Editorial: Benny Hill era long gone

By Craig Cooper

Looks like the Northland Rugby Union has a reticent rebel on its hands.

Murray Potts runs KerikeriRugby.com and is the rugby fan accused of being, essentially, a sexist boofhead.

Murray had "pinched" some pictures off the personal Facebook page of the NRU's new referee administrator, Alanna Clare, and placed them on KerikeriRugby.com

The photos of Alanna in a bikini caused a rush of blood to Murray's brain, and he posted them with a caption Benny Hill would have been proud of writing. This caption, which we won't go into here, was later replaced with a simple "Welcome to the Alanna Clare fan club" heading.

Benny Hill was a UK comedian in the 1970s and'80s, fond of running about with scantily clad models, for comedic gratification. Feminists hated him. Millions loved his cheeky humour, though.

Murray is a Kerikeri rugby fan who, under the misguided belief that no one would mind, has incurred the wrath of feminists, ordinary folk and rugby officials keen to bring attitudes associated with the game out of the 1970s.

Murray clearly loves the game of rugby and, having thought about it, has now eaten several large slices of humble pie and apologised to all and sundry for his actions.

It should be noted that he didn't do anything illegal when he downloaded the photographs from Ms Clare's Facebook page.

But the context in which he used them was questionable.

So was the placement of the photos alongside a Northland Rugby Union logo on the webpage.

The logo implied the NRU sanctioned the site - no wonder, Murray, that the NRU were unhappy with the photos.

All in all, no harm done, lesson learned, and everyone moves on.

Although as editor, I am slightly curious as to how Murray - who appears to be something of a social media magpie - got his hands on the Northern Advocate story on his website.

I am sure he went through the correct copyright channels.

To be safe though, I'll be taking the holiday pics of me in my budgie smugglers off my Facebook page tonight.

- Northern Advocate

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