Veteran referee Tom Jackson, 67, has been telling us about his refereeing experiences and his passion for developing younger referees.
What does your normal ‘day job’ look like?
I used to work in the housing sector, but am now retired. Thanks to my body clock, I am currently getting up at 6am every day and working on my daughter’s house.
Do you have any hobbies or interests away from refereeing?
I enjoy watching my grandsons play football and spending time with them.
Why did you start refereeing?
I was originally a junior league coach but, due to a shortage of referees, l was always the stand-in referee. After being watched by a senior referee, l was advised to do the course and the rest is history!
How does it make you feel if you receive abuse?
Belittled and sad. The people who give out the abuse too often get away with it as clubs deny the individual is associated with them.
What has been the best part of refereeing so far?
I have many great memories! I was honoured to receive two Referee of the Year awards from two different leagues and have represented my County FA in competitions. I also refereed a Senior Cup match, where I was joined on the refereeing team by my two sons. I also take immense pride in supporting young referees in their development and have watched my eldest son progress up the referee pyramid.
What are your hopes for refereeing in the future?
I hope to carry on refereeing and develop younger referees to allow them to become more confident. I would encourage any young and new referees to enjoy your game, never be intimidated and always be honest when you get it wrong.
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