Newport ref still going strong at 83
6:10am Friday 11th October 2013 in News
Whistle blower Trevor Kemp is still refereeing in the Newport and District football league at the age of 83. Here he is at his home in Newport (1370236)
FOR most 83-year-olds, spending Saturday afternoons running around a football field in the cold autumn and winter, and sometimes being abused for it, would be the last thing they need.
But for Trevor Kemp, from Newport, that is his job. Mr Kemp missed the end of last season because of a short illness but has since returned to his duties as a referee in the Newport and District League.
Mr Kemp said: “I’ve been doing it for 36 or 37 years now. I’m hoping to do three games a month this season, but I help out with the church on Saturday afternoons as well.
“If I won’t be out with the church, I’ll probably be doing a game. At one time I was doing midweek matches and if the schools would want me in the mornings I would go there, and I would help with the Sunday leagues. Sometimes, when it was becoming light at night, I’d be doing six games a week.” Mr Kemp puts the change in attitude of some players over the years down to some bad role models in the English Premier League.
“Put it this way, I don’t blame the local players for doing what they’re doing – spitting, swearing – they’re only doing what they see on the TV,” he said.
“I try to do my best, but if I would go by the rules all the time I wouldn’t go anywhere. Sometimes I think ‘why am I out doing this when I could be at home with my feet up?’.
“You do feel intimidated sometimes, but I try and talk to the players instead of giving them red or yellow cards. I tell them that I’m doing my best, and that I’m out here enjoying the game with them. But there are times when you feel like walking off.”
What is the secret to his refereeing longevity?
“I might go out shopping on my bike,” he said. “When I was off towards the end of last season, the exercise kept me going.
“I did 21 games last season, with the bad weather as well. I’ve got that experience, so I know I can’t go 60 miles an hour behind a player, but I can move over the ground better. I’m really lucky to be still going. I don’t know when I’ll stop doing it.”
Dick Downes, the fixture secretary of the Newport and District League, said: “You don’t see many 83-year-olds outside the nursing home – he’s brilliant.”
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