Society Newsletter

Flags and Whistles – August 2019

St Helens Rugby League Referees Society Newsletter – Edition 39

“QUE SERA SERA” – Ryan, Mackenzie & Tony Officiate at Wembley Stadium

On Saturday 24th August three members of St Helens Rugby League Referees Society officiated at Wembley Stadium, London.

Two of our Young Members, Ryan Cox and Mackenzie Maddison, took to the field for the Year 7 Boys Champion Schools Final which saw Warrington- based Great Sankey High School take on Wigan-based Standish Community High School. This game took place prior to the Challenge Cup Final, with Great Sankey taking the spoils and lifting the trophy in the Royal Box.

Life Member Tony Brown was also on duty on Cup Final day, being appointed as Time Keeper for the inaugural 1895 Cup Final which saw Sheffield Eagles beat Widnes Vikings under the Wembley arch.

As you can imagine the three members enjoyed the experience.


Zoe Brown Becomes Society Secretary/Treasurer

At the July Special General Meeting, Zoe Brown stood unelected for the vacant role of Secretary/Treasurer.

Zoe, proposed by Brian Cummings and seconded by Shaun Pickering, volunteered for the role after Chris Hardman resigned from the role officially at the SGM due to increasing work commitments.

The Society would like to thank Chris for his efforts and wish Zoe the best of luck hoping this will be a long and successful tenure in her new role.


Meet Your Referees – John Kinsella

Name: John Kinsella

Age: 63

Highest Levels officiated;
Referee: Trials for Grade One (Pre SL era) – BARLA NWC vs France
Touch Judge: Academy International & Super League

John Kinsella at the Annual Christmas Meal in 2014.

Best Moment of your career?
‘Touch Judging the NFB Grand Final, Wakefield v Featherstone in 1998.’

Funniest Moment of your career?
‘About 1986/7, I was TJ for a NWC Prem League Game Thatto Heath v Latchford Albion, both teams had shall we say, players of notoriety in their ranks. During the game a brawl erupted with players from both sides, myself and the other TJ Phil Scott (a member of our society back then) entered the field to assist the ref. One of the Latchford players grabbed the flag off Phil, snapped it in two and told him where to put the flag, all Phil could say was, flipping heck I only bought the flags this morning (player and official not named to protect their reputation).’

What would you say to someone starting out as a Match Official?
‘Give it a “try” you make a lot of good friends in the game. It’s not the easiest of jobs, you need a lot of courage to pull on an officials kit and you need a thick skin. Don’t let anything put you off, it’s a very rewarding and disciplined career, where you can officiate in cup finals at all levels and travel the world (and get paid to do so) to officiate at international level. I wish I could have started at the age some of our young officials are. When I started at 27/28 I was one of the youngest.’

John Kinsella – Life Member

‘Teammates’ with Liam Jones

Liam Jones (middle) poses for a photo with his Society colleagues after Refereeing a St Helens Schools Final @ The Totally Wicked Stadium.

Who is the funniest member of our Society?
‘This is sure is a tough one but it has got to be someone who always cracks the worst jokes but somehow makes us all laugh – Shaun Pickering. It’s just some of his jokes are unbelievably bad but still funny.’
Who do you think is the best trainer of our Society on a Monday night?
‘This is a tough one for me as I don’t attend training much due to work commitments but I know from development sessions and talking to others it would be Shaun Pickering again.’
Who is the Society sick note?
‘Easy one this… George Johnson. Sorry pal I have to give this title to you because I don’t want to give it to myself!’
Who in the Society has the best changing room banter?
‘I would have to say Tolver Arnold. I have only done a few games with Tolver but I have always had a laugh. I could have gone with a lot of other Members in this one as well though as we all can have good banter.’
Who is the best dressed member of the Society?
‘This one has to go to one of the Arnold’s. It is a tough choice between the three of them, but I would have to say Denton Arnold as he always turns up smart no matter what the occasion is and always leaves the changing room after a game the way he came in, leaving as if he had only just turned up.’
Who is the worst dressed member of the Society?
Shaun Pickering, sorry mate this has to be you for that one time when we as on a game together and I turned up and your shirt wasn’t tucked in and I just couldn’t stop laughing.’

Liam Jones – Full Member

New Recruits Recieve Their First Kit

Two of our latest recruits from our recent Match Officials course, George Towey and Ste Wright, were both presented with their first piece of RFL match kit.

The kit was presented to George and Ste by one of Match Official Course tutors Innes Arnold at Society Training and is recognition for completing their Course and Refereeing their first games. Now they have the kit we hope to see them Refereeing a lot more games in the future!


Development Meeting Update

At the recent Development Meeting held at Blackbrook, Members sat down for a ‘listening session’ which gave those present the chance to put forward their anonymous opinions of the Society and how they think it can be improved in the future.


Important Upcoming Dates

General Meeting – Tuesday 5th Novemeber 2019

Future Editions

Please send all future stories to Shaun Pickering so these can be added to newsletters.
Please send all notable appointments to Denton Arnold so these can be added to the honours list.