SRUSR received the following letter from Kelvin Roberts (Chair of North Midlands Referees’ Society), who wanted to pass on the feelings of one of their members who refereed Oswestry v Wednesbury last weekend.
As Chair of the Referees Society it gives me great pleasure when I receive an email like the one shown below. You will know that referee abuse and poor behaviour by some clubs is currently blighting our game. To receive the message from Michael Lole about his treatment at your club last Saturday is so re-assuring, it reminds me that it is the minority spoiling it for the majority. His last sentence sums it up.
Oswestry contacted me to confirm the game well in advance. When I arrived at the ground, I was greeted by a kind lady who welcomed me, showed me to the changing room and supplied me with a hot drink of my choice.
The match was contested fairly hard but with discipline, there was no dissention and only a couple of inadvertent appeals (knock-on, ref). Both captains were exemplary, seeking clarifications only and keeping their players in check, apart from one incident of ‘handbags’, dealt with by yellow cards and accepted without any fuss. Wednesbury were on the end of a bit of a hiding (48 – 5) but never got frustrated or stopped trying to play rugby. It was VP day at Oswestry but despite the beer flowing the crowd was good natured.
After the game I was given beer and a meal and was able to chat with both sets of players.
This is all as I hope Saturdays should be, and I’m very grateful to Oswestry Rugby Club and both sets of players for making it enjoyable. Another game like last week and I would have been seriously considering my future as a ref!
I will also send a message to your opponents thanking their players for helping Michael enjoy his day.
Chair of Society