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NOTES BY FOBWABD. John Taiaroa, the well-known footballer, has been fined £1 and costs for having thrown, two eggs at a crowd whioh had collected outside a hotel in Hastings a fow' nights ago. At the annual meeting of the London 3 Rugby Union Society of Referees two points of law were discussed, chiefly for the benefit of the younger members of the sopiety. Ifc was explained that when the ball is carried over the goal line in a scrummage the general principle is, unless the referee ia absolutely certain that one player has touched 1 down the ball, to order the ball five yards out. Again, when a player held •in goal drops the ball, a touch down results. A late English mail brings news of the death of Alan Rotherham, a famous Oxford University and International rugby football player, who committed suicide in London. Commenting on his career, London Daily Mail says: — "Alan Rotherham was a member of Vassall's famous Oxford Fifteen, and subsequently played for Richmond. He came of a well-known Coventry cricKefc and football family. Between the years of 1883 and 1887 he repeatedly played at half-back in international matches, ancl even now is considered to have been the finest exponent of half-back play England has ever produced. Playing in front of such brilliant scorers as W. N. Bolton, G. C. Wade, A. M. Eyanson, A. E. Stoddart, and A. J. Gould at different times, his great forte was in making openings for his three-quarters ; while, unlike most brilliant attacking halves, he was also exceptionally good in defence. It is not too much, to say that he entirely revolutionised halfback play, and he particularly introduced the passing" game among the backs." The annual meeting of the English Rugby Union was held on September 22. The list of prominent footballers present, as given in Sporting Life, includes the name of Mr S. E. Sleigh, the delegate of the Otago Rugby Union. A proposal was brought before the meeting by the Wortley Football Club, to the effect that the International Board be requested to consider the advisability of so altering the laws " That a half-back be oonsidered off-side immediately he gets in front of the last man of his own team in the sorummage." To this Mr Arthur Budd (past president) submitted the following amendment:—"That the following words be added after the word ' scrummage ' : This rule shall not apply to the case where a f orward of his own side is (1) late in getting up to a scrummage already formed, or (2) having gone through the scrummage comes round again from behind to rejoin." The president said that the committee had undertaken to bring the question before the International Board, and, under these circumstances, the reeolution hail been withdrawn, and the amendment fell to the ground. In responding to a vote of thanks for picsiding at the annual meeting of the London Biigby Union Society of Referees, Mr Geo. Rowland Hill, the honorary secretary of the Rugby Union, who has been the great bulwark against the tide of professional football in rugby rules, delivered a fine address in exhortation of th« principle^ of ama^ur sport. Looking round a room in which were some 60 .or 70 gentlemen, who devoted themselves to refereeing simply for the cake of the game, he thought that the scene was a monument to amateur eporfc/ Her© were men who had played the game long years ago, remembering the pleasure they derived from the game, and in liquidation of this debt of gratitude undertaking the none too pleasant task of refereeing. It was a strong passion for the game, for it meant not only no payment, but a loss financially. Mr Rowland Hill said that he had no fear for the future of the game ; but they wanted neither the paid player nor the paid referee. Since he last had the pleasure of addressing them, the air had become much clearer, and he looked forward with great satisfaction to the progress of the rugby game. In some recent years they had had to spend many hours, not on discussing football, but on suspensions and other thingF. This police court magistrate business was utterly repugnant to them. But they were now rid of those who wanted to make football a means of business and the case of the game itself might now be considered. A season ago, after a long committee meeting about professionalism, a member asked him if they ever discussed football at their meetings: but this kind of thing would not recur, and they had now shaken off that feeling of despondency which generated by the continual considerations of professional accusations. The atmosphere was cleared, and true football would come to its own.

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Bibliographic details

Otago Witness, Otago Witness, Issue 2331, 3 November 1898

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FOOTBALL. Otago Witness, Issue 2331, 3 November 1898