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Terriers give referee great finals honour

The dulcet tone of a Max Weber whistle sounded once again in a touching moment to open a Border Rugby League preliminary final last weekend.

The 92-year-old is a local refereeing legend with a long connection to Texas Terriers and you couldn't wipe the smile off his face when he was able to take the field before Texas beat Tenterfield Tigers to win a place in the grand final this weekend.

Weber put down the whistle in 1994 and the whistle Terriers president Rod Sweedman handed to him for the ceremonial blow in Texas may well have been the one he last used in a game.

"He gave it a good blow, gave it a good crack and he certainly would have been loud enough for everyone to hear," Sweedman said.

"All the players came up and shook his hand and even the opposition players off... and as I was walking him off, he goes 'oh, that was good of all those young men to shake my hand'.

"And he had a bit of a dig at (referee) Michael Bell and said 'I'll be watching from the sideline. If you break down, I'm just over there if you need'.

Michael Bell, Max Weber and Rod Sweedman
Michael Bell, Max Weber and Rod Sweedman

"We just wanted to do something special for him. Obviously he gave a lot to the area with his refereeing and that sort of thing and had a bit of input into the club with different decisions years ago.

"My father used to get around with Max when they were younger and I've sort of known Max all my life."

Sweedman described Max as a "gentleman of the game" and a quality official, having played a number of games under his control.

"He was generally a little bit a little bit tougher on Texas than the others, but he was always fair," Sweedman said.

"He was always willing to have a chat and talk after the game and talk to players about what you've done wrong and what you do better.

"He's always been a very approachable man, very straightforward and down to earth."

Weber might have another appearance at a Border Rugby League match this season, with plans afoot for him to head to Inglewood this weekend to watch the grand final.

Main image: Texas v Tenterfield referee Michael Bell with Max Weber.

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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