Society President Presents Alan Farmer with Award for Outstanding Service.

  • September 3, 2021

Clive Ennis, the Society President, presents Alan Farmer with his award for Outstanding Service.

Alan Farmer joined Manchester & District Rugby Union Referees Society in 1991 on transfer from North Midlands Society. He was a Referee on the RFU ‘A’ List when he sustained a career-ending ankle injury. Nevertheless, he could look back on a refereeing career which had taken him to some of the great Clubs of the amateur era.

Alan began his highly successful Referee Assessment and Coaching career in 1993, first with the Society but shortly thereafter, as the youngest ever, with the RFU. He rose to become a Level 1 Assessor, appointed to assess at Premiership matches and Internationals at U23 and ‘A’ level. In the year 2000 Alan became an RFU Referee Coach, rising to Band 1 working with the top 10 Referees of the period.

In 2015, failing health meant that Alan retired from RFU level activity after period extending over a 25 years as Referee; Assessor; and Referee Coach. Alan was a firm believer that Assessors and Coaches should not be active only in the most senior tier of the Game and combined his RFU activities with the coaching of North Group Referees between 2004 and 2019. He continues to work with members of the North West Federation Development Squad.

Alan managed to combine his RFU activities and his work as a Head Teacher in Special Needs education with extensive and exemplary service to the Society, initially as Exchange Secretary (two stints – 1993-96 and 2008-17); as Honorary Secretary (1996-2002); as Chair of Appointments (2009-21); as a member of the Society Executive; and as President 2017-19.

Alan’s service as Chair of Appointments merits special mention. He applied his knowledge and understanding of the Game; of refereeing; and of people to great effect in matching Referees to fixtures to maximise enjoyment and, where there was ambition and the talent to match it, he provided encouragement; opportunity; and experience to further refereeing careers. This undertaking required many hours of information gathering; careful thought; and perspicacity, all of which were regarded by Alan as essential to the job, and willingly given.

In addition to the Society, Alan served in various capacities on the North Group Committee; the North West Federation of Referees Societies; and the RFRU.

Alan Farmer, has over the years, had a great deal from Rugby and Refereeing, but he has put back immeasurably more than he ever had from the Game. When Alan announced his retirement from Society administration, the Society Executive decided to recognise the Society’s appreciation for his service to the Game; to Refereeing; and to the Society by presenting him with an engraved decanter and glasses. Pictured below are Society President, Clive Ennis (left) and Alan Farmer, receiving his richly deserved presentation.