Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Referee Richard Calls the Shots

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Referee Richard Calls the Shots

Article excerpt

Byline: By Alan Hedley

Richard Downing is clearly no ordinary schoolboy.

The 15-year-old has a maturity beyond his years and a determination to make the grade as a referee.

His first involvement with refereeing came a couple of years ago when he became involved in handling rugby league games and he travelled to York from his home in Morpeth on his own to take charge of games.

A pupil at King Edward VI School in Morpeth, he started refereeing rugby union last October with Northumberland after Dave Routledge, the training and development manager for Northumberland Referees Society, spotted him refereeing a colts match at Morpeth and suggested he should join the society.

"The following week I began my society refereeing career with Morpeth Stags (the club's fourth team) and Novos II," said Richard.

"Since I began refereeing, I have learned to appreciate the value of experience. I have been welcomed into the society with open arms and been privileged to have had the benefit of years of knowledge and expertise. …

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