Whistling in the start of the 2022 Commonwealth Games - Ruck

Whistling in the start of the 2022 Commonwealth Games

The story of the sports whistle was celebrated last night as Birmingham ACME Whistles’ 150 year heritage was shared at the games’ opening ceromancy. 

The story of the sports whistle started in 1883 when Joseph Hudson invented a whistle for the metropolitan police.  

It was a whistle that would change the face of policing worldwide.  

However, Hudson was not content with just revolutionising the police service and set about changing the way referees oversaw sport. 

He started with football – but hit a wall of resistance from his local team Aston Villa, where officials didn’t see a “childish” whistle as the way forward, preferring to stick with waving a handkerchief to get the players attention.  

However, Nottingham Forrest took the leap of faith adopting the whistle – setting sport on a new path for officials to manage sport.  

The ACME Thunderer invented by Joseph Hudson for sport is widely recognised as most iconic whistle designs and remains unchanged to this day.  

Although the exact date when the whistle made it into rugby as a sport is unknown, it made a major impact with the Gil Evans whistle – now an iconic piece of rugby history. 

Named after the welsh referee to first use it during England’s first ever clash with New Zealand at Crystal Palace in 1905, the ACME Thunderer whistle has since been used at the opening game of every Rugby World Cup game since 1987. 

And it still works as clearly as it did back in 1905! 

The Gil Evans whistle is one of the most prized exhibits at the New Zealand Rugby Museum in Palmerston North – and is today seen as one of the most important pieces of rugby memorabilia. 

Ben McFarlane, Marketing Director at ACME Whistles, said; “It’s an honour to be acknowledged as a significant part of Birmingham’s culture as well as recognising the role we’ve played in refereeing and sport. 

“The opening ceremony for the games was spectacular and to see and hear ACME at the centre of it, makes all the hard work and efforts worthwhile. 

“We even had a visit from some of the sevens match officials ahead of the tournament who came into the factory to see how their whistles are made. 

“With the eyes of the sporting world on Birmingham for over the next few weeks, everyone at ACME Whistles will not only be supporting our home-grown athletes, but also all of the match officials who will undoubtedly be controlling many of the games activities using a whistle they have had a hand in making.” 

To find out more about the ACME Whistles visit www.acmewhistles.com 

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