15th February 2011, 11:57
Ritchie Rees retires from refereeing
Ritchie Rees who was one of the founder member of the Wales RL...
Ritchie Rees who was one of the founder member of the Wales Rugby League Match Officials Society has decided to retire from officiating with immediate effect.
He was Chairman of the Society for five years from its inception until he left the position at last year's AGM.
Rees says: "I have a full and active life at present with my career, university degree that I am studying for and male voice choir commitments.
"The highlights for me were refereeing the England v Ireland A international and the Harry Jepson Conference Final. Off field, attending the Match Officials National Camp in Leeds was an unforgettable experience.
"It is great to see some of the guys like Haydn Edwards and Ian Curzon getting their opportunities in the professional game which takes a lot of commitment and sacrifice to attend meetings and training sessions and I would encourage everyone to keep developing and improving."
Alan Smith, Wales Match Official Development Officer, said: "It is always a sad day when someone tells me they are giving up the game but especially so with Ritchie as he was a very good referee as can be seen with his appointments which were always the tougher games. He fully deserved the A International and Conference final.
"He came to the game with a wealth of high level experience from officiating in Rugby Union so had the man management skills, which is probably 70% to 80% of refereeing, so he just had to learn the laws which he picked up very quickly and was on his way.
"He was a valued member of the Society as Chairman and would always be encouraging the other members and it is due to his contribution that the Society is now in a strong position.
"When Ritchie went out to referee I knew that he would always put in a good performance and would work with the players so everyone got the best out of the game. The true mark of anyone is to know the correct time when to give something up that there good at and Ritchie has done this as if you cannot give 100% when you are in the middle you are not only letting yourself down but the players, coaches, spectators and everyone involved in the game."