Long serving rugby league administrator Warren Kimberley dies

Warren Kimberley

Warren Kimberley

One of the true icons of rugby league has passed away.

Warren Kimberley is remembered for his enormous depth of knowledge in the code where he served as chairman of Country Rugby League, president of Group Three as well as president of the Wauchope Blues Rugby League Club.

He was 81 years of age.

Former Blues president and committee member Troy Terp described Mr Kimberley's passing as "a sad loss for rugby league".

"He was an icon of the game at the local level," Mr Terp said.

"He played and coached at the Blues for a number of years before moving into administration. Warren then moved into Group Three before eventually chairing the CRL.

"One of Warren's great strengths was his ability to work with everyone involved in the game from the top level right down to the bloke that ran the sponge.

One of Warren's great strengths was his ability to work with everyone involved in the game from the top level right down to the bloke that ran the sponge.

Troy Terp

"Even when he stood down from his CRL role he moved to the president's job at Group Three for many years. He guided the group through some pretty tough times; they flourished under his leadership," he said.

Mr Terp remembers Mr Kimberley has someone who was always approachable and always wanting to help out.

His particularly strengths were in knowing procedures in administrative matters while he was also an excellent "troubleshooter and meeting chair who could find a solution to any problem".

"He actually coached me in the under 14s where we had a good time and I think we may have won a competition that year," Mr Terp said.

"There wasn't a job in rugby league that he hadn't done.

"It was his life, really."

Mr Kimberley spent a lifetime in rugby league.

He played 266 games with Wauchope in under 18s, reserve grade and first grade during the 1950s and '60s. Mr Kimberley also coached Wauchope before becoming involved in administration at club level while he was still an active player.

He then moved into executive positions with Group Three, North Coast Division and the Country Rugby League. He was a long-term treasurer of Group Three before taking on the president's position following the retirement of Jack Neal.

There wasn't a job in rugby league that he hadn't done. It was his life, really.

Troy Terp

Mr Kimberley served for many years as senior vice president of the Country Rugby League before assuming the role as chairman, a position he held for nine years from 1999 to 2008. He also held a senior role with a NSWRL finance committee.

He later returned to the Group Three board of management. In 2013 he was one of the four inaugural inductees into the Group Three Hall of Fame.

Mr Kimberley was a life member of Wauchope Rugby League Club, Group Three Rugby League, North Coast Division, the Country Rugby League and NSWRL.

Mr Kimberley was partner in a trucking business for many years, initially in Wauchope before relocating to Cundletown.

Former Group Three chief executive Barrie Smith worked and played football with Mr Kimberley and was also involved with Group Three administrations with him.

He described Mr Kimberley as a 'top shelf' administrator' who always attempted to resolve problems by negotiation.

"Warren had the ability to work with clubs to resolve issues amicably,'' Mr Smith said.

"He certainly wasn't a dictator. I learnt plenty from him.''

Mr Kimberley is survived by wife Pat and daughter Jenny. He was predeceased by son Stephen.

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