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Thursday, December 26, 2019 12:56:14 AM

The publication was daily; the price was 1d, and remained so until Carr had been its editor sinceand, under his continued leadership, it became one of Wales's foremost newspapers. From its early days, the paper claimed to be the national newspaper of Wales. It covered all aspects of Welsh life. It sought to establish itself as the foremost paper, as it advertised in in Mitchell's Press Directory: "It has been established regardless of expense and over the wide area which it covers, circulates for more extensively than all the other papers put together.

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Supported by Rugby Referee Creates a Buzz While Keeping the Peace Nigel Owens is the rare official who, at any given match, could have more renown than some of the players on the field. Image The referee Nigel Owens has his most memorable lines printed on T-shirts and coffee mugs and has more than , followers on Twitter.

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Owens could only laugh. He had first uttered those words himself while refereeing a rugby match seven years ago, and they have been trailing him ever since.

The line and countless others have been preserved in numerous greatest hits-type clips that together have tallied millions of views on YouTube — and now get repeated to Owens on the street. The fame has emerged from disparate wells for Owens, 48, each one having a multiplying effect on his profile.

Western Mail (Wales)

He is a fixture on Welsh television, hosting not just rugby programs, but also a variety show, a hidden camera prank show and several others in recent years.

He writes a weekly column for the Western Mail, often veering well outside the subject of sports. Organizers already have announced that Owens will officiate the opening match.

There has long been a sentiment among some in sports that referees should stay anonymous and mostly out of mind. Others say that sentiment is outdated, with a confluence of factors elevating the profile of referees: a microscopic approach, aided by video technology, to assessing officiating decisions; the insatiable appetites of fans for more information, fed by a surplus of voices online; and that international rugby referees have worn microphones during matches for more than a decade.

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In these circumstances, Owens has excelled, making him in some ways the quintessential 21st-century referee. Owens, Barnes said, avoids these traps. In one of his most famous incidents, for instance, he stopped play in a game in Wales after a nasty scuffle and summoned all 30 players to form a circle around him.

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He said he would ignore what had happened in the fight and penalize no one, on the condition that the incident not be repeated. Owens dismissed these critiques as coming from people who were hungry for attention themselves. Everything he says and does on the field, he said, occurs naturally in service of the players.

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His first tastes of performing for an audience came in church, singing and reading scripture, he said, and, later, while singing in a local pub for spare change. Humor was woven into his upbringing.

He idolized the Welsh comedian Ifan Gruffydd, memorizing his jokes to retell later. As a teenager, when Owens was just starting to referee, he also was trying his hand as a stand-up comedian in local clubs and performing in school plays.

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He just loved an audience. At the time, Owens said, he was worried about how the rugby world would react. In his mind, high-profile instances of discrimination in rugby — like the recent homophobic social media posts from the Australian player Israel Folau — were the acts of individuals who did not represent the whole.

In , police discovered him unconscious on a mountainside near his home with a shotgun by his side. For the moment, Owens said he was looking forward to a quiet retirement, which he imagines will happen within the next year or two.

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After years of spending hundreds of nights on the road, he wants to be able to have more time with his partner, a schoolteacher in his hometown, and his father, who is Owens has bought a plot of land near where he grew up, and he plans to start a farm.

He has a number of Hereford cattle arriving shortly after the World Cup. But before that, he wants to savor his final tournament.

He has previously covered Major League Baseball and the N.

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