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The Sideline Whisperer
 
 
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Gerry FitzGerald
Born in Ireland. Gerry is a grade RC referee. He lives in Fort Lauderdale, Broward County.
You may contact him at 754 245 0215 or [email protected].
 
Sir, may I ask you a question?
Updated on 8/11/2013

Tell us a little about yourself: age, place of birth, current occupation.

—62 years old. Born: Dublin, Ireland

What is you background as a rugby player?

—Played rugby for The British Army,

Why did you decide to become a referee?

—Became a ref because of injury in 1980.

Did you have some kind of mentor?

—Mentors were Peter Lillington, RFU Panel Referee & Ed Morrison who refereed the World Cup Final in SA 1995.

Do you remember your first game as a referee? How did it go? Any funny or special memory?

—First game was a blur, I was told that I was the WORST referee they had ever seem.

What was the most memorable screw up?

—I awarded the winning try to a player who had the ball stolen from him before he "scored" at my feet.

Which is the one game you most remember of your career?

—Refereeing at Twickenham.

How well do players and coaches in Florida know the laws of the game?

—Not very well at all.

What is your opinion in general of the attitude of players towards the referees in Florida?

—We are a necessary evil.

As a referee, have you made more friends or foes?

—Friends.

Does being able to watch a game on video help you improve your skills?

—Yes, if the video is well made & shows the full range of an incident.

What are the most rewardings aspects of being a referee? And the least?

—? I love being a part of the game rather than just watching. Least is abuse from player/coaches.

If you have had the opportunity to ref a match oversees, how was that experience?

—I have refereed in; England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Germany, Holland, France, Dubai, Hong Kong, Sweden, Denmark, Venezuela, Bahamas, Jamaica, Cuba, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, Thailand, New Zealand, Australia.

What would you tell a player to encourage him becoming a referee?

—This is probably the most fun you can have on a Rugby Field. The opportunities are endless if you have a little skill & a lot of commitment.

Any final thoughts or comments about being a rugby referee?

—I do not regret one moment of my very enjoyable referee experience. It has allowed me to travel the world & meet many wonderful friends. It has more perks than being a Mason.

 

Code updated: 08/17/2017 19:04

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