Liverpool-based referee Jack Cliff, 28, has been talking us through his journey from playing locally to officiating at international matches.
What does your normal ‘day job’ look like?
Enforcement Officer and Doorman
Do you have any hobbies or interests away from refereeing?
Captain of my local cricket club
Why did you start refereeing?
The local team I was playing for was constantly changing managers and bringing new players in. It was at this point I started to think nobody is loyal to one club anymore and it made me lose my enjoyment of the game, so I decided to stop playing and have a new challenge in football.
How does it make you feel if you receive abuse?
No referee ever enjoys receiving abuse so, next time when you’re about to open your mouth, remember that no referee goes out onto the pitch wanting to make mistakes – just like every player out there. Sometimes, when I do receive abuse, it doesn’t just leave me after the game has finished - sometimes it play on your mind for the next few games.
What has been the best part of refereeing so far?
One of the best rewards has been my appointment to FA competitions - I have officiated in every FA competition as either Referee or Assistant. This has also given me the opportunity to referee at some high-level grounds. I have also had the honour to be the fourth official at an England U17 game and at a friendly between Everton and Kenyan club Gor Mahia.
What are your hopes for refereeing in the future?
To enjoy every game as it comes and hopefully officiate in the Football League one day.
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