Phil Bentham has resigned from his dual Super League referee-overseeing role.

The 49-year-old ex-Super League referee took on the role of match officials coach after being forced to retire from officiating because of a neck injury sustained during a game in 2018.

He had also been acting as head of match officials recently and the Rugby Football League says a recruitment process is now under way.

A statement said: “Phil Bentham has informed the RFL that he will leave next month to pursue other career opportunities outside the sport.

“We thank Phil for his fine refereeing career and the work he has done since, as a match officials coach and recently as acting head of match officials.

“A recruitment process is in place to fill two match officials coach roles.”

Bentham, from Leigh, took charge of seven major finals during his career, including the 2011 and 2014 Super League Grand Finals, as well as four Challenge Cup finals and the 2014 Four Nations Final in New Zealand.

His refereeing career came to an end in 2018, when a collision with Widnes forward Chris Houston resulted in him suffering a slipped disc in his neck.

Bentham also suffered a fractured tibia in an incident with Hull KR’s Shannon McDonnell in 2012, and pulled a hamstring while touch judging a cup match between Leeds and Huddersfield in 201

State of Mind Sport would like to thank Phil for all his work in refereeing at the very highest level and wish him all the very best for the future

Referees are the lifeblood of many sports and should be appreciated for their efforts at all levels