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Mon 20 Jul 2020 | 09:40

Rest In Peace Paul Dobson

Rest In Peace Paul Dobson
Mon 20 Jul 2020 | 09:40
Rest In Peace Paul Dobson

Wail, O cypress, for the cedar has fallen.


It is with license that I paraphrase this Zechariah 11:2 verse.

It is with great sadness that we confirm the passing of Paul Dobson, a giant of the game and THE stalwart at @rugby365com.

Paul Dobson, known as ‘Oupa’ to many closely associated with rugby365, passed away on Monday afternoon – after losing his battle with illness.

No eulogy can truly do justice to this mild-mannered gentleman that has been such an inspiration to us.

However, we will give you a glimpse of the special man that he was.

Rest In Peace Paul Dobson


Paul Dobson was so much more than just the world-acclaimed writer and refereeing guru most people knew him as.

Those of us who were fortunate enough to get to know him more intimately, will have been the richer for the experience.

Paul was the epitome of a ‘Walking encyclopedia’ on the history of the game and his profound knowledge of the laws of the game was awe-inspiring.

He passed his law exam every year for the last 50 years.


Dobson became Chairman of the Western Province Referees Society in 1985 and managed all aspects of refereeing in the region until his retirement in 1999. He was a member of the Western Province Rugby Council for 15 years.

It was not a surprise when World Rugby acknowledged him with an award for his ‘service to the game’ in 2012 – an award he received at Newlands during the semifinals of the IRB Junior World Championship.

Rest In Peace Paul Dobson

However, it is when you sat down with Paul for a social chat that you really appreciated his vast knowledge, his passions for the game and the most endearing characteristic, always willing to help.

Paul was always willing to share his knowledge and never too rushed for an interview.

Paul was also known as The Oracle by the team.

Born in Diep River, Cape Town, 1935, he was a teacher by profession.

He taught in Australia, Natal, Johannesburg and England. Paul was then a master at Bishops for 29 years – before moving onto Lenco Holdings and then Rugby365 since 1999.

Paul Dobson leaves behind his wife Margaret and three children – John, Anne and Clare – and five grandchildren, Tom, James, David, Sarah and Annabel.

* Rest eternal grant onto Paul O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon him.


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