Rugby ref retires
EASTERN Counties referee Miles James has retired following a poignant last game at his home club.After blowing the final whistle on Beccles Rugby Club as they took the Pony Moore Trophy against Southwold on Saturday, James ceremonially laid his boots to rest, surrounded by many of the players he had coached as children.
EASTERN counties referee Miles James has retired following a poignant last game at his home club.
After blowing the final whistle on Beccles Rugby Club as they took the Pony Moore Trophy against Southwold on Saturday, James ceremonially laid his boots to rest, surrounded by many of the players he had coached as children.
Having played representative rugby in his teens in his native Wales, James became involved in coaching on his move to Beccles, eventually leading the junior section.
At the age of 40, he returned to playing for both the first and second teams, before he switched his talents to refereeing.
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From taking part in the Suffolk and Norfolk leagues, he has also referreed at universities, schools, colts and junior matches, along with spells officiating in Australia, Ireland, Wales, France and Denmark.
Known locally for his career as an osteopath, James said he always encouraged open play, only managing to send off four players in his career of more than 400 games.
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He said: “It was a pleasure and privilege to finish my refereeing career with a number of first team players who I was coaching as eight year olds.”
Miles said he was looking forward to returning to Beccles Rugby Club in his involvement as one of the many vice-presidents.
After the game, which attracted the largest crowd seen at Beef Meadow for many years, James was presented with a commemorative cup.