Peter’s years of rugby service are recognised
A man who has served rugby on both sides of the border as a player, coach, referee, referee coach/assessor and administrator for more than 50 years has received the British Empire Medal.
Peter Robertson did not let an injury, which caused him to lose sight in one eye, interrupt his lifetime dedication to rugby.
And, fittingly, in the week of Hawick 7s, the former ball-playing prop who was the captain of Hawick’s remarkable sevens team of 1966/67 – where they won ten successive tournaments on the Borders circuit – has now been presented with the BEM, which was awarded in the New Year’s Honours List.
Peter, who stays in Hexham, Northumberland, was hailed as “without doubt one of the unsung heroes of Scottish Rugby refereeing,” by his fellow former referee, Jim Fleming.
During his playing career, Peter was an unused reserve for the Scotland team and represented South and Scottish Districts XVs against South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
In 1970, he suffered a blow to the eye while playing for Hawick, which caused his retina to detach. Although treatable now, the injury resulted in the loss of sight in one eye and brought an end to his playing career.
Even before then, he had begun to coach at the Tynedale club in Northumberland and he oversaw a remarkable transformation in the club’s fortunes, going on to serve as club president and then president of their juniors’ section.
As a referee, the former chemist undertook assignments for Scottish Rugby in Italy and Japan, as well as across the home countries.
He retired from refereeing in 1989 but his commitment has remained unwavering as for the last 30 years he has undertaken the role of referee coach/performance reviewer.
“Referees, without exception, are always appreciative of Peter’s breadth of knowledge and the time he takes explaining the various nuances of refereeing,” added Jim Fleming.
Peter received his BEM from Jane Percy, the Duchess of Northumberland, at a ceremony at Alnwick Castle.
Scottish Rugby extends warm congratulations and grateful thanks to Peter, his family and friends.