Over usage or simply over age?
I write this on the eve of departing for a 10-day break at the weekend (well-earned I hope) to Spain
where hopefully there will be some sunshine. Those of you who attended the excellent AFA cupfinal
officials evening recently hosted by John Cooke (I was one of the speakers and not one of the
lucky officials) will have noticed the pronounced limp. I don’t believe that pounding up and down
the field of play three times a week since September has caused the slightest problem but rather a
slippery patch which caused me to turn my knee; hence the problem.
You may have had similar problems whether young, middle aged or old. Visiting your local GP is
the obvious first step. But in spite of the NHS advocating physical activity as a means of staying fit
and healthy (and refereeing must meet this criteria) my GP hardly looked at the freshly unveiled knee
but asked instead my age. Once this was revealed she sighed and opined that I was probably too old
for such physical activity and how about gardening. When I pointed out that the injured knee was, as
far as I knew, exactly the same age as the uninjured healthy knee and wasn’t troubling me she
seemed unimpressed. Instead of recommending an X-ray or a magic ointment she gave me a seed
However, I am prepared to show her. I am following a regime of gentle cycling plus swimming
and next week in Spain a stricter regime of sitting in the sunshine eating freshly caught and grilled
fish with perhaps a glass of a fortifying beverage. Hopefully the knee will mend. No doubt you will
join me in wishing it a speedy recovery and a nice holiday in Spain.
Although I was pleased to see in the March issue of the AFA ARGUS an exchange of views between
colleagues on an important and sometimes vexing matter of concern to us all I am disturbed by the
use of inappropriate language. I will not reiterate the words used, you and they will know what I
mean. As Chairman of the Society that produces the best monthly referees’ magazine in the UK I
feel it essential that we follow a policy of openness and honesty coupled with one of old-fashioned
good manners. I wish to avoid having to edit and perhaps censor all articles and contributions from
colleagues due to the breaking of this simple code of behaviour.
If you feel moved to write about something in reply to an article in AFA ARGUS with which you
don’t agree then please do so but keep to these simple rules. Also, even though all contributions are
welcome I don’t want to hear about people who phone to complain but don’t wish to have their
names published. If they haven’t got the courage of their convictions then perhaps they should lose
the right to be heard in an open forum.
All contributors to the magazine are welcome particularly those who offer a point of view on a
particular topic. But let’s stick to the issues when replying and not resort to name-calling. I want to
encourage dialogue between members and between the Society and the official organs of grass
roots football. There will be times when this ruffles feathers (or even wrinkles a blazer or two) but it
is all done in the cause of raising standards throughout the game we love. We all give freely of our
time to football and particularly to refereeing so let’s honour the idea that we are all on the same
First published in the Argus April 2009