Thursday, 7 February 2008

Deeply Dippy

Today's Daily Telegraph reports on the case of Don 'Dippy' Jones, a member of Stourbridge Rugby Club and the North Midlands referees society, who still takes charge of 2 matches a week at the very youthful age of 80. Unsurprisingly, Don is believed to be the oldest regular active referee in the UK (possibly the world) and he has no plans to retire.

"When I was 70 my daughter bought me a pair of rugby boots. She got me a pair of golf shoes for my 80th so perhaps she's trying to tell me something," Don says. "My rugby shirts are getting a bit tatty so I've got to decide whether to buy some new ones" (which, incidentally, reminds me of a story about the grandfather of a friend of mine who, aged 95, couldn't decide whether to buy a new pair of shoes because he didn't know whether he'd get the wear out of them!).

Don will be forced to put his whistle to one side this weekend as he'll be guest of honour at a vice-presidents' lunch before Stourbridge's National League Two game against Wharfedale, despite his comment that:

"I'd rather referee a fourth-team game than watch Stourbridge's first team play."

...which I assume is more a statement of his enthusiasm and commitment to the refereeing cause than a comment about the entertainment value of watching Stourbridge play!


Nursedude said...

Great Story, Flanker! I look at this Octogenerian gentleman still running around the pitch, and in my country, you have elementary school kids who are too bloody fat and lazy to pull themselves away from their computer games and video games to even go outside to play.

Total Flanker said...

Totally agree and refs always get plenty of stick but without them we simply wouldn't have a game.