Author Topic: Final Games  (Read 3479 times)

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Acme Thunderer

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Re: Final Games
« Reply #15 on: Sat 20 Apr 2019 15:24 »
Well, here it is, the list of final games, updated to the present. As before, it covers only domestic competitions, so no internationals, non-league games or friendlies. I have also omitted ARs who refereed 1-2 games and refs who died in service. I'll be happy to update the list when I return from a short break, so please keep those comments coming in. Who will join the list at the end of the season I wonder? Happy reading and Happy Easter! AT

1946-79 (as per Upton’s, RTR and memories)

K Aston – Man Utd v Leicester (at Wembley), May 1963
C Barrick, Man Utd v Blackpool (at Wembley), Apr 1948
F Bassett – Walsall v Halifax, May 1973
J Bent – Wolves v Aston Villa, May 1978 (lined the FA Cup Final later the same week)
N Burtenshaw – Derby v Everton, Apr 1973
L Callaghan – Aston Villa v Reading, May 1971
R Capey – Preston v Portsmouth, May 1977
J Carr – WBA v Liverpool (6th round 2nd replay at Maine Road, Manchester), Apr 1968
J Clarke – Man Utd v Sunderland, May 1968
J Clough – Nottingham Forest v Luton (at Wembley), May 1959
R Crabb – Watford v Southport, Apr 1978
A Dimond – Leeds, 1970
E Garner – York v Reading, May 1977
H Hackney – Wrexham v Mansfield, May 1977
L Hayes – Peterborough v Walsall, May 1977
G Hill – Brentford v Doncaster, Apr 1975
A Holland – West Ham v Preston (at Wembley), May 1964
K Howley – Tottenham v Arsenal, May 1971
V James – Walsall v Port Vale, April 1974
E Jennings – Chelsea v Leeds (at Old Trafford), Apr 1970
R Johnson – Leeds v Leicester, Nov 1971
W Johnson – Liverpool v Man City, May 1978
A W Jones – Chesterfield v Brighton, May 1977
G Jones – Darlington v Hartlepool, Apr 1972
R Kirkpatrick – Bolton v Spurs, May 1979
A Lees – Aston Villa v Chelsea, Apr 1978
K Markham – Watford v Plymouth, Apr 1969
R Matthewson – Man Utd v Liverpool (at Wembley), May 1977
G McCabe – Man City v Leicester (at Wembley), Apr 1969
D Nippard – Ipswich v Arsenal (at Wembley), May 1978
D W Smith – Man Utd v Man City, Apr 1974
J Taylor – Arsenal v Middlesbrough, May 1977
R Tinkler – Oldham v WBA, Apr 1976
D Turner – Ipswich, March/ Apr 1979
P Walters – Ipswich v Derby, Apr 1976

1980 to present (Upton’s, Soccerbase, World Football, Transfermarkt, RTR and other websites plus memories)

P Alcock – Norwich v Stockport, Apr 2002
G Aplin – Aston Villa v Chelsea, May 1991
P Armstrong – Darlington v Rochdale, May 2008
G Ashby – Arsenal v Everton, May 1998
J Ashworth – Crystal Palace v Man Utd, May 1991
M Bailey – Stoke v Man City, May 1998
S Baines – Bradford City v Portsmouth, May 2003
G Barber – Bolton v Fulham, May 2004
K Barratt – Oldham v West Ham, Apr 1994
N Barry – Bolton v Everton, May 2005
A Bates – Chesterfield v Exeter, Apr 2013
R Beeby – Wolves v Doncaster, May 2009
S Bennett – Aston Villa v Blackburn, May 2010
C Berry – Oxford v Cambridge, Apr 2015
M Bodenham – Sheffield Wednesday v Aston Villa, May 1998
R Booth – Stevenage v Accrington, May 2011
I Borrett – Chelsea v Coventry, May 1994
M Brandwood – Preston v Nottingham Forest, April 2002
M Brown – Hartlepool v Doncaster, May 2017
S Bratt – Port Vale v Sheffield Utd, Apr 2014
M Bull – Sheffield United v Scunthorpe, May 2016
T Bune, Wigan v Brentford, June 1985
L Burden – Watford v Man Utd, May 1985
K Burge – Man Utd v Aston Villa, May 1999
W Burns – Blackpool v Hartlepool, May 2001
A Butler – Coventry v Crystal Palace, May 2004
L Cable – Chesterfield v MK Dons, Sept 2004
G Cain – Stoke v Gillingham, May 2004
R Chadwick – Derby v Fulham, May 1983
A Challinor – Man City v Luton, May 1983
R Clark – Mansfield v Crewe, Apr 2018
M Clattenburg – WBA v Leicester, Apr 2017
K (Keith) Cooper – Blackburn v Arsenal, Apr 1996
M Cooper – Cardiff v Wimbledon, May 2004
M Cotton – Swansea v Lincoln, May 1987
B Coddington – Darlington v Exeter, May 1999
G Courtney – Blackburn v Leicester (at Wembley), May 1992
M Cowburn – Shrewsbury v Lincoln, Sept 2006
D Crick – Watford v Reading, May 2004
P Crossley – Leeds v Burnley, Apr 2011
B Curson – Plymouth v Ipswich, Apr 2006
P Danson – Wigan v QPR, Apr 2005
D Deadman – Luton v Blackpool, May 2017
R Desmond – Mansfield v Bristol Rovers, Dec 2005
L Dilkes – Coventry v Derby, May 1997
P Don – Blackburn v Newcastle, May 1995
S Dorr – Rushden v Notts County, Feb 2006
P Dowd – WBA v Southampton, Feb 2015
S Dunn – Ipswich v West Ham, May 2005
P Durkin - Arsenal v Leicester, May 2004
A D’Urso – Preston v Chesterfield, May 2015
D Elleray – Newcastle v Birmingham, May 2003
E Evans – Stockport v Morecambe, Jan 2011
K Evans – Aldershot v Rotherham, Apr 2011
C Finch – Peterborough v Leyton Orient, Sept 1997
M Fletcher – Southampton v Leicester, Apr 2006
P Foakes – Bolton v Reading (at Wembley), May 1995
D Foster – Bristol Rovers v Sheffield Wednesday, Apr 2011
C Foy – Man City v Southampton, May 2015
D Frampton – Norwich v Oldham, May 1994
G Frankland – Macclesfield v Barnsley, Sept 2002
R Furnandiz – Rochdale v Rushden, Apr 2002
D Gallagher – Liverpool v Charlton, May 2007
P Gibbs - Yeovil v Leyton Orient, May 2016
R Gifford – Arsenal v Wimbledon, May 2005
F Graham – Notts County v Carlisle, May 2016
A Grey – Man Utd v Brighton (at Wembley), May 1983
A Gunn – Tottenham v QPR, May 1994
K Hackett – Man Utd v Liverpool, March 1994
A Hall – Shrewsbury v Torquay, Oct 2010
M Halsey – Man City v Norwich, May 2013
D Handley – Notts County v Luton, May 2018
R Harris – Peterborough v Bury, Apr 2002
M Haywood – Shrewsbury v Millwall, Apr 2017
D Hedges – Leicester v Sheffield United, May 1990
G Hegley – Preston v Coventry, March 2011
T Helbron – Ipswich v Barnsley (at Wembley), May 2000
B Hill – Leeds v Crystal Palace, Apr 1993
K Hill – Leeds v Charlton, Apr 2016
T Holbrook – Everton v Southampton, May 1995
G Horwood – Peterborough v Fleetwood, Apr 2018
J Hough – Everton v QPR, May 1985
J Hunting – Everton v Watford (at Wembley), May 1984
M Jones – WBA v Tottenham, May 2018
P Jones – Tottenham v Liverpool, Apr 2002
T Jones – Chesterfield v Port Vale, Oct 2001
W Jordan - Swindon v Wycombe, Apr 2002
P Joslin – Southampton v Sheffield United, May 2008
A Kaye – Crewe v Coventry, May 2005
J Kirkby – Bolton v Norwich, May 2000
B Knight – Barnsley v Plymouth, Aug 2007
D Laws – Crewe v Stockport, Oct 2001
G Laws – Shrewsbury v Bury, May 2009
K Leach – Tranmere v Crystal Palace, May 2000
A Leake – Sheffield Utd v Crystal Palace, Apr 2006
R Lee – Brighton v Hartlepool, Apr 2008
G Lewis – Shrewsbury v Lincoln, Apr 2006
S Lodge – Ipswich v Man City, May 2001
E Lomas – Bournemouth v Millwall, Dec 2000
K Lynch – Ipswich v Walsall, May 2000
R Madley – Aston Villa v Middlesbrough, May 2018
B Malone – Gillingham v Plymouth, May 2018
S Mathieson – Carlisle v Hartlepool, May 2015
D McDermid – Chesterfield v Brentford, May 2012
P Melin – Grimsby v Peterborough, Apr 2008
M Messias – WBA v Reading, Jan 2006
N Midgley – West Ham v Nottingham Forest, May 1992
N Miller – Blackpool v Luton, May 2017
P Miller – Oxford v Hartlepool, March 2015
R Milford - Leicester v Derby (at Wembley), May 1994
D Mohareb – Rochdale v Dagenham, Sept 2012
K Morton – West Ham v Blackburn, Apr 1995
M Naylor – Fleetwood v Burton (at Wembley), May 2014
R Nixon – Newcastle v Leicester, May 1993
C Oliver – Gillingham v Shrewsbury (at Wembley), May 2009
R Olivier – Macclesfield v Bristol Rovers, Apr 2007
T Parkes – Lincoln v Leyton Orient, Apr 2006
R Pearson – Wigan v West Ham, May 2004
A Penn – Exeter v Notts County, Nov 2010
C Penton – Plymouth v Barnsley, May 2009
D Philips – Brentford v Stevenage, May 2014
M Pierce – Sunderland v Birmingham, May 1999
M Pike – Wolves v Plymouth, May 2008
G Poll – Portsmouth v Arsenal, May 2007
P Prosser – Tranmere v Port Vale, Apr 2005
D Pugh – Sunderland v Crystal Palace, May 2004
P Quinn – Accrington v Carlisle, Sept 2011
E Read - Brighton v Sheffield United, May 1985 
M Reed – Arsenal v Chelsea, May 2000
P Reeves – Cardiff v West Ham, May 1981
P Rejer – Derby v Ipswich, May 2003
U Rennie – Tottenham v Liverpool, May 2008
P Richards – Birmingham v Sheffield United, Apr 2002
M Riley – Fulham v Everton, May 2009
A (Alan) Robinson – Liverpool v Everton (at Wembley), May 1986
J P Robinson – Stoke v Norwich, Oct 2006
J Ross – Cambridge v Rochdale, Apr 2005
J Rushton – Huddersfield v Portsmouth, May 1996
S Rushton – Bury v Portsmouth, Apr 2014
M Russell – Blackpool v Huddersfield, May 2015
M Ryan – Hartlepool v Lincoln, Nov 2004
D Sheldrake – Walsall v Oldham, Apr 2015
R Shoebridge – Accrington v Barnet, Apr 2011
G Singh – Lincoln v Wycombe, May 1999
J Singh – Yeovil v Oldham, May 2010
F Stretton – Torquay v Kidderminster May 2004
R Styles – WBA v Man Utd, Jan 2009
G Sutton – Notts County v Crawley, Sept 2015
N Swarbrick – Tottenham v Newcastle, May 2018
S Tanner – Cardiff v Portsmouth, Jan 2012
M Taylor – West Ham v Everton, May 1985
P Taylor – Wycombe v Gillingham, May 2010
M Thorpe – Coventry v Burnley, Oct 2008
S Tomlin – Wycombe v Rushden, Oct 2004
P Tyldesley – Man Utd v Man City, May 1991
P Walton – Everton v WBA, March 2012
M Warren – Rochdale v Oxford, Apr 2005
J Waugh – Shrewsbury v Dagenham, Apr 2012
H Webb – Hull City v Everton, May 2014
C Webster – Sheffield Wednesday v Wycombe, May 2012
C White – Tottenham v QPR (at Wembley), May 1982
A Wiley – Leicester v Cardiff, May 2010
C Wilkes – Grimsby v Brighton, May 2003
A Wilkie - Man Utd v Tottenham, May 2000
G Willard – West Ham v Middlesbrough, May 1999
I Williamson – AFC Wimbledon v Plymouth (at Wembley), May 2016
J Winter – Man Utd v Millwall (at Cardiff), May 2004
E Wolstenholme – Millwall v Coventry, May 2003
J Worrall – Chelsea v Arsenal, May 1995 
K Wright – Rochdale v Gillingham, Apr 2016





« Last Edit: Sat 20 Apr 2019 16:42 by Acme Thunderer »
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Left Field

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Re: Final Games
« Reply #16 on: Sat 20 Apr 2019 18:21 »
Sterling work AT. Here are a few additions...

Neville Ashley - Halifax v Rochdale, Aug 1987;
Alf Buksh - Nottingham Forest v Manchester City, Feb 1993;
Ray Guy - Manchester United v Aston Villa, May 1987;
John Ireland - Burnley v Cardiff, May 1988;
Mark Scott - Preston v Colchester, May 1987;
Colin Seel- Sheffield Wednesday v QPR, May 1987 (7-1 win);
Trevor West - Preston v Walsall, May 1997.
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Left Field

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Re: Final Games
« Reply #17 on: Sat 20 Apr 2019 19:25 »
Some amendments:

Arnold Challinor - Liverpool v Coventry, May 1984 (5-0 win)
Eddie Evans - Wrexham v Brentford, May 2005;
Rob Styles - Chelsea v Blackburn, May 2009.

« Last Edit: Sat 20 Apr 2019 22:08 by Left Field »
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SuffolkRef

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Re: Final Games
« Reply #18 on: Sat 20 Apr 2019 20:59 »
Many thanks for sharing the research that you have done for this.

While I had remembered that I was in attendance for the final matches of Heilbron, Lynch, Lodge and Dunn, I had completely forgotten that I saw Paul Rejer and Brian Curson blow the full time whistle on their careers.

One correction in relation to Grant Hegley.  His final match Ipswich vs Watford in March 2011.  He was helped off the pitch after about five minutes.
« Last Edit: Sat 20 Apr 2019 21:30 by SuffolkRef »

Left Field

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Re: Final Games
« Reply #19 on: Sun 21 Apr 2019 18:10 »
Some more final games - an assortment of well-known names and lesser-known officials:

David Axcell - Millwall v Bristol Rovers, May 1993;
John Ball - Wrexham v Stockport, May 1986;
Les Burden - Chelsea v Norwich. May 1985 (amendment);
Alan Crickmore - Bristol Rovers v Millwall, May 1984;
Bob Hamer - Portsmouth v Grimsby, May 1993;
Ian Hendrick - Watford v Oxford, May 1993;
Mike James - Bristol City v Brentford, May 1993;
John Martin - Birmingham v Charlton, May 1993;
Jim Parker - Birmingham v Bradford City, May 1995;
Pat Partridge - Nottingham Forest v Coventry, May 1981;
Ken Redfern, Manchester City v Everton, May 1993;
Ffrancgon Roberts - Coventry v Liverpool (Liverpool won 6-1, final game of their last Title win);
Dave Shadwell - Rochdale v York, April 1993;
Clive Thomas - Stoke v Wolves, May 1984;
Peter Willis - Everton v Southampton, May 1986 (6-1 win);

Left Field

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Re: Final Games
« Reply #20 on: Mon 22 Apr 2019 19:12 »
Another final match:

Gwyn Owen - Wolves v West Ham, 15.5.1982.

I'm not sure if Mr. Owen is still with us but if he is his 85th birthday would have been recently (17 April). It's a sobering thought that all those referees who retired in the 1980s would now be in their late seventies and eighties while many who retired in the 1970s would now be in their nineties. I wonder if any referees who reached retirement age in the 1960s are still around? I suspect there may be one or two and that at least one former FL referee has reached his century.
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reflector

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Re: Final Games
« Reply #21 on: Tue 23 Apr 2019 09:45 »
Another final match:

Gwyn Owen - Wolves v West Ham, 15.5.1982.

I'm not sure if Mr. Owen is still with us but if he is his 85th birthday would have been recently (17 April). It's a sobering thought that all those referees who retired in the 1980s would now be in their late seventies and eighties while many who retired in the 1970s would now be in their nineties. I wonder if any referees who reached retirement age in the 1960s are still around? I suspect there may be one or two and that at least one former FL referee has reached his century.
A referee I always enjoyed watching.  Diminutive in height but an excellent official who must have been kept exceptionally busy as the programme notes used to record, he was also the proprietor of a coach firm and the head teacher of a local Anglesey school, as well as his national  and FIFA list refereeing duties.  I wonder how todays 'full timers' would cope with that lot! 
reflector

Hendo

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Re: Final Games
« Reply #22 on: Wed 24 Apr 2019 07:03 »
The Bangor City FC website, last updated on 6th March, shows Gwyn Pierce Owen as being Honorary President so the good news is that he is still with us.
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TheThingFromLewes

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Re: Final Games
« Reply #23 on: Wed 24 Apr 2019 21:25 »
Some more final games - an assortment of well-known names and lesser-known officials:

David Axcell - Millwall v Bristol Rovers, May 1993;
John Ball - Wrexham v Stockport, May 1986;
Les Burden - Chelsea v Norwich. May 1985 (amendment);
Alan Crickmore - Bristol Rovers v Millwall, May 1984;
Bob Hamer - Portsmouth v Grimsby, May 1993;
Ian Hendrick - Watford v Oxford, May 1993;
Mike James - Bristol City v Brentford, May 1993;
John Martin - Birmingham v Charlton, May 1993;
Jim Parker - Birmingham v Bradford City, May 1995;
Pat Partridge - Nottingham Forest v Coventry, May 1981;
Ken Redfern, Manchester City v Everton, May 1993;
Ffrancgon Roberts - Coventry v Liverpool (Liverpool won 6-1, final game of their last Title win);
Dave Shadwell - Rochdale v York, April 1993;
Clive Thomas - Stoke v Wolves, May 1984;
Peter Willis - Everton v Southampton, May 1986 (6-1 win);

How many reds did that infamous card shark Parker from Preston dish out in his career?

Acme Thunderer

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Re: Final Games
« Reply #24 on: Thu 25 Apr 2019 10:44 »
Many thanks for all your hard work in helping me to compile this list, which I have wanted to do for some time. I have incorporated the amendments and updates on the database and will publish a revised list at the end of the season to take account of any further updates or amendments before then. 

A couple of queries:

I always understood that Philip Don bowed out after refereeing Palace v Spurs in April 1995 but World Football shows that he refereed two further matches including Blackburn v Newcastle in May 1995 as his last:

Did Roger Gifford retire a season early? Upton's shows him on the list for 1995/6 but I can find no matches for him after the Arsenal v Wimbledon game in May 1995 and a Welsh FA website seems to confirm that he left the list in 1995. I had a feeling that his final game was as 4O at a Playoff Final at Wembley but cannot be sure of any details.

I don't recall attending any of the final games listed despite the presence of the Palace and Crewe. I wanted to see the Crewe v Coventry game in May 2005 which was Alan Kaye's last but failed to get a ticket for a game which Crewe had to win to stay in the Championship - and did, 2-1

Thanks again, AT

SuffolkRef

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Re: Final Games
« Reply #25 on: Thu 25 Apr 2019 11:03 »

I always understood that Philip Don bowed out after refereeing Palace v Spurs in April 1995 but World Football shows that he refereed two further matches including Blackburn v Newcastle in May 1995 as his last

I remember that Philip Don finished his domestic career at Blackburn because it was a Monday Night Football match and they interviewed him before or after the match.  He had an international appointment following that to end his FIFA career.

Also I’m sure that Graham Poll’s final match was a Championship play off final at Wembley ?

Acme Thunderer

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Re: Final Games
« Reply #26 on: Thu 25 Apr 2019 13:53 »

I always understood that Philip Don bowed out after refereeing Palace v Spurs in April 1995 but World Football shows that he refereed two further matches including Blackburn v Newcastle in May 1995 as his last

I remember that Philip Don finished his domestic career at Blackburn because it was a Monday Night Football match and they interviewed him before or after the match.  He had an international appointment following that to end his FIFA career.

Also I’m sure that Graham Poll’s final match was a Championship play off final at Wembley ?

Thanks Suffolkref and well spotted. Graham Poll did indeed referee the Championship Playoff Final on 28th May 2007 when Derby beat WBA 1-0. I have amended the database. Poll was one of a few refs to have refereed more than one Championship Playoff Final. He was also in charge in 2003/4 at Cardiff when Palace beat West Ham 1-0, a game at which I was present. Following the end of his PL career at Portsmouth, Graham also refereed a L1 semi-final when Yeovil won 5-2 at Nottingham Forest. How fortunes have changed!

Tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of George McCabe's final game at Wembley. 

Update: I Hemley, Brighton v York, May 1996. This was played on a Thursday morning in front of an 'all-ticket' crowd of just over 2,000 after the previous game, also refereed by Ian, had to be abandoned due to a crowd invasion. A sad end to Ian's career on the FL. 
« Last Edit: Thu 25 Apr 2019 15:52 by Acme Thunderer »

Left Field

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Re: Final Games
« Reply #27 on: Thu 25 Apr 2019 18:15 »
Many thanks for all your hard work in helping me to compile this list, which I have wanted to do for some time. I have incorporated the amendments and updates on the database and will publish a revised list at the end of the season to take account of any further updates or amendments before then. 

A couple of queries:

I always understood that Philip Don bowed out after refereeing Palace v Spurs in April 1995 but World Football shows that he refereed two further matches including Blackburn v Newcastle in May 1995 as his last:

Did Roger Gifford retire a season early? Upton's shows him on the list for 1995/6 but I can find no matches for him after the Arsenal v Wimbledon game in May 1995 and a Welsh FA website seems to confirm that he left the list in 1995. I had a feeling that his final game was as 4O at a Playoff Final at Wembley but cannot be sure of any details.

I don't recall attending any of the final games listed despite the presence of the Palace and Crewe. I wanted to see the Crewe v Coventry game in May 2005 which was Alan Kaye's last but failed to get a ticket for a game which Crewe had to win to stay in the Championship - and did, 2-1

Thanks again, AT

Philip Don's last domestic match was indeed Blackburn v Newcastle in May 1995 preceded by Coventry v Man Utd so he refereed the two Title contenders of the time in those final games. He departed years before the former retirement age, apparently to concentrate on his teaching career. I'm not sure if he knew he was standing down when taking charge of his final match or whether the decision came later - SuffolkRef may be able to shed light on that matter. Most referees will take charge of their last game knowing they are departing, e.g. due to retirement or scheduled resignation, but in some cases the departure is not anticipated at the time, e.g. linked to injury or change in circumstances.

As regards Rodger Gifford he did referee throughout the 1995-1996 season but all his games were outside the Premier League which isn't covered so much by Soccerbase before the 2000s. His final game in the middle was Plymouth v Hartlepool in May 1996 although he was fourth official for the Leicester-Palace play-off later that month.
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Whistleblower

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Re: Final Games
« Reply #28 on: Thu 25 Apr 2019 18:54 »
Indeed, the circumstances of referees' final games are so various. It can be a major Cup Final, a title decider or seemingly just an ordinary run of the mill end of season match. Some years ago I know that League referees were asked if there was a particular ground where they would like to make their final appearance, perhaps sentiment or I believe one or two referees chose the ground where they made their League debut ( shades of T S Eliot "arrive where we started and know the place for the first time" and all that )

Two of Hertfordshire's finest Grant Hegley and Mick Russell had most unusual final matches as noted elsewhere on RTR. The former limping off injured at Portman Road ( so often a place for referee injuries through the ages ) and the latter an abandonment at Blackpool due to a crowd protest. Abandoning; an irony not lost on Mick Russell I suspect.

Left Field

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Re: Final Games
« Reply #29 on: Thu 25 Apr 2019 20:20 »
Indeed, the circumstances of referees' final games are so various. It can be a major Cup Final, a title decider or seemingly just an ordinary run of the mill end of season match. Some years ago I know that League referees were asked if there was a particular ground where they would like to make their final appearance, perhaps sentiment or I believe one or two referees chose the ground where they made their League debut ( shades of T S Eliot "arrive where we started and know the place for the first time" and all that )

Two of Hertfordshire's finest Grant Hegley and Mick Russell had most unusual final matches as noted elsewhere on RTR. The former limping off injured at Portman Road ( so often a place for referee injuries through the ages ) and the latter an abandonment at Blackpool due to a crowd protest. Abandoning; an irony not lost on Mick Russell I suspect.

In the 1980s and up to the onset of the Premier League referees scheduled to retire were often given a top Division game to end their career, sometimes a "low-stakes", mid-table encounter but occasionally a match with significance at the top or bottom of the table. When the Premier League came into being Football League referees often got a Championship game on which to sign-off but that's become less common in more recent times and with the advent of SG2 not an option for most FL referees so returning to where they started their career or to some other significant venue has become popular. I think retiring referees may also be able to request specific assistants in some cases.

Clearly when a referee knows he is departing the occasion is going to be charged in a very different way to the unscheduled departure. Often it will be a emotional occasion which can be an argument against the game being a "high-stakes" encounter like a Cup Final or vital promotion or relegation encounter. However there may even be occasions where a referee is glad to reach the end, perhaps finding refereeing less satisfying or too pressured and maybe having carried on more out of a sense of duty than enjoyment.

By contrast the referees making unscheduled departures go into their final games unaware of their later significance. What seemed like a routine game can then take on much greater import. Sometimes it is that actual game that prompts the departure as in the case of injury or some unsettling event that leads to them calling it a day. Often the game passes without incident but later events cause it to be the final outing.
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