Established Refs honoured in ‘Respect the Referee Round’

With the initiative of ‘Respect the Referee’ Round upon us, we take the time to honour some of the people who’ve made the game what it is and upheld the integrity of the league.

Amongst those are Michael Sims and John Moore who’ve been a mainstay in the competition over it’s recent history.

Mr Sims, or ‘Simsy’ as he is affectionately known by fans of the local competition has been refereeing first grade football since 2006, and took the time to have a chat to about just what the round means to him.

“I think its a good thing, it’s the first time there’s ever been one, so I’m encouraged that some thoughts gone into this by the WARL and that there’s effort going into recognising the role that referees play,” Mr Sims said.

Mr Sims also paid tribute to the young batch of referees that are coming up through the current system.

“I think there is, the challenge is to keep them interested in refereeing past their junior days… that’s the real challenge,” he said.

“To keep them interested, for the point of view of the league and so on, not to crush their spirit before they grow up.”

John Moore, is also a legend of the game in Western Australia, and a mentor to many aspiring referees who’ve moved their way through the competition ranks.

Mr Moore has been nationally recognised this year by receiving the NRL OneCommunity Lifetime achievement award for his efforts in Rugby League in Western Australia.

He too also recognises the good in the ‘Respect the Referee’ round.

“Well it’s a good idea, I like it very much, I think it should go well, you’re still gonna have the occasional person who’ll give us a hard time, but it’s a great idea for the league to try to promote the referees,” Mr Moore said.

“Well I’m very proud to be honest, it’s a bit of a surprise, you don’t think about these things, you just do the job you like,” Mr Moore said.

“I had a suspicion a month ago when Jeff Wenman called me up to get me to email him what I’d done in Rugby League over there in the eastern states and when I got over here.”

“I thought it was a bit suss, but I didn’t take much notice of it, and then I got the phone call from the NRL… I was a bit chuffed about it”

Mr Sims believes it’s great that referees such as John Moore are being honoured in such ways, as a reflection of their efforts as well as those within Rugby League.

“I think it’s an excellent reflection of John but also of refereeing more broadly”, Mr Sims said.

He was also quick to point out the stamina of Mr Moore and his continual achievements in Western Australia.

“I don’t know many other blokes running around refereeing in their seventies,” he said.

“I’d hate to work out how many games he’s done!”