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RIP John Stabler

York RLFC are saddened to learn of the passing of our Honorary Club President and former Chairman John Stabler, aged 77.

A life-long York RLFC supporter, John first became a Club sponsor through Stabler Linings in 1985, with his sponsorship support containing to this day, now through Stabler Textiles.

John served on the Club’s Board of Directors from 1991 to 1996, following in the footsteps of his Grandfather and Great Uncle, who were Club Directors during the 1930s.

He returned as Chairman from 2001 to 2002, with his services to York RLFC and rugby league in the city rewarded when accepting the invitation to become Honorary Club President in 2019.

Stabler was also a former Board member at Gateshead Thunder and Hull FC and the President of the Yorkshire County Rugby League.

York RLFC will hold a minute's silence in memory of John before Sunday's Betfred Championship fixture against Newcastle Thunder (3pm) at the LNER Community Stadium.

John's funeral will take place at the York Crematorium on Tuesday 6th June (1.40pm).

York RLFC Chairman Clint Goodchild paid the following tribute to John and his loyal service to the Club:

"There are very few people in life that leave a legacy quite like our dear friend and Club icon John. He is everything a man could hope to be.

"A loving and generous husband, father, grandfather and friend who has left his mark on so many people at his successful textile business, beloved Methley Cricket Club and cherished York RLFC.

"I will never forget the first time I met John. It was in the summer of 2021 upon my first visit to York and I was sat with John and his good friend Roland Davis in hospitality.

"At that stage, I was just another random person in the room but John took it upon himself to welcome me as a first-timer and was so kind and warm in his tone.

"As he shared his stories, it was obvious that he was so proud of this Club.

"John spoke of the days he spent at Clarence Street with his father and grandfather as a child, before guiding the Club as Chairman to Huntington Stadium and the years that followed through highs and lows.

"While I met many people that day with a passion for the Club, I could see that his love ran much deeper than most and it left a profound impact on me.

"Upon taking over the role of Chairman last year, John was one of the first to come and take me for a coffee and a chat.

"As always, he was smartly dressed and punctual, greeting everyone in the office with a charm and kindness that we could all only hope to emulate.

"Upon sitting down, I was expecting the usual former boss speech: 'This is what you need to do, back in my day, listen to me young man'.

"But John being John, he had a very simple message: 'I am here for you. I am here to help. What can I do?'

"I was so fortunate to have John to act as a mentor as I continue to find my feet here at the Club and here in Yorkshire.

"I will treasure the day we spent at Methley Cricket Club walking around the boundary as he shared stories of the one true love his of his life, his wife Jean.

"I will forever be thankful that I was able to know John. On behalf of the Club, I send my deepest condolences to his family and friends.

"As the saying goes, society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit.

"I am saddened that we were not about to take the Club further while John was still with us, but make no mistake, any success that comes our way in the future will be on the back of the decades of service John Stabler gave to this Club."

Everyone at York RLFC would like to send our condolences to John’s friends and family at this difficult period in time. Rest in peace, John.


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