Referee recognised for 40 years service

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SUDBURY referee David West was honoured for 40 years of service to the game at Suffolk Football Association’s Night of 1,000 Years awards ceremony.

West first registered as a referee in 1964 with Somerset County FA. As a minister of religion, he has resided in various parts of the country and has been registered with Devon, Sussex and finally Suffolk.

Throughout this time he consistently refereed 30 to 40 matches a season up until 2006.

In November 2000, West qualified as an assessor with Sussex FA and has given his time in this capacity ever since.

In 2007 he was promoted to a supply league assessor with the Eastern Counties League and has continued in this role to the present day.

West has also acted as the mentor co-ordinator for West Suffolk during the seasons 2009 to 2011 and was instrumental in ensuring the mentoring scheme in Suffolk was a success.

The Night of 1,000 Years was run in partnership by Suffolk FA, the Football Association and the Referees’ Association, with referees who had given 50 years service, 40 years service and 25 years service presented with awards.

There were a number of special guests including Neale Barry, a former Premier League referee who is currently FA head of senior referee development; Ian Blanchard, the FA’s senior national referee manager; Dean Mohareb, the FA’s national referee manager; Ray Olivier, a former Football League referee and Premier League assistant referee; Arthur Smith, general secretary; John Tythcott, referees secretary of the Ridgeons Football League; Ken Ridden of the PGMOL and ex-referee Paul Taylor.

Suffolk FA chief executive Phil Knight said: “To referee for 50, 40 or 25 years is a remarkable achievement which should rightly deserve a lot of recognition.”

The Night of 1,000 Years, held at the Holiday Inn in London Road, Ipswich, celebrated a combined total of 1,000 years of refereeing by the award winners.