I've decided that after 23 years of reffing I'm calling it a day and hanging up the whistle and would just like to share a few thoughts on what I've seen and experienced.
First and foremost I've enjoyed it all immensely, I've been lucky enough to referee some very good players and it always gives me a buzz when I see a lad playing at the top level and I can say "I reffed him in the juniors". I've made lots of friends and met lots of really nice people (some of them contributors on here), I've been lucky enough to have been invited to officiate at several finals at both local and county level.
I can still keep up with play and decided that I would call it a day whilst I still could.
There have been very few downsides but for what its worth here they are, respect for officials seems to erode a little more each year and we are being let down by the SL refs who seem to let players chat back and dispute decisions with no comeback. One or two clubs have always seemed to think that any game they lose must be down to either incompetence or, even worse, a conspiracy by officials to rob them.
But as I say the good times have far outweighed all that. Will I miss it? Yeah certainly for a while but I've been invited to serve on the committee of a local club so after 47 years of playing,coaching and reffing I'm going to be a "Blazer wearer".
Thanks to everyone I've met and to all the clubs and players involved and hopefully I'll still be seeing you on Saturday afternoons.