I wasn't forced to retire: Harrigan - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

I wasn't forced to retire: Harrigan

By Billy Freeman 29/10/2003 06:33:06 PM Comments (0)

There has been a lot of bad blood concerning Bill Harrigan during his illustrious career, but he denies any suggestion of being pressured into retirement by the National Rugby League.

The sport's most celebrated referee has announced his departure after 17 years at the top, ending weeks of speculation.

Harrigan launched his biography only days after the grand final, reportedly against the wishes of the NRL.

But the 43-year-old said at a news conference the book had nothing to do with his retirement.

He pointed to unnamed "other opportunities" and his wife's pregnancy as reasons behind the decision.

"There's absolutely no bad blood, and the writing of the book had nothing to do with this (decision)," Harrigan said.

"In fact, when I came in and told (NRL chief executive) David (Gallop), I think I stumped him really.

"David said that he'd love to see me going around for another three years.

"I was not pushed by the league, this was all my decision."

A key, he said, was when he felt no emotion after Sean Hampstead was appointed ahead of him to handle the trans-Tasman Test earlier this month.

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