Fri 24 Jul 2020 | 07:47

In the presence of a legend

In the presence of a legend
Fri 24 Jul 2020 | 07:47
In the presence of a legend

SPOTLIGHT ON PAUL DOBSON: Every now and then you get the privilege to be in the presence of greatness.


And that phrase cannot be more decorous for an encounter with the late Paul Dobson.

He was simply an amazing man, to put it mildly.

Paul Dobson, the world-acclaimed writer and refereeing guru, passed away on Monday, 20 July 2020 and was laid to rest on July 24 in a private requiem.

No eulogy can truly do justice to the character of this magnificent man.

And this is not an attempt, but just a simple thank you to a rugby giant.

Paul had the tremendous ability to transcend time and connect with people so effortlessly – irrespective of race, religion, age or gender.


His knowledge for rugby was immense, but it was his respect for the sport – in particular the Laws (not rules) and referees – which made you understand the type of mild-mannered gentleman he truly was.

Every interaction, conversation or email left you so much richer – not just in terms of rugby knowledge, but he always had time for every person and volunteered impeccable gems on life, politics, literature and economics.

I remembered the first time I met Mr Paul Dobson.

He insisted that it is just Paul and he is not my boss, but a colleague – forever humble and gracious.


He would phone to ask to add a picture to his stories or one of those ‘nice tube [YouTube] videos that the kids enjoy’.

And that is the type of person Paul was. He was never self- indulgent instead he found joy in seeing others happy and succeed.

Paul loved rugby and loved working.

He was so passionate about making rugby inclusive.

He spent his Saturday evenings writing Six Nations women’s reports and his Sundays dissecting schools rugby for rugby365.

Paul was rugby historian‚ author‚ referee‚ coach and most importantly a mentor and father figure to many.

I will forever be grateful to have been in the presence of such an impeccable man!

Baie dankie Oom Paul!

A look at some of his last work!

Dobson’s Rugby wishlist
Refereeing: Where it all started
Schools Top 20 – 2019 Final Ranking
Rugby quiz: Know your laws…

PV: 1865