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Football referee makes switch to rugby union

04 February 2010

  • Vaughan enjoys new lease of life in rugby
  • Former football official impresses at ELRA course

A long-serving Midlands football referee has switched sports and has become one of the latest candidates to complete the RFU’s Entry Level Referee Award.

Keith Vaughan, who has reached Level 5 in the round ball game, officiated in the Midland Combination and Festival Leagues for more than 20 years has found that his recent introduction to rugby has given him a new lease of life.

"I came into contact with rugby from friends at Aston Old Edwardians, Moseley and Plymouth and its given me a new lease of life," said 53-year-old Vaughan.

"I still love football but my introduction to rugby has given me a new interest. Also, the people seem keen for me to join them and, for a change, appreciate what a referee is about. The whole attitude is different."

Peter Tolan, one of the RFU’s Midlands Regional Referee Trainers, who ran the course at Barkers’ Butts rugby club in Coventry said: "Keith played a fantastic part in the two-day course and his management and communication skills stood out in the various work sessions.

"Although he had never handled a rugby match before he really appeared to have enjoyed the brief practical experience he got from officiating in a training match between two of the Barkers’ club’s junior sides."

Vaughan, who will be joining Aston OE in Birmingham at the start of his rugby refereeing career, added: "The practical we did was a good example of why I am enjoying it.

"The coaches, players and some parents gave me nothing but encouragement.  A  player said: 'Ref I enjoyed that and its good to see you noticed the foul. Keep it up.'  It is things like that and the people who are in the clubs, that have raised my excitement again."