Jacob, a grassroots referee from Liverpool, has been promoting the latest campaign to help people think about their behaviour towards referees.
THIS CAMPAIGN IS AIMED AT EVERYONE ACROSS FOOTBALL - FROM PLAYERS AND COACHES, TO PARENTS AND VOLUNTEERS.
Refs are just like all of us – in love with football!
Jacob's story is a harrowing one – after being brutally attacked for deceiving a drug gang in his native Kenya, he was forced to escape.
Arriving to Liverpool as a refugee in 2014, Jacob dreamt of playing football – just like he had done in his homeland – and was offered a place at Everton’s academy. However, Jacob was unable to sign a contract due to his immigration status and, to compound the misery, an ACL injury hampered his playing prospects.
In order to keep in touch with the game, Jacob chose to pick up the whistle and he has not looked back.
Jacob is now a Level Four referee and has received recognition for his excellent officiating from the Liverpool football family - winning the Liverpool Grassroots Match Official of the Year award in 2017-18.
The Nairobi native is still looking to progress in his refereeing career and says that, despite the tragedies he has gone through in his life, he will never quit.
You can read Jacob's full interview on the England Football website.
Speaking about the Respect the Ref campaign, Liverpool FA's Referee Development Officer, Natasha Wilson, said: "Refereeing is not an easy task, but we have around 600 referees who operate at every level of the game. Those who operate at a grassroots level have an incredibly challenging role to undertake, but referees do it because they love football and they want to make the games that the grassroots football community play, coach and watch the best they can possibly be."
Keep an eye out on our channels and website for more stories from Liverpool referees as part of the Respect the Ref campaign.
CLICK FOR MORE INFORMATION ON RESPECT THE REF