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Rugby league referee James Child announces his retirement

Rugby league referee James Child has announced his retirement as a full-time official with immediate effect.

The 39-year-old officiated in 333 Super League matches and four World Cups, plus the 2017 Betfred Super League Grand Final and the 2022 Challenge Cup final.

In February 2021, Child earned widespread praise when he spoke about being gay for the first time on the BBC’s LGBT Sports podcast.

Huddersfield Giants v Wigan Warriors – Betfred Challenge Cup – Final – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
James Child refereed 333 Betfred Super League matches (Mike Egerton/PA)

Child, a qualified chartered surveyor, said: “I’ve been refereeing since I was 11 so this was a tough decision to make, but it’s the right time for a variety of reasons.

“I’m not sure at this stage whether I’ll be staying involved in rugby league in an active capacity but I will remain a passionate supporter of the sport I have always loved, and will always bang the drum.”

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