Nécrologie – Mort cause de décès.
Didier Mené, the former rugby referee who directed three French championship finals and twelve international matches, passed away on Friday, May 26, at the age of 59. Mené was originally from Prades, a town in the Pyrénées-Orientales department of France.
Mené was one of the best referees in France in the early 2000s and a recognized international referee with twelve matches directed between 1994 and 2001. Later, from 2009 to 2016, he served as the head of French referees. He was a Catalan by birth and grew up in Pyrénées-Orientales before moving to Toulouse to pursue his engineering studies. He was a basketball player and got into refereeing by officiating university games as a fill-in. He soon became interested in the sport and started refereeing Fédérale 3 games in 1987. He quickly rose through the ranks, advancing to Fédérale 2 in 1988, then Fédérale 1 the following year, and finally the top division and international matches.
Mené is one of the few French referees to have directed three French championship finals (in 2000, 2002, and 2006). However, he was removed from the French Rugby Federation (FFR) in 2016 after Bernard Laporte was elected president, and he denounced the process. In 2020, he supported Florian Grill, Laporte’s opponent for the presidency, but he was not elected to the position.
Mené passed away on May 26, 2021, from a heart attack. He worked as the director of operations at Luxel, an operator of oil terminals in Fos-sur-mer and the Marseille oil port. He was also the national and international president of Mase, a network that aims to improve the health and safety of employees in companies.
The Independent offers its sincere condolences to Mené’s family and loved ones. His passing is a loss for the rugby community and beyond. Mené was a respected and accomplished referee who had a significant impact on the sport in France and internationally. His legacy will live on in the memories of those who knew him and the countless players and fans he touched over the years.