Free Kit

Continuing the theme from Mondays post – free kit.

The Society will be celebrating 100 years of providing referees to clubs this coming season. To celebrate with today’s members we will be:

  1. Giving free shirts to active members.
  2. Giving a fleece to watchers and coaches
  3. Looking for a small way to recognise our social members.

The shirt will be predominately ‘our’ green front and back with white side panels. We expect that the Society badge will have Centenary and 1920-2020 around it and will be in the middle of the chest, rather than the usual position. On the left sleeve the word centenary and the date will also be shown.

The fleeces will have the same badge and words, where exactly placed to be decided shortly


  1. What is your preference long sleeves or short sleeve, you decide. The majority vote will dictate which one, we are not going to order both. Please email me at just your name and short or long. We need this information by 30th April so we can place the order, thank you.
  • We will be then asking you for your size. Sizes etc will be posted here but if you do not let us know…………. Ladies, your shirts will be ladies’ shirts.
  • We are very keen to make a token gift to our social members. These people are often those who have had to retire from the game but have remained loyal to the Society year in year out. Please can you suggest something that might be appropriate and include in the email about sleeves. (if you are not replying about the sleeves e.g. watchers, still let me have your thoughts).

A final note, to qualify for the shirt or fleece you must be a fully paid up member (unless you are exempt from paying). The subs are £25 and should be paid around 1st July. Bluntly, no subscription = no shirt/fleece.

And finally, a date for your diary our Centenary Dinner is booked for the 14th May 2021 at the Edgbaston Park Hotel and Conference Centre, Birmingham.

Our new Web Page – YOUR first CHOICE for information

Welcome to our new web page. Julian Edwards has volunteered to redevelop the site and is busy changing things around, tweaking things here and there. Please explore it and let him/us have any constructive comments and ideas, bearing in mind that it is still very much a ‘work in progress’!

How do you let us know? If you look under the title you will see in green ‘Add a Comment’. Click on it and give us your thoughts. Later on we will be asking you to comment on a more regular basis, probably mainly on Law questions so please get used to using it now.

You’ll see underneath this post that Rab Cooper is going round in circles raising money for an excellent cause, can you donate?

We sent out notice of postponement of the AGM early in March and now we have had further advice from the RFU. The three options were:

  • Defer the AGM because the time window is not defined
  • Run a virtual AGM ensuring that reports are circulated before the meeting and you have checked out the technology so that everybody who would expect to attend can get included
  • Run a virtual AGM with a single agenda item to defer the AGM

We are comfortable with our decision to defer the AGM: whilst we are looking at virtual meetings for other subjects, we feel that the AGM is so important a face to face style meeting later on is the right option.

When we get to hold the meeting, the Board will be recommending the appointment of Nancy Wilkin-Mead as the Training Director (a new position) and looking for a replacement for our Admin Director, Mick Fielding. If you want to know more about the Admin role please use the comment function described above.

When we get round to the AGM Phil Carman will become our President. Talking of Phil, the next post will be discussing free kit…………….

North Mids Ref in Crazy Charity Walk

North Midlands referee Rab Cooper has set up and taking part in the #250challenge during the lock down in aid of the Masonic Charitable Foundation.

The challenge is to cover 250 miles within the confines of the quarantine, and can be done however you wish, such as by treadmill or cycling. Rab has chosen to do it by walking around his garden, and as of the 17th April 2020, had passed the first 50 mile checkpoint in eight days.

“With the reffing season prematurely over, I wanted to keep my fitness up with something enjoyable” said Rab.

“At the same time, inspired by Captain Tom Moore, I decided to combine this with a charitable attempt. The Masonic Charitable Foundation is the second largest donator in England after the National Lottery, and helped fund essential counselling for a family member when otherwise we could not afford such a service.”

“My small efforts is my attempt to repay the kindness they showed me and my family”.

If you would like to donate, please visit Rab’s JustGiving page here

If you would like to take part, please email Rab at rabcooper89@gmail.com93425188_10158089890689246_1336117240059133952_n

Peter Harvey R.I.P.

Many of you will have known Peter, a long time watcher with Staffordshire and the Federation. He had been battling his second bout of cancer but last night, sadly, he lost the battle and died.  He had been relatively well recently and was in the pub just three weeks ago, but then had been back in hospital for a few days.  On the positive side, as he always said, he had fourteen extra years of a full life, after his first fight with cancer, which was a bonus for him and his family.

Message from RFU Chief Executive Bill Sweeney

Message from RFU Chief Executive Bill SweeneyMy thoughts and those of all of us at the RFU are with everyone impacted by COVID-19 as well as recent flooding events, both across the country at large but also within our own rugby union community.

In order to provide clarity and to assist with immediate and longer term planning, the RFU is today announcing the end of the 2019/20 rugby season for all league, cup and county rugby in England. The only exception to this is the Gallagher Premiership, who we are in active discussions with to review possible best next steps.

When current government advice on social distancing measures changes, we will naturally encourage rugby training and friendlies to recommence.

I would like to personally thank everyone for their swift actions in suspending rugby activity, this is not an easy time and I know many of you will have concerns that go beyond the game.

We are working through the implications of ending the season early and have instigated a thorough process to ensure fair and balanced outcomes for the game. We will communicate these outcomes by the middle of April. While we would like to provide all the answers now, we need some time to get it right for the best interests of the game. Rest assured we are working on this as a priority and we will continue to send weekly updates to clubs.

The three areas of focus for the RFU right now are Welfare, Implications and Reboot.


We are ensuring colleagues and communities are given support to follow government advice and are providing recommendations on how to stay fit and healthy using individual training programmes. We are also talking to government about how we can deploy and mobilise our own resources across England to support the vulnerable.


Every union is different, with unique structures and challenges and the RFU needs to manage its own particular complexities. Our business model is similar to most rugby clubs – we earn revenue from events on and off the field and we invest that back into the game. We benefit from strong Twickenham Stadium revenues but we are also exposed if there is widespread cancellation of games and events.

In this extraordinary situation we are working through a range of potential financial scenarios dependent mainly on the length of this crisis. This was already budgeted to be a loss making year within a 4 year cycle due to the costs of the 2019 RWC campaign and only hosting two home Six Nations games. The loss will now be considerably more as we face challenges similar to businesses across the entire country. There may well also be much longer term financial implications which we are assessing now. It is therefore taking us some time to develop a considered position on how we can support clubs and the rugby community, which we will do.

We have already undertaken financial measures to safeguard the business enabling us to review all options and programmes to provide support for clubs in these difficult times.

We welcome the measures announced by Government which could provide crucial support to professional and community clubs and the RFU. We are in regular contact with Sport England and The Sport and Recreation Alliance to understand how business rate relief and hardship funds can be accessed by clubs and will be providing assistance to make sure every club who is eligible will be supported.

The implications for all areas of rugby will be thoroughly worked through and solutions discussed and developed with the clubs.


Our welfare advice before the start of next season will switch to offering guidance on how players at all levels can reboot and get match ready.

We will work closely with constituent bodies to support clubs, competition organisers and the wider rugby community in preparing to re-start rugby in what is likely to be a challenging environment.

In recent days we have all been inspired by the many stories across the rugby family working together to support those who are the most vulnerable in their community – this encapsulates the unique spirit of rugby. I am confident that this spirit and resilience during these tough times will ensure we will come through this together and emerge stronger.

Take care and stay safe,

Bill Sweeney