ANDY Burnham has been named as the new chairman of the Rugby Football League.

The Greater Manchester mayor, who is an avid rugby league fan and Honorary Vice President at Leigh Centurions, will take up his new post in July.

He said: “Being asked to represent the proud sport of rugby league is one of the greatest honours I’ve ever been given. Over the years, my love of the game has grown and grown — as a sometime player, a touchline dad and an avid supporter of Leigh Centurions. At a time when other sports have become more detached from their communities, rugby league remains rooted in theirs and that community spirit is its great strength.

“Greater Manchester is one of the sport’s greatest heartlands. We have six famous clubs and a grassroots and club structure that is strong. I see it as an important part of my role as mayor of Greater Manchester to develop the game here and further afield.”