International Cap Awarded to Peter Hughes
26 England referees, including 6 ladies, who are still alive and have refereed a match between two Tier One Countries, were awarded their International Caps. 23 gathered, with partners, in the Members’ Lounge at Twickenham last week, for the presentation by the President of the RFU, Jeff Blackett. Johnny Johnson and Larry Lamb were sadly not able to travel due to debilitating medical conditions. Peter was rather concerned to be the oldest referee present, having refereed his first International back in 1977!!
How things have changed since then. Appointments are now made by World Rugby; Television Match Officials can be consulted regarding contentious decisions; Assistant Referees help by signalling foul play and using the intercom system to advise on any technicalities which the Referee may have overlooked; a timekeeper notes when the referee signals for a stoppage in play plus there is a Citing Commissioner to report on any acts of foul play which the referee may have missed. This trio of match officials are now professional and receive a match fee.
After a battery of photographs, the current senior referee, and part-time barrister, Wayne Barnes, gave an amusing vote of thanks to the RFU, Referees’ Societies and other halves. It was a most happy occasion and a good chance to catch up with past and present colleagues. It was regretful that fellow Manchester Society Internationals Alan Welsby and Colin High were not still alive to receive their honours. The formalities were followed by a generous buffet lunch and exchange of many memories, prompted by a copious supply of prosecco.