Ken Pattinson

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Sadly, one of our former members – Ken Pattinson, an ex International Referee -has passed away.

Dave Thomas has pulled together information on his career in refereeing.


Ken started refereeing for the North Midlands Society in 1964, after playing for four years at Dudley Kingswinford RFC.

In 1973 he refereed his first Five Nations game, France v Scotland. Unfortunately Ken pulled a muscle during the game and sensibly came off. Had a slight ” hiccup” in the reverse fixture the next year when he ruled that a player holding the ball upright for a kick at goal, because of the wind, was offside and awarded a scrum !!!

There are numerous references of Ken in the books “Roars from the back of the Bus” and “Captains back of the bus”. Mention is made by many famous players of instances where Ken has been involved. One instance refers to a game between Ireland v Wales and the Welsh are being rather roughly  treated by the Irish players! At one stage the Welsh captain complains about being penalised yet agian and pointed to three of his players lying injured on the ground. Ken then calls BOTH captains to tell them to calm down, this did not go down well with the Welsh players.

Later years saw Ken acting as a “Citing Commissioner” for the IRB (now World Rugby ). I remember seeing him at a junior International at Sixways and he was complaining that he had recently been in South West Ireland for a Junior International on a Friday night and had to be in Dublin the next day for a Senior International (what a hard life!)

Ken was always a strong supporter of the North Midlands Referees Society, regularly attending monthly meetings. At times quite strong discussions between Ken and Laurie Prideaux, our other International referee, took place. He was also a trustee of Telford Hornets RFC and a past President of the Shropshire RFU.

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