Lord Lofthouse of Pontefract: Statement from the Parliamentary Rugby League Group
The funeral took place today of Lord Geoff Lofthouse of Pontefract, President of the Parliamentary Rugby League Group, held at All Saints Church in the town from which Geoff took his title.
Group Member Yvette Cooper, Geoff’s successor to the Pontefract and Castleford seat, attended the funeral alongside the Group’s Chairman, Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland and Group Treasurer Lindsay Hoyle who was also representing the House of Commons in his role as Deputy Speaker.
After the service, Mulholland said “Geoff was a passionate and honourable man. The legacy he left in his constituency and outside has been written about in recent days and whilst he will be missed by those whose lives he touched directly, we know just how impactful his tireless work has been.
“Geoff was the only Member of Parliament to have played professional rugby league and I think the virtues of the sport he loved were taken by him into Westminster and both Houses of Parliament were better places for that.
“The Group has received a number of letters and emails over recent days; all will be sent to his daughter who we are thinking of today.”
Lord Doug Hoyle, Lindsay’s father, served with Geoff in the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Lindsay and Doug released the following statement: “It was a privilege to work with Geoff. His commitment for Rugby, BARLA and love of Featherstone was second-to-none. There is no doubt he will be sorely missed.”
Prior to the funeral, Yvette Cooper spoke fondly of Geoff and for the community he served: “I will always remember the long chats we used to have, Geoff’s no-nonsense approach and also his warm chuckle. My thoughts and sympathies are with all Geoff’s family and friends now. I think the whole community will want to pay tribute to Geoff and the immense contribution to our area he made.”