Jim is ‘Mr Scrooge’ of the Aldershot RA, and joined the committee from the beginning in April 2012 to keep an eye on the purse strings. Jim is currently a Level 4 referee, and runs our Fitness Training sessions during the summer.
Why did you start refereeing?
I enjoyed playing football, however I was getting too many injuries as a player and wanted to still be involved in football. So I walked in to my house one Friday afternoon and told my wife and kids that I would see them on Sunday night as I was going off to take a referee’s course. After refereeing my first full game between two army teams I was hooked and I have been doing it ever since.
What has been your refereeing highlight?
Being able to travel around the world to different countries refereeing football, meeting and working with both newly qualified referees and referees at FIFA standard and making new friends along the way and having a beer with colleagues and players in the bar after the game.
What was the toughest position you have been in as a referee?
As a referee I cannot single out any one incident/situation as every game you referee will always give you a challenge – some more daunting than others. Examples include ignoring comments coming from the crowd and not biting back, or even stopping yourself from laughing and concentrating on the game. Or being pro-active with players /managers, working hard to stop games from boiling over, or having to motivate a team that are getting stuffed 14-nil to get stuck in with 60 minutes still to play in the game. Pick up a young player who has just been kicked and they have got tears in their eyes because it hurts.
What advice would you give to a new referee during their first season?
To have a clear understanding of the Laws of the Game, be firm & fair and be honest with yourself and learn from your mistakes, finally enjoy the experience of refereeing and get involved in the banter with the players, as it can be very rewarding – you will meet some very interesting characters along the way both pleasant and some not so pleasant.
If you wish to contact Jim, drop him a quick email here.