English International Rugby Referee 1983-1992


Widely regarded as England's leading referee in the 1980s 'Fearless Fred' as he was known is (at the time of writing in 2011) the referee with the most international dismissals with a total of 4. In 1991 the following biographical profile appeared in the Australia v Wales programme, his 14th occasion in charge of an international match.................


"Fred Howard is England's leading referee having refereed 13 international matches. Today he will referee Australia for the fourth time and his second Australia versus Wales Test. The first being the third and fourth play-off match at the 1987 World Cup in Rotorua, New Zealand.

It is his third visit to Australia . The first being his appointment as referee for the Australia versus France Test in Sydney, 1986, the second when he took charge of the Bledisloe Cup match in Sydney, 1988.

Married with two sons, he is a sports goods retailer as well as being a schoolmaster at Rivington High School in St Helens where he teaches geography. Educated at Cowley School , a union and league nursery, and Hull University , he represented the Waterloo Club on the wing as a player. However, at the age of 23 a serious knee injury ended his career.

Another knee problem surfaced in 1989 when he had to have an operation to remove a troublesome piece of bone. He missed much of the 1989 season in Britain but took charge of the two Test series between the All Blacks and France in New Zealand .

He was appointed to the England international panel in 1983 and has also refereed five consecu­tive English Cup Finals at Twickenhan, 1986-90. He believes the media could do a lot to assist referees especially in regard to supporting the stance taken by referees against foul play. In his career he has sent three international players from the field for dangerous and illegal play. "


Howard went on to referee a further six matches taking him to a total of 20. Please see below for the complete list of international matches in which Fred Howard officiated.


S-84.jpg (40751 bytes) Ireland v Scotland

Grand Slam season for Scotland

3 Mar 1984 Dublin 9-32  
F-86.jpg (43789 bytes) Australia v France    21 Jun1986 Sydney 27-14  
F-1986-06-28.jpg (59845 bytes) New Zealand v France 28 Jun 1986 Christchurch 18-9  
35.jpg (277436 bytes) France v Scotland

RWC 1987 - pool match

23 May 1987 Christchurch 20-20  
35.jpg (277436 bytes) Ireland v Canada

RWC 1987 - pool match

23 May 1987 Dunedin 46-19  
Final.jpg (72598 bytes) Australia v Wales

RWC 1987 - 3/4 play off

18 Jun 1987 Rotorua 21-22 sent off David Codey, Australia 
F-88.jpg (37551 bytes) Wales v France 19 Mar 1988 Cardiff  9-10  
NZ-1T-88.jpg (57173 bytes) Australia v New Zealand

1st Test

3 Jul 1988 Sydney 7-32  
F-1989-06-17.jpg (62158 bytes) New Zealand v France

1st Test

17 Jun 1989 Christchurch 25-17  
38.jpg (115992 bytes) New Zealand v France

2nd Test

1 Jul 1989 Auckland 34-20  
F-90.jpg (37155 bytes) Wales v France 20 Jan 1990 Cardiff  19-29 sent off Kevin Moseley, Wales
F-90.jpg (40780 bytes) Scotland v France

Grand Slam season for Scotland

7 Feb 1990 Murrayfield 21-0 sent off A Carminati, France
87.jpg (49142 bytes) Namibia v Wales

1st Test

2 Jun 1990 Windhoek   sent off A Stoop, Namibia
90Nambia2T.jpg (34015 bytes) Namibia v Wales

2nd Test 

9 Jun 1990  Windhoek 30-34  
B-90.jpg (43638 bytes) Wales v Barbarians 6 Oct 1990 Cardiff  31-24  
41.jpg (164578 bytes) Australia v Wales 21 Jul 1991 Brisbane 63-6  
SCvIRE.jpg (51200 bytes) Scotland v Ireland

RWC 1991 - pool match

12 Oct 1991 Murrayfield 24-15  
04.jpg (48110 bytes) Canada v NZ

RWC 1991 - quarter final

20 Oct 1991 Lille 13-29  
W-92.jpg (42567 bytes) Ireland v Wales 18 Jan 1992 Dublin 15-16  


A large selection of Fred Howard's memorabilia was auctioned off in 2011 including his RWC 1987 & 1991 jerseys and touch judges flags. These items included international touch judge flags from New Zealand, Australia & French international matches. A number of these items are offered for sale on our sister website . Please click on the image below to view these other items of Rugby Memorabilia for sale.






Dai Richards (World Rugby Museum) 



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