The fun was as important to international hockey referee Rob Lathors as the performance. I like the first, second and third half. Fellow referee Peter Elders, who led several duels with him, said: ‘After the match we were happy to spend another hour among the guys in the pub. Or well, I’m for an hour, Rob is usually two hours.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the Lathouwers were considered one of the best hockey referees in the world. Referee in two Olympic Games (Los Angeles 1984 and Seoul 1988), the World Cup and nine Champions Awards. In total, he led nearly 140 caps.
This impressive record was not the result of excellent condition. Lathouwers love a drink and a cigarette. For the Hockey World Cup in Australia, he said he cycled multiple times from Vught to Den Bosch for prep shopping; That was enough. And what was a good result in the Cooper test? Well, his brother Peter Paul was a board member of the Hockey League. that was good.
1 red card
Lathouwers consider character to be more important than iron status. He was proud of himself for not giving a red card in his career. Well, once after that. Thanks to his fellow referee, who secretly switched his cards when he was on the toilet.
“During the first violation, Rob automatically grabbed his pants pocket,” Elders says. ‘But it wasn’t green as usual, but red. Across the street, his colleague was waving a smile. You can easily play these kinds of jokes with each other at that time.
Lathouwers followed in the footsteps of his father Guust, who was also an international hockey referee. The highlight was the time when he led the international match between Pakistan and India in Karachi in 1988 in front of 60,000 spectators.
Although the international minimum age was 47, it stopped at 42. The generation of players he grew up with is weak. Players like Ties Kruize and Tom van ‘t Hek used to be your peers. Now the boys have to go home in time because they still have to study for a geographic test.”
After his career as a hockey referee, he remained involved with his beloved Pakistan. He trained talents through House Hockey Academy and collected MOP shoes with Vughtse Hockey Club.
MOP President Westerouen van Meeteren recalls how the Lathouwers once suddenly arranged two Pakistani internationals for the transitional category. Then he stored it in a mobile home. It fell on the roof, at least they expected the Hilton. But Rob had a whole story about it, that he was good for their focus and all that. A little trick that was not alien to him.
In 2018, he called his daughters Rosalie and Florence from the hospital in Pakistan, after they were both admitted with heart problems. Lying on all sorts of wires, he told them, ‘Don’t be afraid, nothing’s wrong. I just need to stay here a little longer.’ Rosalie: ‘He’s been kind about it, even though his situation was so alarming because of his lifestyle. He was also optimistic his predicament.
On August 30, Rob Lathors died of cardiac arrest at the age of 69. At his cremation, the usual coffee and cake were dropped. “He wouldn’t have liked it at all,” his daughter says. Wine was served instead. “With that, we gave him one last toast.”
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