Vale: Les McIntyre

The National Rugby League and Australian Rugby League mourn the passing of Mr Les McIntyre OAM, the man known throughout the game as the founding father of the Canberra Raiders.<br><br>Mr McIntyre, who was awarded his OAM for services to Rugby League and Community last year, passed away on Saturday, after a lengthy illness, at the age of 93.<br><br>It was Les McIntyre, the Chairman of the Queanbeyan Leagues club, Secretary of the Queanbeyan Blues and Chairman of the CRL’s Group 8, who lobbied for Canberra’s introduction to the competition for the 1982 season.<br><br>The right to join Illawarra as one of two new expansion teams was no sure thing as the Raiders and Campbelltown put their cases to the NSWRL General Committee on the same night in March 1981, with the Raiders winning the vote 24-18.<br><br>It was a triumph for a lifetime’s dedication to Rugby League in the Queanbeyan-Canberra region for McIntyre who had been the ‘god-father’ of the project, who would be the Raiders first Chairman and who would be a guiding light behind the scenes for the club’s greatest triumphs.<br><br>“Les was a hugely influential figure for Canberra,” NRL Chief Executive, Mr David Gallop said.<br><br>“He is one of those people who helped broaden the game’s outlook to include new areas and who would ultimately see his club as the first to take the Premiership out of Sydney.”<br><br>Australian Rugby League Chief Executive, Mr Geoff Carr, added that Les was a passionate advocate for grass roots Rugby League and country football:<br><br>“He was one of those individuals who loved the game, he was on the Country Rugby League management Committee and was awarded life membership of both the CRL and NSWRL.<br><br>“He could be a tough old school negotiator but he helped build a powerful leagues club network that strengthened the game enormously in the area and gave us some of the Rugby Leagues biggest names.<br><br>Les is survived by his wife Elsie his son John (who is the current Raiders Chairman), five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren <br><br>