Rex Blind Parties - A Brief History

The late R E Kingsley, sports journalist and broadcaster, set up the REX BLIND PARTIES in 1937 to provide commentaries for the visually impaired at football grounds throughout Scotland. The ‘REX’ came from his by-line as the chief sports writer on the Sunday Mail.

Rex Kingsley was the BBC’s first football commentator in Scotland. Whilst watching a game at Dens Park, Dundee, he heard a fellow loudly describing the game and turned round to see that the man was attempting to give a running commentary to two blind men. He was doing his best but the commentary was poor. Rex introduced himself and took over the audio description for the second half.

This incident subsequently gave birth to the Rex Blind Parties and although Bob Kingsley died in 1974 the organisation has continued to flourish with parties at most grounds in Scotland. There are currently over two hundred members listening to a Rex commentator at most Scottish grounds every week.

Parties vary in size from over forty at some SPL clubs to one or two at smaller clubs. Where there is a need, the Rex organisation will try to meet it. The service also extends to international matches with the full support of the SFA and the individual member clubs. The experience of the Rex Parties in dealing with host clubs, football authorities, police, stewards and not least the visually impaired has been to the benefit of all concerned.

The commentaries are of a high standard and are specially geared for the knowledgable blind fan that enjoys the atmosphere of the live game. Some of our commentators honed their skills with a Rex Blind Party before graduating to the professional scene.

David Tanner MBE
Honorary President
Rex Blind Parties