Return to the UK took
me to Norwich and I refereed in the Norfolk and Suffolk league but a bad knee
injury brought my refereeing career to an abrupt halt, my only experience at a
football league ground being an F.A. Cup game at Stockport County's ground. I
had been on several FA coaching courses and following coaching and managerial
experience in the RAF I took on a part time coaching/manager job with Northern
Nomads an amateur side playing in the Lancashire Combination. I also continued
my part time sports writing for the Hong Kong Tiger Standard covering Internationals,
Cup and league games. I had written many articles on refereeing using the name - Whistler and general football ones using the name -Corinthian
I took the picture
above a couple of days before the game shortly after I arrived in Taipei and was
astonished to find work still going on to finish the stadium in time for the game.
They were still laying some of the turf !
slight problem was that neither of the two Chinese linesmen could speak
a word of English and with my limited knowledge of Cantonese the instructions
before the game through an interpreter were lengthy to say the least.
have been one of the youngest referees to have officiated at a FIFA game being
in my mid- twenties.
also had the good fortune to referee two FIFA Internationals in the Asian Cup
- Vietnam v Israel and Nationalist China v South Korea and the Hong Kong Shield
Final in 1957.
The game between Nationalist China and South Korea in Taipei was the first game
played in their new stadium just prior to typhoon Diana arriving. Intermittent
rain and winds made conditions difficult . Korea were two up after the first leg
so to qualify for the Asian finals China had to score 3. Aided by the wind China
scored in the first half, and missed several other chances. With about 20 minutes
to go I awarded the Koreans a penalty for hand ball. The 20,000 crowd fell silent!
I was grateful for the armed soldiers around the ground ! However the Koreans
scored again in the last minute to win 2-1. A friendly match had been arranged
for the following Wednesday which I was again to referee, but typhoon Diana took
over. The typhoon wrecked the stadium, blowing the roof off the main stand and
I spent my time behind closed shutters in the hotel peering at flying debris and
wondering whether I would ever get back to Hong Kong.
shows Walter Winterbottom the ex England manager demonstrating obstruction at
an FA Coaching Course I was attending.
was soon to discover that I would never earn my living as a professional footballer
so I decided early on to have a go at refereeing. My RAF service moved me around
the country and I officiated in the Midland, Northern and Hampshire leagues before
I was posted to first Singapore and then Hong Kong . By then I had got my Class
1 so I was able to start refereeing in the Hong Kong league. To keep busy I also
managed/coached the RAF side playing in the same division
rarely had the chance to take any pictures so the image above from one of the
RAF games is a bit of a rarity.
was during my stay that the 30,000 all seated Hong Kong Stadium was opened and
in addition to refereeing league games there was the bonus of refereeing games
involving visiting sides from overseas - India, Malaysia, Austria etc
Pic on the right shows Ho Cheung -Yeu captain of All Hong Kong and Barschandt
the Austrian international. He had been sent off against Scotland the week previously
but on this occasion he behaved impeccably in Weiner Sportklub's 5-1 win
had the honor of refereeing the Hong Kong Shield Final in 1957 between great
rivals South China and KMB the two leading teams in the league. The first game,
watched by a packed stadium ended in a 3-3 draw after extra time. The replay ended in a 6-2 win
for South China.
I had the rather unique experience of both being a coach and referee in the same
I some how think this would be frowned upon in the Premiership!
squad of referees in the Hong Kong First Division also did the line at representative
was about this time that my interest in photography grew and obtaining one of
the first cameras with a type of motor drive I was able to capture sequences of
images that were used for both coaching and referee training purposes.
also did some coaching in Thailand helping out the Thai Air Force and following their friendly game against Sing Tao from Hong Kong I refereed a game between Sing Tao and Rhuam Mit at the Bangkok National Stadium
After a few years because of pressure from a full time job
I departed from my active soccer participation and spent more time watching the
team I had supported from an early age - Manchester City
I also achieved a 'kind of hat-trick ' at Wembley - being there as a spectator. steward and in the press box!
Above is a cutting from a local paper before the game and in the pic on the right I am being presented with some flowers!
10 days later I refereed the Asian Cup game between Israel and Vietnam in the HK Stadium. Israel won 2-1
This was the first floodlit match at Billingham Synthonia between the home side and a RAF team -
During my time in Hong Kong as I was qualified as a boxing judge I often used to do boxing inter-round commentaries on Hong Kong Radio