Richard Lewis (tennis and rugby league)

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For other people named Richard Lewis, see Richard Lewis.

Richard Lewis CBE (born 1954[1]) is a former British Davis Cup tennis professional from Middlesex

Lewis became executive chairman of the Rugby Football League in 2002.[2] On 1 April 2009 he replaced Michael Farrar as chairman of Sport England.[3]

Tennis career[edit]

In 1978, Lewis helped Great Britain reach the Davis Cup final and he also played in the 1981 semi-finals.[4] He also achieved a highest ranking of 68th in the world.[2]


Lawn Tennis Association[edit]

After finishing his playing career, Lewis moved into sports administration joining the U.K. Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) in 1987, rising to become the its director of tennis,[2] but agreeing to leave his position[5] in the wake of a 2000 loss to Ecuador that led to reduction of British tennis's status from "World" to "Euro-African Zone".[6]

Rugby Football League[edit]

Within a year of joining the RFL, Lewis oversaw reunification with the British Amateur Rugby League Association (BARLA) after nearly 30 years of division.[7]

Lewis, it was claimed by then Widnes Vikings chairman Tony Chambers, showed his strong expansionist credentials in 2005 when he allegedly threatened to resign if Super League clubs did not back a plan to save London Broncos (now Harlequins Rugby League), although he denies this.[8]

Under Lewis, plans for a Super League licensing system were introduced.

Through his position at the RFL, Lewis has become Chair of the Rugby League European Federation and Deputy Chair of the Rugby League International Federation.[4]

Following Nigel Wood's appointment as RFL Chief Executive in October 2007, Lewis's role increasingly focuses on developing rugby league in the UK and internationally.[4]

In 2009, when Lewis took on the role of Chair of Sport England, his RFL title changed from Executive Chairman to Chairman.

Lewis was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2013 Birthday Honours for services to sports administration.[9]

All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon[edit]

In April 2012, Lewis was appointed Chief Executive Officer at Wimbledon following a successful career at the RFL and Chair of Sport England. He replaced Ian Ritchie, who in turn moved on to become chief executive of the Rugby Football Union.[10]


  1. ^ "Richard Lewis has made his mark running the game", Telegraph, 11 June 2007
  2. ^ a b c "Lewis picks up league baton", BBC, 28 March 2002
  3. ^ "Lewis named Sport England chief". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 20 February 2009. Retrieved 19 December 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c "About the RFL", The Rugby Football League, 13 May 2008
  5. ^ "Lewis just had to go", BBC, 18 July 2000
  6. ^ "Hagelauer given 'Pied Piper' role", The Telegraph, 19 July 2000
  7. ^ "Multi-tasking Lewis a southerner happy to work at northern union", The Guardian, 1 June 2007
  8. ^ "Lewis denies quit claim over Broncos vote", The Guardian, 8 March 2005
  9. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60534. p. 8. 15 June 2013.
  10. ^ "RFL chairman Richard Lewis appointed Wimbledon chief exec". BBC. Retrieved 26 September 2012.