Everyone at Wilshire County FA would like to congratulate Mr Rod Wirdnam on his Long Service award to refereeing. We would like to thank him for his service to officiating the game in Wiltshire, and other counties, for many years.
Mr Wirdnam has given an overview of his long refereeing career:
Having completed and passed my examination during December 1976, I then eagerly awaited my first ever official fixture. I had previously run ’lines’ as a Club linesman, for a couple of friends who ran the Croft team and was encouraged to take up officiating by some of their Match Referees.
Following a very wet early 1977 during which few games were played, my first game was on 20th February 1977, an appointment by Bunny Uzzell; a Swindon Sunday League game between P.O. Supplies and Isis, played on a pitch (now built on) opposite the Rat Trap Pub in Stratton. This ended in an innocuous 0-0 draw, but I felt that I had done well enough for my first game.
Subsequently I have officiated in a total of 1645 games – designated games not including tournaments etc - on the following Leagues:
Swindon & District
Wiltshire FA Women’s and Girls
North Wiltshire Youth
Throughout my 44 years, there have been, I am glad to say, very few ‘lows’ but many ‘highs’; the undoubted highlight being when in May 2006, a group of us travelled to and officiated at the famous old ground of Highbury, the former home of Arsenal FC. I had seen very many games there when living in London, the most notable being Arsenal’s 4-5 defeat to the ‘Busby Babes’ on 2nd February 1958 – some newspapers of the day calling it the greatest match ever - before so many of the Manchester United Club tragically lost their lives the following week in Munich.
I have also been lucky enough to have officiated in 6 Finals at Swindon Town’s County Ground.; also, being given two engraved trophies from the North Wilts Youth Football League to mark my 30 years and 1500 games respectively and a commemorative medal from the Wiltshire F.A. upon my retirement.
My last game was on 30th May 2021, a North Wiltshire Youth League match between Abbey Meads and Hungerford Town Under 12’s, a 3-3 draw at the age of 85 ½ years.