Rugby league pauses to remember top referees

The rugby league fraternity will next week pay its respects to two of Queenslands most accomplished referees during the 1960s.


Former Ipswich grand final referee Bill Gayler passed away late last month aged 89. His funeral service will be held on Wednesday (see below for further details).


On Monday in Brisbane, family, friends and colleagues will celebrate the life of former Brisbane Rugby League referee Colin Bennett.


Colin died peacefully last Sunday, aged 92.


Vale Bill Gayler


Bill Gayler was born in Toowoomba in 1924. He moved to Ipswich for work and went on to play rugby league for the Tivoli club. He also represented Ipswich in the Bulimba Cup.


After hanging up the playing boots, Bill quickly established himself as one of the regions most respected referees. He controlled the 1960 and 1961 Ipswich grand finals and also excelled at interstate and international level.


He refereed the 1959 interstate match between Queensland and NSW in Sydney, and was a touch judge for two international matches in 1960 and 62.


Bills funeral service will be held on Wednesday, December 11, at Central Church in Ipswich (corner of Limestone and Gordon Streets), at 11am.


Vale Colin Bennett


Colin Bennett was the oldest Life Member of the Brisbane Rugby League Referees Association.


He joined the Association from the Banyo Leagues Club with Henry Albert in the late 1950s. Colin was Brisbanes best touch judge throughout the 1960s, regularly running lines for Henry, who controlled grand finals in 1960, 1962, 1965-1966 and 1972.


Colins funeral mass will be held at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church (St Vincents Road, Banyo) on Monday, December 9, at 11am.