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Herbie6590

Ep 133 - The Man In The Middle

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BRFCS chats with a former referee, Rovers fan and contributor to the BRFCS forum, Tony Leake. Ian Herbert poses the questions.

Listen closely for the Souness, Allardyce, Mimms and Ronnie Moore stories. A real insight into the life of a man in black. 

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Highly recommend this one folks!

A brilliant listen and very interesting to hear from the perspective of a referee, which is something we never really get the chance to do. Tony’s passion is evident throughout, and some great tales... one that’ll leave you googling a certain Rotherham game!

Cheers @Herbie6590 and @arbitro

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Posted (edited)

Good episode guys. Interesting listen. 

Edited by Hasta

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Excellent listen 👍

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9 hours ago, Exiled in Toronto said:

Blimey @arbitro, no more recent pic than that? 👴

At least it looks like I'm moving on that one John 😁😁. My usual area of patrol hardly got me out of the centre circle.

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18 minutes ago, Ozz said:

Very interesting @arbitro .

I did level 3 refs course at Runshaw with Griff, did you know him? 

I don't recognise the nickname - do you know his real name?

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Nope, I knew you'd ask that! 

1984, he was getting on a bit. Used to do Central League games, told a few good stories about Garner! 

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3 hours ago, arbitro said:

At least it looks like I'm moving on that one John 😁😁. My usual area of patrol hardly got me out of the centre circle.

You must’ve just blown for half time and the kettle was on! 

Very interesting podcast - did it feel like a hobby for you or more like a parallel career?

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Just now, Exiled in Toronto said:

You must’ve just blown for half time and the kettle was on! 

Very interesting podcast - did it feel like a hobby for you or more like a parallel career?

It started out as a hobby and to try and prolong my active involvement in football but climbing up the ladder has to be aligned to becoming more professional. Very rarely was there a day when I wasn't doing anything that didn't involve refereeing. Training, paperwork, meetings, travelling and the games themselves gave me little time for other things when the 9-5 job is factored in too.

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Enjoyed that Tony and Ian, thanks. You're right about surrounding yourself with good players before you started reffing - that Conver Foam team in the Darwen league was pretty decent if I remember correctly :)

My boss at Blackburn Council was also a ref at the top level who you may have known; Phil Richards. Horrible little scouse bastard, though to be fair to him I have no idea how he found the time to do his job and referee in the top flight at the same time. Like you Tony, normally as a favour and because he enjoyed it so much, he also did a few local semi-pro and amateur games - mainly cup finals and such like. 

You should be very proud of where you got to in the game.

 

 

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17 minutes ago, oldjamfan1 said:

Enjoyed that Tony and Ian, thanks. You're right about surrounding yourself with good players before you started reffing - that Conver Foam team in the Darwen league was pretty decent if I remember correctly :)

My boss at Blackburn Council was also a ref at the top level who you may have known; Phil Richards. Horrible little scouse bastard, though to be fair to him I have no idea how he found the time to do his job and referee in the top flight at the same time. Like you Tony, normally as a favour and because he enjoyed it so much, he also did a few local semi-pro and amateur games - mainly cup finals and such like. 

You should be very proud of where you got to in the game.

 

 

It was the Black Horse Andy and I was the water carrier 😁😁. I knew Phil well and he worked extremely hard in business and football to achieve what he did. He is now living in Cyprus.

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12 minutes ago, arbitro said:

It was the Black Horse Andy and I was the water carrier 😁😁. I knew Phil well and he worked extremely hard in business and football to achieve what he did. He is now living in Cyprus.

Ah, that's right, I knew it was a team Steve Eggy had played in. Footie memories do start to conflute as you get older.......

Phil was actually okay for a scouser and of course on top of his high profile job and reffing he had other things to deal with as well that would have broken many people. Mind you, he always did like a sun tan so not surprised to hear he's in a place like Cyprus. 

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Great interview and so interesting! You speak very well Tony and I suggest you carve out a career as an after dinner speaker but maybe not in the Rotherham area! Also great to hear you still retain your love of Rovers. 

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Brilliant that Tony, a really good listen. The Ronnie Moore/Rotherham bit was hilarious! 

I seem to remember you as a linesman at Ewood in a pre season friendly versus Aberdeen and thinking, bloody hell, Tony’s running the line. Would have been mid 80s. Was that the start of things starting to move for you?

Well done as well, Ian, top interviewing as usual.
 

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That was in my first season as a Football League linesman Mark and it was actually Terry Genoe's testimonial. It was around that time that I started to move steadily up the ladder. I always thought that my refereeing success ran parallel with the fantastic Rovers years between 90 and 95. As Rovers were clinching the PL I found out I'd been promoted to the Football League referees list following several other promotions in the previous five years or so.

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Another superb podcast. So very interesting to listen to a referee talk about experiences in the game. I wish we had a lot more on radio and TV as well as the many ex-players. 

Also many thanks to Herbie for excellent questioning. Ever thought of taking over from Laura Kuenssberg? You'd do a far better job.

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10 hours ago, Herbie6590 said:

Well look who’s on Twitter @arbitro 😆

 

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Now that would be interesting. I'd love to know if time has quelled his anger 😁😁😁.

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On 16/07/2020 at 07:01, arbitro said:

It started out as a hobby and to try and prolong my active involvement in football but climbing up the ladder has to be aligned to becoming more professional. Very rarely was there a day when I wasn't doing anything that didn't involve refereeing. Training, paperwork, meetings, travelling and the games themselves gave me little time for other things when the 9-5 job is factored in too.

Another question for you Tony: what did you learn about professional players through your reffing that you didn’t know as a fan (and we wouldn’t know either)?

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1 hour ago, Exiled in Toronto said:

Another question for you Tony: what did you learn about professional players through your reffing that you didn’t know as a fan (and we wouldn’t know either)?

Great question! Are you Brian Walden in disguise?

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9 hours ago, Exiled in Toronto said:

Another question for you Tony: what did you learn about professional players through your reffing that you didn’t know as a fan (and we wouldn’t know either)?

Essentially John the vast majority of teams are a collection of characters and temperaments just like any other workplace. The extremes of nice and horrible guys are in equal measure. That's one of the reasons I don't really buy the team spirit line so many come out with. Many times have I been asked by a player to send off one of their teammates or indeed their manager. The majority of players I came across were pretty much as they were portrayed to the public, both good and bad.

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I actually managed to listen to this one and found it a great insight. Some very funny stories and anecdotes included as well. 
A very well done to all involved!

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