Referee Awards

The 2014 Thatchers & Devon FA Referee Awards Presentation Evening was a great night for celebrating refereeing in Devon!

On Wednesday 25th July Devon FA hosted the 2014 Thatchers & Devon FA Referee awards at the fabulous Exeter Court Hotel in Kennford. 70 referees gathered to celebrate the success of referees in Devon over the last 12 months and to recognise those that have managed to rack up 40 years of refereeing.

Click here for video highlights and interviews from the evening.

Devon FA Referee Development Officer Jason Haywood commented ‘In total we recognised over 240 combined years of refereeing tonight and they are still going strong. It was fantastic to make those referees feel valued and also to celebrate the achievements of those that have made a real difference to refereeing over the last 12 months.’

Last year the FA had a national sponsor for the referee awards but unfortunately this was not the case this year. ‘We wanted to carry on the awards as it is important to make the referee work force feel valued for what they do. We approached Thatchers and they were delighted to support the event, it goes without saying that without them we would not have been able to hold this event so we are very grateful for their support. ‘ It shows the strength of refereeing in Devon that the awards went to people from all areas of the County.

West Devon

Lee Roberts was awarded the Thatchers Outstanding Contribution to Refereeing Award. Lee has overcome a serious leg injury to get back to the refereeing standard he used to enjoy in the South West Peninsula League. His dedication and commitment has meant that he has this year been promoted and will now referee in the Western League and Southern Leagues.

Rob Pearce and Rob Stevens were both recognised for their 40 years service to refereeing. ‘without the volunteers like Mr Pearce & Mr Stevens we would not be in the great place we are now with refereeing’, ‘They are both still active as assessors and Mr Stevens is also a referee coach and mentor too.’

East Devon

Exeter based referees walked away with 3 of the Thatchers awards this year, thanks to the fantastic work being carried out at the Devon FA Referee Academy with Exeter City. Haywood commented ‘we have a great set up at Exeter City and this would not be possible without the support of Exeter City and in particular Simon Hayward.’

Jason Hawkins was awarded the Thathers Outstanding Contribution to Referee from a Development Setting Award for his work as the Referee Academy Coordinator. Brian Reeby who is an assessor and referee coach was awarded the Thatchers Volunteer Award and Paige Longworth-Wakeham was awarded the Thatchers Women Referee Award.

Terry Atkins, Exeter & Peter Greenwood, Seaton were both recognised for over 40 years service to refereeing. They were both due to receive their awards last year but due to other commitments could not make it and so were able to collect their awards this time around. Terry is still refereeing and carries out all the refereeing appointments for the Devon & Exeter League and the Devon County Youth League. Peter is still refereeing and at the ripe old age of 74 he is still keen to get 1 more season under his belt.

North Devon

The North Devon Gazette Football League was awarded the Thatchers League Award for the good work that they do with the referees on the league. Driven mainly by Mick Tattersall the league is keen to raise standards and ensure that referees are well supported in their careers.

The Thatchers Young Referee Award & The Duncan Underhill Award went to a very special young man, Ben Chance from Bideford. Ben started out playing football as a young lad and became a very promising goalkeeper and as a youth at aged 14  he was selected for the Exeter City Football Academy where he spent two years and won the award of goalkeeper of the year . Ben at aged 16 decided to become a goalkeeping coach also at the Exeter city academy but signed on as a goalkeeper for the Bideford reserves football club and played in the senior and prem level and was doing very well however he decided he liked the idea of becoming a referee and took his refereeing course and from then there was no stopping him ,he loved it and  has now given up football and coaching so he can put full commitment into refereeing . Bens mum commented ‘We as parents are so proud of Ben as the last two years he has been studying for his A levels and achieved his goal on gaining double promotion to level 5 ,and now working towards his level 4 . Ben is a great lad has a great personality and I think the one thing that we find quite amusing his the one answer he gives to anybody that asks him this question " Ben what job would you like in the future ?? his answer is always the same “Howard  Webbs” and he’s serious there’s no doubt about it , Ben has had a fantastic mentor Tony Cloak who we cannot thank enough for all his hard work and support .’

South Devon

Two Devon FA 40 year awards were made to referees from Torquay. Richard Turl who has had many roles in refereeing, including the post of training officer where he trained as referees Jason Haywood and John Hockin who made the presentation to him. Nigel Pearce was the second recipient of a 40 year award and is still active in his many roles in local football such as the assessing office and mentoring officer for South Devon.

 Do you want to become a referee? Upcoming course details here 

We are always looking for more referees in the Plymouth Area to support the DJM and Plymouth & West Devon Leagues. A referee course is being held at Plymstock School in September and there are still places available. This course is a special ½ price course so there is no better time to become a referee.

In the East Devon Area to a referee course is being held at St Peters School in August and there are still places available. The course will be taking full advantage of the school facilities and will be predominantly practically based.

A third referee course is being held at Paignton Community College in August and there are still places available. The course will be taking full advantage of the school facilities and will be predominantly practically based. There is a special £50 discount available on this course for anyone who becomes a referee having been at a South Devon League Club.

So to sign up to any of these courses please Click on This Link