Tributes pour in for pillar of Leeds’s rugby union community

MISSED: Reg Jessop, who died aged 95.
MISSED: Reg Jessop, who died aged 95.
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He was a pillar of Leeds’s rugby union community whose love for the sport spanned almost a century.

Reg Jessop died at the age of 95 on December 20 at St James’s Hospital.
Tributes have poured in for Mr Jessop, from Morley, who for decades served as a player, referee and organiser for rugby union matches in the region.

His family has spoken with pride about his life, which saw rise to become president of both the Yorkshire Rugby Football Union and Morley Rugby Football Union Club (Morley RFC).

Sue Jessop, his daughter, said: “He was a gentleman, very highly-respected, honest, generous and very well-loved by all of his family.

“He was a pure bred Yorkshireman and always tried to make sure that he lived next to a rugby ground, whether that was in Roundhay or Morley. 

“Rugby was his first love.”

Mr Jessop grew up in Walker Place, Morley, and went on to captain Morley RFC as a hooker in the 1955/56 season.

After playing, he became the club’s first vice president in 1979, before being named as president for two seasons in 1981.  He also worked as a rugby union referee and he served as chairman of Yorkshire Rugby Union Referees.

He leaves behind Ms Jessop, her sister Lynda Deacon, and four grandchildren Sarah Irwen, Mark Richards, Emma Richards and Kate Ringrose.

His funeral will be held on Monday, January 8, from 1pm at Cottingley Cemetery.

Everyone who knew him is welcome.