Navy Referee Reaches Elite Level

Chief Petty Office Paul Burton (DES Abbeywood) a member of the Navy Referee Society, has been promoted to the Elite Assistant Referee Panel; he joins Roger Baileff, another Navy, member who has been operating at this level for several years.  This will mean that next season he will be running the line for Guinness Premiership matches and possibly European matches in the highly pressurised environment of top level rugby. 

Paul said of his promotion "I have fulfilled my ambition to be promoted to the Elite Panel, however it is only the beginning and it is now up to me to prove I am capable of doing the job at the highest level.  I am looking forward to the challenge". 

Paul has made steady progress since taking up refereeing in 1998 and has been a stalwart of Hampshire, RN & Combined Service societies, indeed he was the referee for the Inter Services Vets this season.  In 2003 he decided to specialise as a touch judge and once again made significant progress officiating regularly at Championship level; significantly, late this season he has made television appearances in the Championship play offs and finals.  He has also been appointed to the County Cup Final at Twickenham, the curtain raiser to the England v Barbarians match. 

This year the Combined Services Rugby Referees Federation recognised his achievements by awarding him the Jim Lees Trophy for excellence in the officiating of rugby at their recent dinner onboard the Warrior.  Stew Kilby, RN Chairman of Referees, said "it is a very proud moment for both Paul and Navy referees for one of our members to be promoted to the highest level in the English game.  It takes a lot of personal commitment to reach the elite level, especially while holding down a busy job of bringing the Navy's latest Attack submarine HMS Astute into service

Paul Burton with the Jim Lees Trophy