Tribute paid to rugby stalwart

Date published: 18 April 2017

ALEX Givvons, a well-known member and former president of Crompton and Royton Golf Club, and a leading rugby league referee in the 1970s and 1980s, has died in hospital after a short illness. He was 82.

The elder son of an Oldham Rugby League Club legend, Alex Givvons snr, he followed his father's example by playing rugby league professionally, as a centre or winger, for Halifax, Swinton and Blackpool Borough.

For part of his time at Blackpool, he played centre to the great Brian Bevan, the famous Australian, who was by then in the twilight of his career after serving Warrington for many years as one of the sport's best-ever wingers.

Before turning pro, Alex played for St Patrick's, Saddleworth Rangers, Oldham St Anne's and Oldham Rugby Union clubs.

He was an all-round sportsman, who represented Lancashire at polo; played golf at Crompton and Royton where he was president in 2008; and enjoyed tennis at Manor Tennis Club in Waterhead.

In later life, as a former rugby league referee with a failing hip, he picked up his pen to write a regular article in the Oldham RL Club's match-day programme, headed 'Alex Rules OK'.

Said his brother Trevor: "Alex was a great sportsman from a rugby league family but more importantly for me, he was a brother whom I could always look up to."

A family-only commital service for Alex will take place at Oldham Crematorium, Hollinwood, on Thursday, April 27 (1.30pm), followed at 2.30pm by a public thanksgiving service at St James Church, Thornham, and afterwards at Crompton and Royton Golf Club.