Referees Dine onboard the Warrior
The Royal Navy hosted the Combined Services Rugby Referees (CSRR) biennial dinner on HMS Warrior on the eve of the Army v Navy Match. There was a considerable contingent of Navy whistlers, both old and new, amongst the 130 attendees who enjoyed a fabulous evening on the gun deck amidst the ships cannons. Presiding was Maj Gen Roddy Porter, Chairman of CSRR with John Owen President of the RFU as principal guest; after dinner in good naval tradition, the voices were cleared with some well know sea shanties.
Of the evening Stew Kilby said "As it was the Navy's turn to host the dinner it was a privilege that we were able to use such a prestigious Naval venue. HMS Warrior has been the ideal setting for such a dinner which had an eminently Naval theme much appreciated by our Army and RAF guests. I believe the RN has now set raised the bar for these 2 yearly events - over to the RAF for 2012!!"
Many of the referees decamped to Twickenham the next day, some of whom were happy with the result - and others not so, but all had a good day out with colleagues. The opportunity was taken to present both the CS and Naval Society awards at the dinner. Paul Burton was awarded the CSRR Jim Lees Trophy in recognition of his achievements as an Assistant Referee at Championship level, Gaz Fairbairn was presented with the Admiral Royds Trophy for the Navy Referee of the Year; he has consistently achieved excellent reports from advisors from his civilian Society in Scotland, combining a busy job firstly standing by HMS Ambush building in Barrow and latterly on a professional course in HMS Sultan. Additionally, he is the Society's Training Officer and has been responsible for training over 40 referees during his tenure. The Referee Newcomer of the Year was Emma Ward who has made excellent progress achieving level 9 in her first season and regularly turning out for the Cornwall Referee Society.
Gaz Fairbairn receiving the Admiral Royds Trophy from Stew Kilby