17th December 2019, 14:00 | rfl
At the meeting of the Rugby League Council at Emerald Headingley on Tuesday December 17, three more names were officially added to the RFL Roll of Honour – His Honour Peter Charlesworth, Pat Crawshaw and Stuart Sheard.
The Roll of Honour was introduced in 2003, to recognise exceptional off-field contributions and complement the Hall of Fame for on-field performance, and these additions take the membership of this esteemed club to 40.
At the end of the 2019 season, His Honour Peter Charlesworth stood down from his senior role with the RFL Operational Rules Tribunal – after 26 years of service to the game.
He joined in 1993, when the ORT’s predecessor – the RFL Disciplinary Panel – met fortnightly at Chapeltown Road.
The work of the Tribunal has expanded significantly since then, extending from On-Field discipline to a remit including Salary Cap breaches, and cases of Misconduct and Safeguarding.
Peter has been a committed and consistent member throughout, and since the retirement in 2012 of Jim Spencer (who was added to the Roll of Honour the following year), has been the senior member of the ORT.
Peter combined his ORT role with working as a barrister and Circuit Judge in the North East, and he also served two terms as Chair of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.
Pat has been an increasingly influential figure in the Community game for four decades, since becoming the secretary of Walnut Warriors ARLFC in Wakefield, her local club, in 1980.
She became Chair of the West Yorkshire Sunday League (for six years) and later the Wakefield and District League (for 15), and joined the BARLA Board of Management as Vice Chair of the Youth and Junior Council from 2005-8.
She joined the University and College Rugby League Board in 2006, and has represented the student sector on the RFL Community Board since 2011, standing down at the last meeting of 2019.
She has always championed Women’s and Girls’ Rugby League, and was the first Chair of the RFL Female Steering Group from 2006. Alongside Clare Morrow (the former RFL Director who was added to the Roll of Honour in 2018) and others, Pat developed a future framework document that was the forerunner for the development of the Women’s Super League and has also assisted the RFL with the delivery of its Women and Girls Strategy and competition regulation and delivery through her role as Chair of the Women’s Advisory Group (from its creation in 2017).
She served as the RFL’s first female Vice President for 12 months from July 2018, and becomes the fifth woman on the Roll of Honour.
Stuart Sheard has been added to the RFL Roll of Honour in recognition of his stalwart service to the Community and professional game over more than five decades.
It was way back in 1968 that he made his debut for General Accident in the Leeds Sunday League, later joining Bentley and Rotherham Rangers before retiring in 1987.
But he had already moved into administration, having been elected as Secretary of the Doncaster Amateur Rugby League, and then becoming the General Secretary of the West Yorkshire Regional League.
In 1984 he became a director of Sheffield Eagles two years after they joined the professional ranks, and he also managed the club’s Alliance (Reserve) team in 1999. He then left his job as a school headteacher to work full-time with Huddersfield Giants, initially as Development Manager before becoming Player Performance Manager then Football Manager.
In 2008, Stuart left Huddersfield to join the Crusaders RL backroom team as Football Manager before becoming the Chief Executive Officer of Featherstone Rovers until 2011.
In the mid-1990s Stuart was elected on to the BARLA Board of Management becoming a County and International Selector for that Organisation and then became the Vice Chair of BARLA in 1997.
He became the Independent Chair of the Yorkshire Men’s League in 2012 and helped grow this competition to become the largest Men’s league Competition within the sport.
He joined the RFL Community Board as Tier 5 Adult Representative in 2016.
He has also written several Rugby League books on the grassroots game and the heritage of the sport.
For a complete list of the Rugby Football League's Roll of Honour, click here.