Veteran British MMA referee Neil Hall has died aged 55 after a three-week battle with COVID-19 pneumonia.
Hall, who coached MMA at Allegiance MMA as well as being an official, refereed 40 UFC fights from September 2013 to September 2019 according to Tapology. His wife Kath opened up on the struggles he had in a Facebook post and made the following statement.
Sadly, Neil Hall passed away today.
He had a back operation in August and picked up an infection in the surgery area which wasn't found till late January. He went into hospital for intravenous antibiotics for a week then came home, unfortunately it was with COVID. He spent three weeks trying to fight Covid pneumonia but sadly he lost his fight today.
Over the years, Neil has met many people from all over the world and has had lots of fantastic experiences.
Today we have to say goodbye to him.
Kath and Dan. XX
Tributes have been plentiful for Hall and his colleague, compatriot, and current UFC official Marc Goddard has also weighed in on Hall and reflected on his relationship with him. Goddard posted on his Facebook after he heard the unfortunate news and called Hall a "tough as nails gritty northerner who wore his heart on his sleeve and was just a bloody good bloke."
Absolutely devastating news tonight that Neil Hall had very sadly passed away. Anyone who is anyone in UKMMA will have known Neil. A tough as nails gritty northerner who wore his heart on his sleeve and was just a bloody good bloke.
I knew Neil for close on 20 years in one way or another and we met & worked together so many times and when Neil made it to the UFC it was like a kid at Christmas and he was so proud and Neil you made it your way and I’m so glad you got to stand there and do what you truly loved. I will not forget our words.
Me & the boys will have a proper drink & toast for you next week like we always joked & spoke about. My heart goes out to Kath & Dan and all of the immediate family.
God bless you mate. RIP.
Hall was an MMA fan and was incredibly passionate about his love of the sport. In 2000, Hall opened one of the first MMA gyms in the U.K., Fighting Chance, and later moved on and opened up Allegiance MMA. Hall spoke to Martial News in 2011 and the below quote captures how he felt about MMA.
“There are some people who do to make as much money as they can and then there are those who have grown up in the industry and (it’s) more of a passion for them,” Hall told Martial News back then. “I believe I fall into the later category because MMA is my life and I want to do it right for both the safety and standards of the sport.”