Popular Welsh referee Nigel Owens has shared a final Instagram post before he leaves Japan – and it includes his partner.
He tagged primary school teacher Baz Jones-Davies in his post, saying: “So good to have my handsome man out in Japan with me.
“Made the tournament even more enjoyable.”
In May 2007, Owens publicly came out as gay in an interview with Wales on Sunday. Reaction was mostly supportive.
He revealed that coming out was a difficult decision and that he had contemplated suicide when he was 26.
He may have an injured calf but I’ve still dragged him up Mount Takao (not literally because then I’d have a bad calf). I Just paid for the chair lift instead 😂 @Nigelrefowens #RWC2019 #mounttakao #tokyo #injuredref pic.twitter.com/mTAeLenDvr— Baz Jones-Davies (@BazJonesDavies) October 30, 2019
Shortly after the 2007 Rugby World Cup, Owens was named ‘Gay Sports Personality of the Year’ at gay rights group Stonewall’s awards ceremony in London.
He has since gone on to referee the Rugby World Cup final in 2015 before becoming the most capped official in Test history.
Nigel Owens facts:
1. How he started refereeing
Playing rugby at school, his team hadn’t won a game all year, and needed to kick a conversion for victory. It was Nigel’s moment of glory. But it didn’t go to plan. The ball “went closer to the corner flag than it did to the uprights. I was a laughing stock in the school.” His coach suggested, rather forcefully, that it might make more sense for him to oversee the games rather than play in them.
Before becoming a professional rugby union referee, Nigel worked on a dairy farm in west Wales and was also a youth worker. More recently he kicked off his own farming venture at home with a pedigree herd of Hereford cattle in Llanelli.
3. Full name
According to Wikipedia, his birth name was Nigel Farrell…
We’re not completely sure this is true.
Scarlets and Wales U20 centre Ioan Nicholas is the cousin of the top referee.