Didier Mené, former head of referees and former member of the FFR steering committee, died Friday at the age of 59.
The world of French rugby is in mourning. This Friday, the former head of referees (between 2009 and 2016) and former member of the FFR steering committee (between 2008 and 2016), Didier Mené, died at the age of 59 from a heart attack. “Didier Mené has served our sport with passion and dedication. We invite all members of the FFR and the rugby community to honor his memory and his dedication to our sport”, said the interim president of the FFR Alexandre Martinez. “ Didier was a source of inspiration for a whole generation of referees. His contribution to French and international arbitration has been considerable. He has been a traveling companion for many and, tonight, the world of refereeing is saddened, ”reacted the national technical director of refereeing Franck Maciello.
Three championship finals on the clock
Born in Prades in the Pyrénées-Orientales and former amateur basketball player, Didier Mené began refereeing in 1986 in the third division, before officiating in the elite from 1991, then at international level (twelve matches in total) at from 1994. At the age of 30, in 1994, he refereed his first match of the 5 Nations Tournament, between Wales and England, thus setting a record for precociousness for a French referee. He also officiated in three French championship finals: Stade Français – Colomiers in 2000 (28-23), Biarritz – Agen in 2002 (25-22) and Biarritz – Toulouse in 2006 (40-13).
After his career as a referee, the Pyrenean, engineer in the field of chemistry, joined the bodies of the FFR, until 2016 where, present on the list of Pierre Camou, outgoing president beaten by Bernard Laporte, he was not elected to the steering committee. Ditto in 2020, where he appeared on the list of Florian Grill, also beaten by the former coach of the Blues and Minister of Sports. He also failed in 2020 and 2022 to become president of the Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur Regional League. In parallel with his life linked to rugby, Didier Mené had been director of operations at Fluxel since 2020, operator of the oil terminals of Fos-sur-mer and the oil port of Marseille, and since 2017 national and international president of MASE, a network that aims to improve the health and safety of employees in companies.