The Whistle Blowers

Referees and umpires - the control freaks of sport, the people we love to hate!

This entertaining documentary features three high profile sports officiators and what makes them tick. Billy Bowden, the showman of international cricket, took up umpiring when arthritis prevented him from playing. Southlander Paddy O'Brien left the police force to become one of the world's top rugby referees. Pin-up boy Steve Walsh began refereeing as a teenager when a neck injury curtailed contact sports. 
The Whistle Blowers explores the qualities that made them successful sports policemen.
 
Rugby ref Steve Walsh explains how a neck injury put him out of contact sport at a young age which lead him to become the youngest referee to officiate at a Rugby World Cup.
 
Cricket umpire Billy Bowden talks about how his playing days with the Auckland cricket team were cut sort by arthritis and responds to criticisms over his on field antics.
Paddy O'Brien discusses his career as a top international rugby referee.

Since the documentary was made Steve Walsh, once badboy is now Australian rugby referee of the year, and Paddy O'Brien, has been Manager of the IRB Referees' Panel. Billy Bowden is currently having surgery on his arthritic elbows.
 
This documentary is screening again on New Zealand's Heartland Channel.

The Whistle Blowers

Credits
 
Camera: IVARS BERZINS
Editor: PAUL SUTORIUS
Sound: BRIAN SHENNAN
Researcher: KAY SEATTER-DUNBAR 
Producer: ANNA COTTRELL, ROSEMARY FULLERTON-SMITH
Director: ANNA COTTRELL
Narrator: PAULINE GILLESPIE