I’ve always thought of myself as a reluctant referee. Growing up, I had no desire to don the black shirt and whistle neither did I find the profession interesting. As a player, coach, secretary and later even as a league official I could always glean some enjoyment from the game that I loved. Refereeing didn’t look that rewarding and seemed a thankless task. £25 for an hour and a half of idiots telling you to fuck off? No thanks.
Thanks to the media and their numerous camera angles, the referee isn’t just background noise anymore. They are a mystical being that has to be right all the time. Despite the increased scrutiny, there isn’t as much literature about referees as perhaps there should be. A lot of this is down to the clauses that professional referees have to adhere to. The result is an often boring yet slightly bitter autobiography when they do hang up their whistle.
I’m hoping that my blog will help with insomnia, refereeing or just to highlight how referees think. If you take just one thing away from the articles then it has had a positive effect. I hope that you don’t feel isolated and this blog can act as a support network. Feel free to ask questions and suggest ideas for articles. We are the referee, the heartbeat, the facilitator, the arbiter, the judge, the jury, the social worker. We are the twentythirdman.