and whilst I know I’m going to miss refereeing, there are no regrets, just a genuine sense of anticipation at what lies ahead.

“My achievements within the game have been extremely satisfying and would not have been possible without the support of a great number of people, including Greg McCallum,Geoff Berry, Tony Brown, Gerry Kershaw and David Campbell and more recently Stuart Cummings all of who had a big influence on my career.

“I would like to thank all my close friends and family, especially my wife Julie and my children Peter, Josh and Daniel, for all their love and support. I would also like to pay tribute to the help I’ve had from the other referees and touch-judges: I can’t wait to work alongside them in my new role.

“I am also looking forward to lending my experience to the rich crop of young referees we have coming through.”

Steve Ganson made his senior debut as a referee with a match between Barrow and Carlisle on August 27, 1995. He refereed his first Super League match the following August, Castleford Tigers v Paris St Germain and has retired as the sport’s most experienced official at club and international level.

In another move, Jon Sharp has been promoted from his current role as Match Officials Coaching and Technical Director to Head of the Match Officials Department.

RFL Director of Standards and Licensing Blake Solly said the restructuring of the Match Officials Department and the new roles for Sharp and Ganson would allow the match officials to build on the significant progress seen in recent years.

“We have put in place a structure which is designed to bring about sustained improvements across the board, from individual performances through to recruitment and development,” said Solly.

“On behalf of everyone in the game I would like to thank Steve for the significant contribution he made during his 23-year career as a referee: Steve has officiated at the highest level and I can think of no-one better equipped to succeed in his new role than him.

“Jon Sharp’s experience as a player and coach has already brought a fresh perspective to the Match Officials Department and his appointment as department head will ensure the progress we have seen in recent years continue.”