Windsor - The man in charge of the 1995 World Cup final referee recalled the
"extraordinary transformation" in South Africa after receiving a public
honour from Britain's Queen Elizabeth II for his services to rugby on
English official Ed Morrison was made an Officer of the Order of the
British Empire (OBE) during an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle,
southwest of London.
Morrison was the man in the middle when tournament hosts South Africa
beat favourites and arch-rivals New Zealand 15-12 after extra-time in
the final at Johannesburg's Ellis Park.
The 1995 Rugby World Cup was the first major international sporting
tournament staged in South Africa since the end of the apartheid.
The final was notable when the then South Africa president Nelson
Mandela, who had been imprisoned under the apartheid regime, walked out
to meet the two teams wearing a replica Springbok shirt - once seen as a
symbol of oppression by many of the country's non-white population -
in a gesture aimed at building racial unity in the new 'rainbow
"I'd been to South Africa a few times before that... the
transformation when I came back in '95 was quite extraordinary,"
Morrison told the Press Association, Britain's national news agency.
"You just sensed that the whole country was in this case behind the
rugby team, which was very different from what I experienced previous to
He added: "And obviously by then Nelson Mandela was instilled and was
exerting tremendous influence, in such a humble way - the people's man
if you like.
"The atmosphere in the stadium, you just sensed it was different."