A POPULAR family man and sporting identity was farewelled at a recent service in Kiama.
Bill Radford died on September 28, aged 88 in Kiama, following a period of illness.
His funeral service took place in Kiama on October 4.
He was born in Wollongong Hospital on March 6, 1928.
During his early life he lived in the family home in Dunmore.
He started his working life at Port Kembla steelworks.
In 1949, at the Albion Park Show Ball, he met Nola White. On August 26, 1950, they were married.
They moved into their home in Minnamurra after the wedding, and each of their five children were born while living there.
He also settled into a new job with Blue Metal Quarries.
In 1963 the family moved to Kiama.
Mr Radford’s real pride was definitely his family; in all of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, and certainly in his best friend, Nola, his wife and love of 66 years.
Mr Radford was a well-known sporting identity throughout the region.
He began playing rugby league in Shellharbour in 1944 as part of the junior competition.
In 1952 he represented South Coast seconds against Illawarra at Kiama Showground.
After retiring from playing he was encouraged to take up refereeing and gained his ticket in 1957.
He soon became one of the top whistle-blowers in Group 7.
He was also touch judge for the international game of France vs Southern Division in 1964 at Wollongong Showground, refereed Western Australia vs Group 7 at Kiama in 1968, and officiated a NSW vs Queensland primary schools game at Kiama.
In 1976, he was elected to the NSWRL referees examination board, a position he held for 19 years.
Mr Radford was made a life member of the Group 7 Referees Association in 1973 and South Coast Group 7 Rugby League in 1994.
Mr Radford also made valuable contributions to other sports.
He was a member of the Shellharbour Surf Life Saving Club, where he gained his Bronze Medallion.
For about ten years he served in the radio room for Kiama Surf Club.
He was a handy cricketer with Shellharbour, a hard-hitting opening batsman.
He was also a keen golfer, as well as tennis and darts player.
He made a substantial contribution, not only to rugby league but to sport within the region.