On Friday August 25 2006 Blankenstein passed away in the Leyenburg hospital in The Hague at the age of 57. According to the news he was ill for some time. We all have learned to get to know John as the first international football referee that was openly gay. He was asocciated member of the EGLSF and supported the EGLSF over the years in the fight against discrimination of LGBT people within the Netherlands and within Europe. He participated on many platforms in Europe to support our work. Words can not express what this sudden death means to us.