OLD Monmothian Rugby World Cup final ref Wayne Barnes has been awarded an OBE for services to the sport in the King's honours – ahead of returning to his old school’s Blake Theatre next September for a much anticipated "An Evening With...".

Barnes retired last November, having officiated in a record 111 Test matches, including the 2023 World Cup final, where South Africa squeezed home against 14-man New Zealand.

The Forest-raised ref and qualified lawyer appeared at five Rugby World Cups with countless domestic and European finals.

A spokesperson for The Blake said of his Friday, September 20 appearance, in association with Aitch and Aitch Bee: "Wayne has many amazing highlights to talk about which will make you appreciate the tough job that being in the middle is.

"We will chat to Wayne about his career and then follow with an opportunity for the audience to get involved with a Q&A session."

Tickets are £25 with a limited number of VIP Tickets available priced at £50 which will include seats in the front two rows, a “Meet & Greet” with Wayne, a photo opportunity and a signature from the man himself.

See www.theblaketheatre.org for more details.