Keith Bryant was hugely respected in Pembrokeshire as a rugby referee and in his latter years as a mentor to young match officials setting out in the ref’s role.

Sadly, Keith dies earlier this year, aged 80, and the Pembrokeshire Society of Rugby Union Referees recently held a special presentation evening in recognition of all that he did as a referee and society official.

His work had been recognised at national level in the 1990/91 season when he was honoured with the presidency of the Welsh Rugby Union Referees Society and he received a commemorative plaque from the Welsh Rugby Union in recognition of his significant contribution.

And so it was that at this recent meeting the current chairman of the Society, Andrew ‘Twts’ Davies was able to present that plaque for safekeeping to Graham Dalton, the president of Haverfordwest RFC, where the society hold their monthly meetings, to be displayed in their clubhouse.

There was also a second presentation when local sports journalist Bill Carne, who was a neighbour and close friend of Keith's, produced a pewter salver which had been presented to Keith at the same time as a token of respect from the Pembrokeshire Society of Rugby Union Referees, which Bill presented to Graham Dalton.

Andrew Thomas had earlier welcomed everyone to the evening and outlined some of the contributions Keith had made to schools rugby, the Junior Finals Day, the Newport Sevens and the Neyland Junior Tournament over a long period.

Mention was also made of his support of the British Lions all over the world and the lasting friendships that he made on those tours, including forging exchange rinks to places like Argentina and South Africa. Indeed, one of the special guests at his funeral was an Irish referee named Peter who was a regular visitor to Keith’s home in Treffgarne.

But his legacy was his wonderful support for new referees and so it was appropriate that Sarah Hill (nee George) was in attendance and recalled her days as the first female referee when there was inevitably opposition but with Keith’s backing became a highly respected official who was totally accepted by players for her high standards with the whistle.

Others in attendance were John Griffiths, the current president who was in the same role last season as Keith and Colin Davies, the only other Pembrokeshire officials who have held the highest office for Welsh referees.

He was joined by former Welsh international hooker Kevin Phillips and junior union international Brian ‘Beaky’ Davies; Ken Davies, the organiser of the Pembrokeshire Junior Finals’ Day, and other refs who had benefitted from Keith’s devotion to the game.

All agreed that Keith’s departure was a sad loss but the presentation of the plaque and salver meant that Keith’s involvement will not be forgotten!