Rugby League clubs have been paying tribute to a community champion described as the “heartbeat” of a club in Salford.

Alfrieda Kindon, who has died aged 71, founded what is now Salford City Roosters in 1980.

Together with her husband Rod, she helped turn a derelict facility on Peel Green into a community hub, originally named Eccles Amateur Rugby League Club.

Since its inception, the side has welcomed thousands of youngsters through its doors and been a key link across amateur rugby league.

Alfrieda & Rod Kindon (Image: Chris Irwin)

The club announced her death on social media late last night and tributes have been paid from across the amateur and professional game.

Blackbrook ARLFC in St Helens posted: “Really sad this morning on hearing such awful news. Alfrieda was a lovely lady.

“She will be a massive loss to her beloved club the RL community in the Salford area and the game in general. Sincere condolences go out to Rod and all her friends and family. RIP Alfrieda.”

Tatto Heath Crusaders chairman, Mike Denning posted: “Words fail me at this time. Lovely lady and the heartbeat of your club.

“Thoughts and prayers with Rod and the family at this time. Rest well Alfrieda from all your friends”.

Further tributes have come from Championship side, Sheffield Eagles; the chief executive of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup, Jon Dutton; and BBC Radio Manchester’s Rugby League commentator, Trevor Hunt, describing her as the ‘voice of reason’, who was a wonderful woman and a stalwart for her club and for the National Conference League.

Alfrieda Kindon with a group of rugby players with awards
Mrs Kindon helped thousands of youngsters get into sport in their community (Image: Chris Irwin)

A formidable presence, such was Mrs Kindon’s impact that she was recognised at this year’s Spirit of Salford Community Awards in March.

Described by the awards as a mentor and role model, with a great track record of integrating vulnerable young people into the club community and the sport of Rugby League, Mrs Kindon was nominated as Salford’s Citizen of the Year and won the 2021 Volunteer of the Year Award.

Alfrieda Kindon serving players food
Despite having a role at the top of the club, Mrs Kindon would pitch in at all levels. (Image: Chris Irwin)

Speaking to Salford Now upon her nomination in March, Roosters chairman and former player Chris Irwin could not speak highly enough of someone he saw as ‘an absolute saint’.

He said: “She was the lady behind the bar, the lady that served your food and she scared the living daylights out of me as a kid and she probably did into my early adulthood really!

“But she was somebody that holds respect within the community of the rugby club and she’s a very caring and very loving lady and a mother to a lot of the young players that come through at the club.”

Alfrieda Kindon with three shirtless rugby players
Alfrieda was loved by all at Salford City Roosters (Image: Chris Irwin)

The club has seen generations of players step through its doors and has teams starting at 5 years old all the way to senior level.

And as well as adding to the community, it has seen dozens of players reach the professional game.

Former international prop forward, Adrian Morley, first picked up a rugby ball under the watchful gaze of Kindon before going on to a stellar career at Leeds Rhinos, Sydney Roosters, Warrington Wolves and Salford Red Devils.

Adrian Morley, taking on France’s David Ferriol (left) and Michael Simon whilst playing for England, started his career on Peel Green. (Image – Credit: PA Images)

Hudderfield Giants coach, formerly of Salford Red Devils, Ian Watson and Weaste-born Nathan McAvoy also both crossed the white line for the first time, playing for the Eccles side, before signing for the Red Devils as players.

Former Salford Reds Head coach, Ian Watson started his playing career at the Eccles club. (Image – Credit: PA Images)

And ahead of their Super League match tonight against Leigh Centurions, the Red Devils have announaced a minute’s silence in honour of a woman credited with helping so many develop a love for the game.

Chris Irwin had hoped that Mrs Kindon, who had been unwell for some time, could receive a ‘boost’ upon seeing the next stage of the club’s development, which is due to be unveiled in the autumn.

Delaying their 40th anniversary celebrations due to the pandemic, the Roosters plan to move into a new clubhouse. He took to Twitter this morning to express his sadness that Mrs Kindon would not be able to witness its completion.

He posted: “We’re all devastated – the club was Al’s baby and we were all her kids that she would fight tough (sic) and nail for.

“I’m gutted she won’t see the new clubhouse but her legacy will live their (sic) for years to come. X”




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