Search

Rush Green ref honoured for loyal service

PUBLISHED: 15:13 25 February 2014 | UPDATED: 15:13 25 February 2014

Football referee George Marsh with his award

Football referee George Marsh with his award

Archant

Football refereeing has been a real labour of love for Rush Green man George Marsh.

Football referee George MarshFootball referee George Marsh

But 32 years loyal service in Havering has been rewarded as he won the volunteer of the year prize at the Havering Sports Council awards earlier this month.

The 63-year-old thinks the amount of service he has given to his chosen sport was the swaying factor in the judges minds ahead of the other nominees in the category, Jordan Sargeant and Dean Smith.

Mr Marsh said: “The amount of time I’ve been refereeing might have helped my cause. “I’ve put in the time and it’s paid off.

“I was surprised when I was put forward for the award and I was even more surprised when I found out I’d won.”

The Rush Green Road resident took his first refereeing course in 1982 and has been taking charge of matches in the borough ever since.

Mr Marsh first got involved when his son Andrew started playing football, and a referee was needed to keep order in the games.

FA rules stipulate that referees have to give up their level five status when they reach 47 years old.

This had seen Mr Marsh officiating on games involving the likes of Romford and Thurrock at current Ryman League level, but he still has no plans to put away his cards and whistle just yet.

“A friend of mine, Peter Cramp, said I should take the course and I’ve never looked back,” he said.

“I’m 63 but I’m still regularly taking games in the Essex Olympian League. It keeps me in great shape for someone of my age.

“There are still referees older than me who are doing it so I think I’ve got a few years left.

“I still love it so I’ll carry on as long as I can keep up with the game.”

One area of concern for the man in the middle is the lack of youngsters interested in becoming football referees today.

He attributes this to the “disgraceful and disgusting” abuse they receive from the touchlines, especially from parents when taking charge of youth matches.

There have been scores of stories in the media about referees quitting the game due to constant heckling from the sidelines.

Mr Marsh said: “You can’t blame youngsters for not coming through the system anymore.

“The abuse they get from parents is frankly disgusting, the constant shouting and moaning.

“So many people take the course, ref for a year then pack it in because it all gets too much.

“It’s always the referee’s fault, never the players, when teams lose.”

Mr Marsh, who worked for Ford Motors in Dagenham before taking early retirement, has lived in Havering almost all of his life.

He was heavily involved with Ford United - now Redbridge FC - and says his early retirment has enabled him to take on more refereeing responsibility.

“It’s given me the chance to take on midweek college football matches. The more the better,” he said.

“It definitely keeps me busy and it helps me put something back into the community which has given me so much - which is definitely a good thing.”

0 comments

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Latest Romford Sports News

Goals from Ogbonna, Sakho and a Masuaku screamer book place in round four

19:14

Hampshire’s new-ball partners Kyle Abbott and Fidel Edwards gave Essex a champion’s hangover as the Specsavers County Championship Division One winners suffered a batting collapse at the Ageas Bowl.

17:00

Hornchurch manager Jim McFarlane will be rotating his squad for their Velocity Trophy round one clash with league rivals Aveley.

15:00

Daggers skipper Craig Robson admitted they still need to sharpen up at the back if they are to build on their solid start to the campaign, following a 3-1 home win over Halifax Town at the weekend.

14:00

London Raiders head coach Sean Easton believes there is more to come from his side after their opening weekend of the 2017/18 season.

12:00

Hornchurch manager Jim McFarlane expects a tough test after being handed a long trip to Hereford in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup.

Sakho and Ayew set to start as Hammers look to make progress in Carabao Cup

07:54

Tom Westley wants Essex’s present-day champions to create a lasting legacy that stands them alongside the legends of the 1970s, 80s and 90s in the club’s history.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now