Born in the Scottish Islands, Leslie was a fine player in his youth before he took up refereeing.
After moving to Lancashire due to work, he joined the RFU’s Referees Panel and officiated at top level club fixtures such as Leicester versus Harlequins before being appointed to his first international on behalf of the Scottish RFU in 1988.
He was in charge of some huge international fixtures including France v the All Blacks and, perhaps his most prestigious appointment, England v Wales at Twickenham in 1990.
Leslie, pictured above, joined Fylde in 2000 when he retired from refereeing and progressed to chairman of rugby in 2006-7 and was subsequently chairman of discipline at the club and for Lancashire RFU as well. He was honoured to serve as President of the Manchester Society in 2007-9.
Fylde Chairman Dave Young said: “I have great memories of him as a top referee and a regular at Fylde matches in my playing days.
Former England captain Bill Beaumont, Chairman of World Rugby and Fylde RFC Member, said: “This is very sad news. David was an outstanding club man and an excellent international referee.
“I was commentating when he refereed his first international game. He was always encouraging to all young referees and a great role model.
He is survived by wife Barbara and two children.