Board Members

Nigel Wood

Nigel Wood has been a Director of the RFL for 15 years, being appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2007. During this time the RFL and SLE have grown revenues from £18m to £52m and have delivered profits in each consecutive year and investment around the sport has reached record levels.

Nigel is also Chief Executive and a Director of Super League (Europe) Ltd, a position he has held since the creation of the company in 1996.

Nigel is very much committed to the expansion of the international game. In May 2014, he was elected as Chairman of the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) having worked in support of the federation for the past ten years, following his role as the Tournament Director for the immensely successful Rugby League World Cup 2013.

Nigel is also Chairman of the Business, Finance and Grants Sub-Committee, which has overseen the implementation of a formal grants protocol for the first time in the history of the organisation.

He has supported European development through his work with the RFL and assisted the development of the international game by working with broadcast partners to have the widest possible audience for international matches.

Last year Nigel was appointed Chairman of the RFL’s Equality and Diversity Group; a forum established to maintain and develop the RFL’s reputation as being a leading governing body of sport for Equality and Diversity. Nigel joined the RFL in 2001 and has held a number of positions in the organisation, including Financial Director and Chief Operating Officer.

More recently, Nigel has been appointed Chairman of the Community Board.

Prior to working for the RFL, Nigel was Chief Executive of Super League Club Halifax Blue Sox and Deputy Head of Finance for BBC North. He graduated from the University of Bradford in 1996 with an MBA in Business Administration.

Nigel played Rugby League for Bradford Northern and Halifax RLFC at junior levels and Huddersfield at reserve grade, together with a number of seasons playing Amateur Rugby League in the Pennine League.

FL Damian Clayton MBE

FL Damian Clayton MBE RAF is the Armed Forces representative on the Community Board.

He has played a key role in the recognition and overall development of Rugby League in the RAF and Armed Forces.

Together with the fellow member of the RFL Roll of Honor – Martin Coyd, they drove the sport towards gaining official recognition in the RAF on Jan 1, 1996.  He was awarded an MBE in the 2002 for services to Rugby League in the Armed Forces.

As a player, Clayton captained the RAF Rugby League side from 1994 until 2006 and holds the role of Station Warrant Officer at the RAF College, the home of RAF Rugby League.

Pat Crawshaw

Pat Crawshaw has been involved in the Community Game for over 30 years having started out in 1980 as Secretary of Walnut Warriors ARLFC, her local club in Wakefield, a position she held for 15 years.

In 1985, she took on the role of PRO for the West Yorkshire Sunday League and was Chairwoman between 1992 and 1998.

A long-time member of the Wakefield & District ARL Management team, she was President for 15 years stepping down in September 2013.

She was on the BARLA Board of Management as well as being the vice-chairwoman of the Youth and Junior Council from 2005 until 2008 and, in 2006, she was appointed Chairwoman of the RFL Female Steering Group and heads up the Women and Girls Management Group which oversees the running of the female playing programme.

A member of the Student Rugby League Board since 2006, she took over as Chairwoman in January 2014.

Peter Moran

Moran is a Solicitor Advocate and Partner in a criminal law practice based in Wigan.

He was appointed to the Community Board by Richard Lewis in 2004 and has been heavily involved in the grassroots game.

He played for St Cuthberts and St John Rigby College before moving to open age with Whelley ARLFC and Wigan St Patricks.

He was jointly responsible for the founding of the North West Counties Youth League in the mid 1970's and became its first fixture secretary and was Rugby Secretary for the successful Wigan St Patricks youth sides for over 15 years.

He has held various positions within BARLA, while serving as President of the association for many years. He has been actively involved in the National Conference League since its inception, as Chairman and currently President.

He negotiated its re-branding in conjunction with the RFL in 1994 and has helped secure the League's present dominant position as the premier competition within the Community Game.

Fred Baker

Yorkshire-born Baker lives in Shropshire where he works as a research technician at a local University.

Baker first became a fan of Rugby League when a family friend took him to Wiggington Road to watch York as a youngster.

In 1999, he moved from East Yorkshire to Shropshire and was an administrator, coach and eventually chairperson of Telford Raiders.

He was involved in the Midlands Steering Group which pushed forward the development of the junior and senior game in the region.

Over the last ten years, he has played a major part in the growth of Rugby League across the Midlands. He is an active level 2 coach, most recently at club, RPDC and Midlands’ u18s level.

Sue Taylor

Taylor has almost 40 years of experience within Rugby League after being introduced to the game by her husband John in 1974.

Elected as BARLA Chairwoman in 2013, she is also Secretary of the Pennine League and has held a number of roles within clubs and leagues over the years.

A passionate supporter of the game, she retired from her role as a Company Secretary in 2012 after 28 years in the job.

Trevor Hunt

Hunt played at Leigh Miners for 25 years after joining them from Leeds University where he was a Student International centre.

He played every position except hooker and was a member of the Miners’ Management Committee and Leigh and District League until 1996.

He was part of the BARLA International Management Team on the first open-age South Pacific Tour of 1990 to Samoa, Tonga and the Cook Islands before visiting Fiji and New Zealand in 1992 to set up the 1994 South Pacific Tour with Fiji.

Trevor is the Chairman of the National Conference League and a Rugby League Journalist who has been a member of the BBC Radio Manchester Rugby League Team since 1986.

In 2012, he and his co-host Jack Dearden won the coveted Frank Gillard Award for the Local Radio Sport’s Programme of the Year – the equivalent of a radio Oscar – for their Rugby League Extra Programme on Thursday nights which has been running since 1996.

The has commentated on every Challenge Cup Final and Grand Final since 1998, and every World Cup since 1995 as well as writing for various publications since 1975.

He is the current Chair of the Rugby League Writers Association, a position he has held since 2009.

Neil Ashton

Neil is the English Schools representative on the community board and was appointed on June 2015.

Neil is a PE and Assistant Head teacher at secondary school in Wigan and has been involved in the Champion Schools since its relaunch in 2002.

Neil has supported several teams to local, regional and National success – in 2012 his school were the first in history to have all 5 age groups qualify for the National stages of the Champion Schools. This achievement, alongside his work convening Wigan and Leigh Schools, resulted in Neil being recognised as English Schools Rugby League Teacher of the Year for 2012.

Stuart Sheard

Stuart Sheard began playing amateur Rugby League in 1968 for General Accident in the Leeds Sunday League and then played for Bentley and Rotherham Rangers. Sheard retired as a player in 1987.

His involvement in Rugby League administration began in 1976 when he was elected Secretary of the Doncaster Amateur Rugby League. Sheard was an amateur club secretary for twelve years and also Secretary of the West Yorkshire Regional League. In 1984 he became involved with professional Rugby League for a season as a Director of Sheffield Eagles before returning to the amateur game.

In the mid-1990s Sheard was elected to the British Amateur Rugby League Association’s Board of Management and was also a County and International Selector. In 1997 he was elected Vice Chairman of the British Amateur Rugby League Association.

Sheard re-joined Sheffield Eagles in 1999 as Alliance Team Manager. In 2000 he left his job as a primary school Head Teacher in South Yorkshire to work full-time in Rugby League when he joined Huddersfield Giants, initially as Development Manager, then later as Player Performance Manager and Football Manager. After Sheard left Huddersfield in 2008 he worked for Crusaders RL as Football Manager and Featherstone Rovers as Chief Executive Officer.

Since leaving his post at Featherstone in January 2011, he has concentrated on writing about grassroots Rugby League and the heritage of the sport and has authored several books on the subject.

Sheard returned to the community game in 2012 as Chairman of the Yorkshire Men’s League.

Jan Robinson

Jan’s background lies in the teaching of sport and is experienced in the Youth, Junior and Primary School elements of Rugby League. Jan was first introduced to the game back in 2010 and retired from teaching in 2012.

In 2013 Jan had a very busy year as she was elected chair of North East Juniors, awarded the RFL volunteer of the year, became the North East representative on the youth and Junior group and became chair of the North east management group. She is trained as a DBS verifier and is experienced in safeguarding.