County accolade for rising Whitby referee

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A WHITBY rugby referee has won a county accolade in just his second year as an official.

Paul Garbutt (45) followed in the footsteps of fellow Whitby man Daryl Grason by landing the Yorkshire Society of Referees’ junior referee of the year at the group’s recent AGM.

Daryl won the same honour three years ago.

Paul, who played for Whitby Rugby Club before a knee injury forced him to retire, said: “It’s great an honour in just my second season.”

He started officiating last year “at the bottom rung” and has worked his way up to level 10, which is the standard that Whitby play at.

Paul will aim to progress up to level nine next which would see him able to referee games in the third tier of the Yorkshire League, which has five divisions in total.

“I have gone up six levels since I started and have done games out of my category,” said Paul.

It has been an exciting couple of months for Paul.

He took charge of the North Yorkshire Trophy final between Middlesbrough and Selby, which was played for the first time at Whitby Rugby Club, last month.

The club had the tremendous honour of supplying all three match officials as Paul was supported by touch judges Daryl Grason and Pete Stentiford, also from Whitby.