Sussex referee Ian Hubbard was presented with his 50 years continuous active service award, at the Brighton Referees Association (RA) meeting in January.
Ian embarked on his amazing 50-year journey, back in the 1969/70 Sussex County Football League season, as a ‘linesman’. He lined on the Division 2 Cup Final the following season and he recalls a particular match at Steyning where the club had only one assistants’ flag so as the junior assistant referee, he ran the line with his own white handkerchief!
He soon learnt from that experience and bought himself a set of flags and has now operated on several cup finals, served on the Brighton RA Management Committee, is never short of an opinion, and gave many years of dedication to Observing (Assessing) referees, achieving Supply League status.
Another anecdote from his career was lining in an Athenian League game at Billericay in front of a sizable crowd. There were shouts from the stand that Ian had lost his flag which he shrugged off as normal jeers from the crowd. In fact, he had moved up with play and soon realised his flag had detached from the pole some 20 yards away!
In his time in Sussex, Ian has officiated on numerous Sussex County Cup Finals and during his time on the Isthmian League he was a senior assistant referee on their League Cup Final.
Pictured, is Ian (left) being presented with his award by Gary Willard (former FIFA Referee), another Sussex refereeing stalwart.
Sussex County FA Referee Development Manager, Paul Jeffery, commented: “Ian thoroughly deserves this recognition, his outstanding contribution to refereeing over 50 years is not only greatly appreciated by us at a county level, but also nationally by The FA.
“On behalf of all of us I’d like to say congratulations and thank you Ian!”
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