A Fleetwood Ref on his travels
For a couple of seasons, we enjoyed the regular refereeing of a lad from Fleetwood who differed from the Strollers in not only being considerably younger but always immaculately turned out on the pitch with even the laces of his boots cleaned and pressed to a gleaming white to set off the sheen on his boots. Two things marked his connection with the Strollers
- Playing on the 4th team pitch we had just lined up for a lineout when a ball was booted over from the 3rd team pitch. The Ref caught it to good hearted jeers from both us and our opponents and decided to go one better by hoofing it back. The result was a pulled hamstring and he had to hobble back to the clubhouse. Fortunately Brian Hexter was on the touchline doing his impression of a garden gnome in cut down wellingtons and woolly hat. He proceeded to referee the remainder of the match, at times within 20yards of play.
- Looking to recover from the strain of refereeing the Strollers the Ref goes on holiday to Romania where he is invited to referee a local game. Thinking he is safe he agrees only to see a team trot on wearing green shirts with what looks suspiciously like a grasshopper badge. He can’t believe it but it only gets worse when they turn round to reveal they are wearing number 69. It’s only after the match that he discovers he’s not living in a nightmare parallel universe or suffering delirium tremens when the locals explain the shirts came from England as part of a supporting Romanian Rugby initiative where old sets of shirts were donated by English Clubs.