Maurice Butler - UAE Referee

We have a Choosday Chat with UAE Referee, Maurice Butler.


Age: 36
Born: County Meath, Ireland
Referee Level: UAE Premiership

“I’d like to see what it’s like to prance about in referee kit from Baby GAP”

What do you get up to in your spare time?

Spending time with the family. I have two boys aged 2 1/2 and 1 so that’s most of my time in the pool or back garden!!

Do you have any phobias?

Bad pints of Guinness.

Who’d you like to be stuck in a lift with?

MacGyver (US TV Series), as he would know and show me what to do.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

Telepathy, I’d love to be able to read the kids minds as they fascinate me all the time. It would also come in handy to know what the front row are thinking too.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

My wife makes a mean cookie!! And I’m prone to a bit of chocolate and ice-cream.

Do you have any hidden talents?

I would like to think I am a DIY and gardening expert. I laid the patio slabs in my back yard in Dubai.

Who or what inspired you to pick up the whistle?

After giving up playing, I was missing the game so decided to give it a try when I was living in Ireland.

Out of all the refs, who has the worst dress sense?

I think it has to be any South African. Tony Duminy comes to mind or Jaco on the golf course.

What’s the toughest thing about reffing?

Staying focused as it can be mentally challenging.

If you could be one of the other UAE Refs, who would you be and why?

Probably Eugene Deegan to see what it’s like to prance about in referee kit from baby gap!!

Do you have any advice for people looking to get into referring?

Give it a go as it’s the best seat in the house. And you can meet an amazing team of referees in the UAE and globally from events like the Dubai Rugby Sevens.

What was the last takeaway you ordered?

A Thai from The Noodle box in Motor city.

What industry do you work in?

I work for Saab in the surveillance industry.

How’s life in Dubai?

Well, my wife and I moved here for a two – three years… that was seven years ago! And we now have two kids who were both born here in the UAE. So it’s a lot better than expected. We love the quality of life in Dubai!!

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