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Referee plays on with broken ankle
ESPN Staff
July 13, 2013
© Getty Images

You often hear of players fighting through the pain barrier to get the job done - but referees?

Step forward Kiwi club referee Mike Bowman - a man with commitment to rival Brad Thorn and enough guts to put any international in the shade.

Fairfax Media report that Bowman, a veteran of 15 years service as an official, broke his ankle just five minutes into a recent Southland-wide division one match between Drummond-Limehills Star and Wyndham. "I rolled it and heard a crack, I hopefully thought it was just a click of the ankle," Bowman said.

After getting his ankle strapped up with help from both teams' medical staff, Bowman carried on but the pain became worse and the ankle began to swell up. With no assistant or replacement referees available, Bowman had the choice of either calling the match off early or continuing.

"It was a close game, if I'd called it off it would have been a shame," added Bowman. "I got both captains in and explained the situation, I told them I was happy to carry on.

"Players were asking me on the way to breakdowns if I was alright, that really impressed me," Bowman said. "There was a serious game on and they were concerned about the ref, I was really impressed."

His wife later took him down to Southland Hospital where an x-ray confirmed he had fractured his ankle.

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