Leading rugby league referee Alex Givvons dies after short illness

FORMER SADDLEWORTH Rangers’ player Alex Givvons, a leading rugby league referee in the 1970s and 80s, has died in hospital aged 82 after a short illness.

His funeral will be held on Thursday, April 27 with a family only cremation at Oldham Crematorium at 1.30pm.

That is followed by a public thanksgiving service at St James’ Church, Thornham, at 2.30pm following by a wake at Crompton and Royton Golf Club.

The elder son of an Oldham Rugby League Club legend Alex Givvons snr., Alex 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.

Blackpool vs Oldham Season 64-65
Blackpool’s Alex Givvons, on the right of the picture, tracks back to cover Oldham’s Joe Collins in season 1964-65.

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

Alex was a fine all-round sportsman, a well-known member and former president of Crompton and Royton Golf Club, represented Lancashire at water polo and played at Manor Tennis Club, 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’.

His brother Trevor said: “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.”


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