Allan’s contribution to the Society over many years has now been recognised by making him an Honorary Member. The picture shows him with former England and British Lions forward Fran Cotton at a Society Dinner.
Below are Allan’s words as he describes the work he has done for the Society.
I was a unique member of the Society in that I was President TWICE. The first time, around 1999 was great. I was invited to numerous dinners and functions throughout the Midlands. The second time was in comparison was very flat .
At every monthly meeting for years we were told the Society was short of referees so as my Presidential Task I offered to recruits more. I and five fellow members trained as RFU Referee Trainers and went to clubs delivering refereeing courses. In three years we had trained more than 500 all of whom paid to join the Society. Then we were sacked as Trainers by the RFU. A month later I was asked to continue as a Trainer unfortunately the others were not reinstated. I continued for a further six years before resigning. My Task was achieved, with more than 1500 newly qualified referees.
My first game as a referee was in 1968. It was at Bournville RFC. The players were all ready, I put my whistle to my mouth and blew. Silence. The players, however, responded to my actions and followed the ball. I ran after them shouting Stop, Stop, Stop. Fortunately they did. My whistle was full of fluff. John Burgam (RIP) was the watcher. He was not amused.
At a Colts game at Worcester I red carded a visiting player whose dad went ballistic and called me some very unpleasant names. Whilst an injured player was being attended to the dad continued shouting at me. I walked across the pitch and told him I would not restart the game until I saw him in the far car park. Eventually he went. In the clubhouse after the game the club president advised me not to drive in the visiting team’s county as the dad I had sent to the car park was the Chief Constable!!.
After almost. forty years with the Society there is much more I could write. But I’m now in my eighties and becoming, to be honest, a bit disillusioned with the modern game. However, I must say it was all good fun and very enjoyable.
North Midlands Society of Rugby Football Referees
Committed to Excellence as Rugby Union Match Officials