Maurice Lindsay, the architect of the Wigan Golden Age and also the former executive director of the Rugby Football League, has died at the age of 81.
Wigan paid tribute to their former chairman Lindsay, who joined the club in 1980 and embarked on an unprecedented period of success, saying he would “forever be remembered as a visionary”.
Under Lindsey Wigan, he won eight championship titles as well as eight consecutive Challenge Cups between 1985 and 1992, featuring stars such as Ellery Hanley and Martin Ofia.
Lindsay later led the RFL and was one of the instigators of the Super League and the transition to summer rugby in 1996, for which his club was renamed Wigan Warriors.
Wigan said they were “deeply saddened” by his death, adding: “Lindsay was respected and admired around the world by the Rugby League, and he will forever be remembered as a visionary – suggested the Super League, which changed the face of the Rugby League forever.
“Wigan Warriors expresses its deepest condolences to Maurice’s family and loved ones at this very sad time.”
Lindsay later served as CEO of the Super League before returning to Wigan after they moved from Central Park to JJB Stadium. He was also a member of the Wigan Athletic Board along with owner Dave Whelan and briefly served as chairman of Preston North End.
The RFL CEO Ralph Reimer said: “Maurice Lindsay will be remembered as one of the most significant leaders in the history of sport.
“First at the Wigan Club, where the strength of his personality was crucial in their emergence, perhaps as the greatest club of all time in this country, which dominated the country and prospered internationally, and whose influence went far beyond the rugby league .
“Then, when he moved to the central administration of the game in the RFL, he was a leading figure in the 1996 Super League, which really changed the sport.
“He was a truly unique character, a great storyteller, his eyes always shone – and he lived a wonderful life. Rugby League without it, it would not be where it is today. “