Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Vale Basil Masters (1934 - 2021)

Photo:  Basil Masters was one of Tasmania's leading referees. 

The death has occurred in Hobart of former leading referee, Basil Masters, who was 87 and had suffered ill health in recent years.

Masters was born in Worcesteshire in the United Kingdom and played representative football for Gloucester City schoolboys when he was 14 and 15 years old.

He joined the British Army and played for an army team that won the Welsh minor Challenge Cup in 1952.

Masters later played with Yeovil Town in the Southern and Western Leagues, as well as for Trowbridge Town.

He qualified as a referee in 1959 and attained Class 1 status in 1966.

He served in the British Army in South-East Asia, where he officiated in the Singapore versus Malaysia international at the Pesta Sukan Festival of Sport International.

After leaving the British Army, Masters came to Tasmania in October 1974 and became a prominent referee in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as a leading referee educator.

Photo:  Basil Masters (centre, in black referee's uniform) as linesman before the game at KGV Park in the early 1980s between Tasmania and the Australian Institute of Sport. [PlessPix]  

He was renowned for his knowledge of the laws of the game and was a stickler for following them.

He was a disciplinarian and brooked no misbehaviour by players on the pitch.

Masters was a linesman for Tasmania’s game against English First Division side Sunderland in 1976.

Former referee, Jean-Pierre Raymond, remembers Basil fondly.

“He was one of a kind,” Raymond said.

“What you saw was what you got with him.

“He encouraged many to take up the whistle, including myself, Kim Barker, and many others.

“His knowledge of the laws of the game was unbelievable.

“He could recite you word for word any item in the law book.

“He was a straight shooter and loved the game with great passion.

“I still remember and talk about the one infamous incident at KGV when he was attacked by a player.  He was knocked out cold but refused to leave the field.  He dismissed the player and finished the game.

“He was very respected by all who knew him.”

In the absence of a marked pitch, Masters was known to use a toilet roll to represent the side-line as he taught young referees about how to judge when a ball was in or out of play.

My condolences go to Basil’s family and friends at the passing of one of the characters who graced the game of football in Tasmania.

Photo:  Basil Masters (partly obscured at centre) before the Tasmania v Australian Institute of Sport game at KGV Park in the 1980s. [PlessPix]

Photo:  The Referees team in 1990 that used to play a match against University for the Doug Slater Memorial Trophy.  Doug Slater was a leading referee in the 1960s and 1970s.  Basil Masters played in the game and showed some silky skills.  He would come off before the end to get ready for another game which he was refereeing.  The line-up in this photo is: Back Row (L-R):  Keith Todd, Guy Phillips, Tommy Hutchinson, Ken Barker, Basil Masters, Colin George, Jim Anderton and Gordon Jablonski.  Front Row (L-R):  Emidio Giusti, Karl Jakubec, Richard (?), Peter Angel, John Howlin and Jean-Pierre Raymond. [Photo courtesy of Guy Phillips]


Brian Young said...

And referees had to wear black boots with white laces; if not you lost one point of your performance assessment. Bizarre

Anonymous said...

A real character of the game. Always complimentary after a game if you played well.
I will never forget one story he told , however I am not 100% sure it actually happened to him or just a story. He said that a player went up to him during a game, very frustrated with the refereeing decisions. Apparently he said to Basil , " ref can you get sent off for what you think ? " Basil replied, " no you cant get sent off for what you think ".The player then continued with " well I think you are a f..... useless...... "!
Basil's reply was " I can send you off for that though " and showed him the red card.
Another time I was playing in social league and Basil was getting on a bit too. He wasnt moving about much . The opposition team played a long ball forward which was miles off side from where I was, so I said " Come on Basil . That was a mile off side ". His reply was " It may have been but I cant see that far....... play on "!

Brian Young said...

My son was in goal at a match at KGV; the ball went out by the Aussie rules football end. Basil told him to get the ball & to hurry up. No Law gives the referee the power to do that."I'm on to you, Sonny Jim", implying time wasting.

Unknown said...

In reference to JP Raymond's recollection of Basil being knocked out cold, that's correct, but to follow on from that he insisted on going into the change rooms and showing the player the red card. There was 3 players sent off that day in what was a totally bizarre game of football. I know because I was playing in the game. Basil was a different character which just adds to the tapestry that's football. RIP Basil Masters.

steve darby said...

A proper character! I had many a battle with him....but never took anything personal. He loved being a Ref!RIP