Honorary Doctorate - 1993
Gary Hetherington is Chief Executive of Leeds Carnegie RUFC and Leeds Rugby Ltd, and owner and operator of Headingley Carnegie Stadium and Leeds Rhinos.
Gary played nearly 300 first team games as a professional Rugby League player for Wakefield Trinity, York, Leeds and Huddersfield throughout the 1970s and early 80s, and he was instrumental in setting up the game's first trade union for players.
His coaching career included the position of assistant coach to the GB team for the Test Series against Australia in 1994 and a Lions Tour to New Zealand in 1996 and also coach to the GB Under 24 team. After being turned down for the coaching job at York at the age of 27, he and his wife Kath decided to form their own club - the Sheffield Eagles.
The Eagles were formed and accepted into the Rugby Football League in 1984. Gary was the owner, general manager, player and team manager. The Eagles finished 17th in the Second Division with a turnover of just £86,000 in their first season, but after five years, the team was promoted to the elite division, finishing a best ever fifth in 1995. Significantly, the business had grown with a turnover of £1.4 million.
In 1996 Gary and his wife sold their controlling interest and Gary joined Paul Caddick to take over the ailing Leeds C F & A Co Ltd, owners and operators of Headingley Stadium and Leeds Rugby League Club.
The Leeds Rugby Union Club was acquired eight years ago and Leeds Rugby became the World's first dual code club. Test and County Cricket has been retained and the recently renamed Headingley Carnegie Stadium is now in the process of a £20 million redevelopment. Gary is also a director of both Super League Europe and Premier Rugby and a past president of the Rugby Football League.