A night Out with Nigel Owens

I’ve had a busy morning teaching and a busy afternoon meeting some interesting people from IBM and elsewhere in connection with Data Innovation Institute business, so just time to mention that I’m looking forward tonight to an event at Cardiff Metropolitan University (whose campus is not far from my house) featuring renowned rugby referee Nigel Owens who, in case you hadn’t realized, is gay. The event is part of the celebrations in Cardiff of LGBT History Month.

I’ll update later with reflections on the evening, but in the meantime here’s some examples of him in action on the rugby field!

Update: it was a thoroughly absorbing evening. Nigel Owens spoke extremely engagingly (and without notes) about his upbringing in a small village  in rural Wales, his mental health struggles as he tried to come to terms with his sexuality, a (nearly successful) suicide attempt when he was in his twenties, and how his decision to come out publicly revitalised his career as an international referee. 

When he takes to the field on Saturday to officiate at the Six Nations match between Ireland and France, it will be his 75th international match as a referee, which is the most for any referee ever.

 

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3 Responses to “A night Out with Nigel Owens”

  1. “Renowned referee” is an odd category. I’m not sure that I know of any other examples. A good referee is usually unnoticeable, isn’t he?

    • telescoper Says:

      In international Rugby the referees are equipped with microphones so you can hear the banter with the players. Nigel has a famously sharp tongue. Watch the clips and you’ll see.

      Some of the offences in Rugby are very technical and it does help that the referee can explain why a penalty has been given.

    • I also learned today that he has refereed more rugby union internationals than anyone else in history.

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