Vale Lyle Arbuckle

by Rugby WA Media

RugbyWA Referees stalwart Lyle Arbuckle has passed away on Tuesday, October 20 Arbuckle was a passionate supporter of rugby union in WA and very active as a referee during the 70s, 80s, and early 90s.

During his time heavily involved in WA Rugby Arbuckle become Secretary of the WA Rugby Union Referees Association from 1973 – 1975 eventually being elected president in 1987

Arbuckle officiated at all levels including junior’s rugby at Langley Park on Saturday mornings, the occasional schools’ game and senior grade club rugby on Saturday afternoon.

He would also referee a number of Sunday games played at Perry Lakes including several international games involving the WA State Team held at the Perry Lakes stadium.

He also accompanied the WA State Team under the role of WA referee at Southern States carnivals and was also the Team Manager from the early to mid 80s which included their tour to Canada.

Arbuckle’s career highlights included officiating at the following games:

  • 1971 – South Africa v WA – Assistant Referee
  • 1975 – England v WA – Referee
  • 1976 – Fiji v WA – Assistant Referee
  • 1976 – Seven Oaks School (UK Public School) v WA – Referee
  • 1978 – Wales v WA – Referee
  • 1979 – Ireland v WA – Referee
  • 1991 – Classic Wallabies v Classic All Blacks – Assistant Referee


In 1987, Arbuckle refereed his 250th First Grade game as a senior referee and was also appointed to the Australian Rugby Union Referees Panel.

In 1988, Arbuckle was commended for his dedication to WA Rugby when he was made a life member of the WA Rugby Union Referees Association.

He was always an active member of the Referees Association, attending weekly fixture appointments as well as coaching and mentoring new referees into the game.

Arbuckle was delighted when WA was admitted to the Super Rugby competition in 2006 as the Western Force.

He was a returning member of the side and looked forward to attending games at Subiaco Oval and HBF Park as well as constantly supporting the team during away games making time to watch the broadcast.

Away from rugby Arbuckle was a keen contributor to his community, being a first gear officer and founding member of the Sorrento Surf Life Saving Club.

Arbuckle was a true lover of the game, although he stopped refereeing in the early 90s, he would usually attend club rugby games on a Saturday afternoon, which also gave him the opportunity to catch up with the many friends he made over the preceding 30 years.

The enjoyment he got from being a part of the WA Rugby community certainly reflected his commitment to refereeing and seeking to advance the standards of rugby referees in WA.

RugbyWA, WARURA and the entire WA Rugby Community offer their condolences to Lyle’s wife, Margaret, children, Peter, Joanne, and Steven, and the Arbuckle family.

Arbuckle funeral will be held at the East Chapel of Pinnaroo Valley Memorial Park in Padbury on Friday October 30 at 1:30pm AWST

Click here for livestream link

Advertisement
Advertisement