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Malta rugby mourns the death of former national team manager Mike Beerman

The Malta Rugby Football Union community was in mourning on Monday morning following the death of former national team manager Mike Beerman.

Tributes poured in following the death of Beerman, who was a major contributor to the development of the game of rugby in Malta throughout the past three decades and helped in no measure to help the sport become very popular in our country.

During his career, he filled several roles within the Union which also included the role of referee as well as referee instructor but his biggest impact was when he was named the team manager of the national team where he served his role to perfection.

“With deep sadness and a heavy heart, we share the news of the passing of Mike Beerman, a truly valued member and pioneer of our Union,” the Malta Rugby Football Union said in a statement.

“Mike left an indelible mark on our community through his unwavering dedication, passion, and countless contributions. He played an integral role in refereeing, being the referees’ manager, national team manager, Union general secretary, best keeper of statistics, and many more. His legacy will be remembered for years as he paved the way for many of us.

“During this challenging time, we extend our deepest condolences to Marcella, his family, and his loved ones. We understand the profound loss we all share, and we encourage members to come together to support one another.

Let us take a moment to reflect on the impact Mike had on our Union and express our gratitude for the time we were privileged to spend with him.”

Former national team player Steve Lyons hailed Beerman as ‘one of the greates and generous men’.

“Rest well my friend,” he wrote.

“The respect and love I had for you was unlimited. One of the greatest and generous men I had the honour to know. Honoured to call you my friend.”

Former Malta national team coach Damian Neill, who stepped down from his post last June after 20 years at the helm, paid an emotional tribute to Beerman.

“To be honest, I am still trying to process his loss and I am trying to control my emotions as he was a really great man and a great friend for me,” Neill told the Times of Malta.

“Mike was involved in my very first international match as Malta coach way back in 2003 in Switzerland and on every match day we would wake up in the morning have a cup of coffee together or go for a walk and it was really great to have him with me.

“We shared a lot of international wins and losses but I knew that Mike always had my back and always looked after me.

“He gave so much to Maltese rugby. He was a volunteer but he worked full time in his role and the players had so much fun with him.

“My only regret is that I didn’t have the chance to have one final chat with him. I would like to send my deep condolences to his family and all the people around him. No doubt he will be deeply missed.”

On his part, former MRFU referee Don Hewer describe Mike Beerman as his ‘mentor.

“Mike taught me so much,” Hewer told the Times of Malta.

“When Mike was refereeing, I wondered the reason behind decisions, and started to actually read the Laws of the Game of Rugby Union.

“He showed me what officiating meant. He coached me. I learnt about National Team Management, international organisation, and the protocols. He was my mentor.”

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