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Steve Betts awarded NSWRL Life Membership

New South Wales Rugby League is pleased to announce Steve Betts as a new Life Member of the NSWRL for his outstanding service to the game over the past 53 years. 

Betts’ on-field career began in 1967 as a Touch Judge for NSW Schoolboys games and he quickly rose through the refereeing ranks before being promoted to the top grade in 1980. Despite having 300 first grade games to his name, Betts’ contribution to the game extends far beyond an on-field capacity having held various administrative roles throughout his lifetime.

“It’s a real thrill to have all those years recognised in the manner it was, that was sensational,” Betts told

“I was very proud to see my efforts acknowledged by the governing body that has run Rugby League for the majority of my lifetime.

“It was a truly humbling experience. To have your name spoken in the same manner as some of the founding fathers of our game and many a good man since then, to be included in that list of people is a very humbling experience.”

Betts acknowledged there were others close to his heart who have impacted on his Rugby League career.

“It’s more for them (my family), because they’ve spent 40-odd years following me around football fields and still follow me around to this day,” he said.

Betts has also refereed Jersey Flegg and Presidents Cup games from 1977-79 and was accredited as a Level 5 International Referee and Level 2 Chief Match Official (CMO) from 1980 onwards.

Steve’s off-field career has been just as successful after holding titles at the North Sydney District RL Referees Association including President, Vice President and Treasurer.

In 1980 Steve moved up to the NSWRL Referees Association Social Committee before getting the top job at the ARL Referees Association in 2002. Steve remained as CEO until 2014 and now works for NSWRL as a Match Day Assessor and coach.

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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