BILL EATON'S REFEREEING COLUMN 'Tales from the Dark side': We should be grateful to Bolton Wanderers FC for putting on a top class event

Bill Eaton

Bill Eaton

First published in Sport

MY final ‘Tales from the Dark Side’ column of the season covers the final weekend of the season, plus a special mention to referee’s secretary Chris Rees.

I HAVE to say having fulfilled the post of referees appointment secretary for five seasons, it has to be the hardest job on the committee of the Bolton Bury and District Football League.

Chris Rees is just coming to the end of a second season of occupying this role. Last Friday night’s under-16s championship play-off brought the end to all league games and a bit of peace for Chris for a week or two before the registration of officials for the new league season 2014-15 begins.

Chris has continued the league’s ethos of promoting junior referees to games, as 90 per cent of matches were covered by referees aged between 14 and 18.

By far the most stressful weekend of the season is cup final weekend. Forty-six officials were emailed, three proved unavailable, so three more were appointed and five more dropped out so cue head-scratching to try to get them in.

Eighteen cup finals were played last weekend to bring the season to a close.

Nine cup finals were played at the Reebok (Macron) Stadium, home of Bolton Wanderers. There was a lot of added pressure on the officials in these games, which have that little bit extra because of the venue.

Nine more finals were played just a round the corner at the Eddie Davies Academy on Sunday, bringing an end to the season.

It made for two great days of football played on brilliant facilities for the players, being kindly supplied by Bolton Wanderers.

This is my last column of the season and I have enjoyed giving an insight into refereeing while also giving you profiles on junior officials.

I will be back in June with a look at officials of the World Cup.

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