PORT Macquarie Sharks stalwart and Group 2 management committee member Les Murphy was forced to face his peers on Tuesday night.
He was asked to answer to charges of verbal abuse of a match official and acting in a manner contrary to the true spirit of rugby league at The Nambucca Heads RSL Club board meeting. Mr Murphy was cleared of all charges.
The incident is said to have occurred during a recent controversial encounter between the Sharks and the Sawtell Panthers.
Mr Murphy said he was "gutted" he had been charged in the first place.
"I'm happy my charges are off," he said.
"I resigned from the management committee over the situation.
"I feel totally gutted my name has been dragged through the mud after 40 years' service to the game."
The Port Macquarie Sharks operations manager wasn't the only one to face charges on the night.
Former first grade coach Anthony Fenton was asked to front the committee on a number of charges.
Mr Fenton was cited for misconduct after abusing a match official.
He pleaded guilty to the charges and was handed a suspension from any rugby league coaching activities for six competition rounds.
"I regret the incident, it shouldn't have happened, it was just a single brain snap I've had in the many years I've been involved in the game," he said.
Group 2 president Greg Mayhew said the pair's clean history and their dedication to the game over many years had been taken into account.
"Les has been a prominent official of the game and an experienced worker," he said.
"I was disappointed when I heard Les was facing these charges. I've known him for a long time.
"I'm very happy for him to have been found to have no case to answer."
Mr Mayhew said Mr Fenton had also been very co-operative throughout the process.
n Ref threat case adjourned: p87