Eastern Suburbs Coach of the Year Vicki Kirkland, new life member Peter Morris and president Garry McEwan at the club grounds in Jackie Howe Drive.
Eastern Suburbs Coach of the Year Vicki Kirkland, new life member Peter Morris and president Garry McEwan at the club grounds in Jackie Howe Drive. Gerard Walsh

Referee can’t wait to call shots in 2015

IT might be the off season but Eastern Suburbs Junior Rugby League Club life member Peter Morris is already thinking about next season.

He has been referees' co-ordinator for the Eastern Suburbs junior club for the past seven years after first playing for the Suburbs Hornets in 1979.

Morris won two premierships with Eastern Suburbs, reserve-grade in the early 1980s and A-grade in 1985, the final season of the Warwick and District St George Cup competition.

He retired from the game after the A-grade grand final win and later made a comeback to play for Warwick Brumby's in Toowoomba second-division and then the Border Rugby League.

Morris last played footy six years ago for Warwick Cowboys in C-grade in Toowoomba before retiring for the second time at 48.

He has never missed a season and always been involved as a player, referee or part of the Eastern Suburbs coaching staff.

Morris was assistant to coach Wally McIntosh when Eastern Suburbs beat Collegians in the U16 grand final in 2005.

"Refereeing is something I really enjoy," he said.

"I refereed my first game in 2007 and have been officiating in the Toowoomba and Border rugby leagues for the past five years.

"I run five to 10 kilometres every couple of days to keep up my fitness during the season.

"I like to keep the game flowing when I referee and enjoy doing many Broncos Cup games."

He is already eyeing off 2015 and will be available every Saturday and Sunday with his whistle.

Often, he officiates at five games a weekend and adds one or two roles as linesman to boot.

"I referee juniors on Saturday morning, Border league on Saturday afternoon, Toowoomba games on Saturday night and sometimes again on Sunday," he said.

"I am pretty tired by the last game."

Morris said it was quite a shock to be named a life member of Eastern Suburbs this year but "it felt good".

"Suburbs is a social type of club where everyone makes you welcome," he said.

After 36 years, he shows no signs to moving on and wants to clock up 40 years in 2119.

Eastern Suburbs president Garry McEwan said Morris was a committed member of the club who had done multiple jobs.

"He is the backbone of our club and has stayed involved even when his own family graduated from juniors," he said.

"Life membership is an honour which is reserved for long-standing, hard-working, committed, true blood Hornets."



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