A tribute to the legend of the sport, Ian "Hoops" Hooper from friend and former colleague, James Palmer.
It is with great regret and sadness that I inform you that FNCRRA life member, Ian "Hoops" Hooper tragically passed away yesterday after suffering a heart attack whilst refereeing a Reserve Grade game between Lennox Head and Ballina.
Hoops was a true gentlemen of the game and dedicated much of his life to Rugby Union and the development of rugby referees across Australia.
Hoops made a massive contribution to FNC Rugby, FNCRRA as a past President, current Chairman of Coaching & Grading, current Referee Appointments Officer, Referee, Referee Coach for this Zone & NSWCRURA and helped mentor & develop so many Junior & Senior Referees over many years.
He was also an integral part of the Byron Bay Rugby 7's for many years and co-ordinated the appointment of Referees from across Australia & overseas - without which the event couldn't happen.
He forged many friendships with members from other associations such as, the QRRA (Brisbane), Wairarapa Bush (NZ), South Canterbury (NZ) and many others in Australia and overseas.
Apart from being a cheeky half back in his Rugby playing days, Hoops also was a Police Officer for many years and made a valued and significant contribution to the citizens of NSW.
We, the rugby community, are devastated to have lost a great friend and brother who touched the lives of so many. RIP Hoops.
Yours in Rugby,