A WHITBY rugby referee has had the honour of winning a senior county award for the second year in succession.
Paul Garbutt (46) was voted senior referee of the year by the Yorkshire Society of Referees following some impressive performances officiating games in the Yorkshire League.
It follows on from last year’s accolade of being named junior referee of the year.
An imposing 6ft 8 ins and 17 stone, Paul took charge of 65 games last season on Wedmnesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, fitting them round his night shifts. Speaking about his physical presence, Paul said: “I refereed Yorkshire derbies between some hard lads but there wasn’t a sniff of trouble.”
Paul, married to former England rugby interntional Emma Garbutt, originally played national league rugby for West Hartlepool against the cream of the country’s sides like Bath and Leicester.
He also had a spell playing rugby league for Bramley before returning to union to play as prop forward for Whitby before knee surgery forced him to retire.