A RUGBY enthusiast who has spent half a century playing and refereeing has finally hung up his boots.

But Arthur Moore’s love affair with the game will continue in the committee room and on the touchline next season.

Arthur first trotted out onto the pitch as a 15-yearold after being converted by games teacher Roger Masters at Wiveliscombe Secondary Modern School.

He carried on playing after leaving school for Wiveliscombe, including a spell as captain, and retired at the age of 40.

“After I gave up I missed it so much that I decided to have a go at refereeing,”

said Arthur, now 66, of Blagdon Hill.

“They were short of refs at the time and I did a course at Canonsgrove. At the end of a verbal test they told me to go and buy myself a whistle.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed rugby as a player and referee – it’s a nice way to grow up and teaches you respect for everything and everybody.”

Arthur, whose last match with the whistle was at Martock, plans to watch more rugby at Wiveliscombe, where he is club secretary, and wants to mentor teenagers getting into refereeing.