New event: Meet the men in the middle

Chris Foy spent 14 years as a Premier League official

“The referee’s a ******.”

We’ve all said it, haven’t we?

Every football fan has at one time been bemused, angered or felt betrayed by the man in black, but how well do you know the rules of the game?

If you think you know more than the ref then this is your chance to prove it.

The Robins Trust is hosting a unique event at the LCI Rail Stadium featuring three very special guests.

Chris Foy spent 14 years as a Premier League official and took charge of more than 500 professional games – including the Robins’ memorable Neil Grayson-inspired win against Cardiff City in 2000.

Now, the former Fifa elite list official is working as head of community engagement with the Professional Game Match Officials and he wants to know well you know the laws of the game.

On Thursday June 1 from 7pm, Chris will be making his second trip to Whaddon Road for an evening with the Robins Trust.

Simon Hooper has been in charge of over 100 Championship games

He will be joined by Select Group 2 referee, Simon Hooper,  who has been with the EFL for eight years and has been in charge of over 100 Championship games.

He is also refereeing this weekend’s League One play-off final between Bradford and Millwall at Wembley.

In a fascinating, entertaining and interactive session, Chris and Simon will explain the latest updates to the laws of football and give an insight in to why, and how, referees make the decisions they do.

They will also put you on the spot and ask you to make the tough calls that the man in the whistle has to make on a weekly basis.

Afterwards you will also get the chance to ask the questions you have always wanted to two of the country’s leading referees alongside our third special guest.

Foy will be joined by Robins Trust member Nathan Mattick (above), who made national headlines in 2015 when he overcame the odds to became the UK’s first powerchair referee.

Not one to be deterred by his wheelchair, Nathan is FA qualified to officiate in able-bodied and disabled matches, both indoors and outside.

The 21-year-old has cerebral palsy and found the first match he officiated to be a big challenge but with the help of the Gloucestershire FA, he has been able to achieve his dream of refereeing.

“I was so nervous. I thought the players and managers would give me a hard time because I was in a chair and they would question why I was refereeing able-bodied football,” he said at the time.

“I want to work with children in the sports industry. I want to get a job and be independent. Going back to my parents would be a step backwards,” he added.

“It’s important you respect every single person whether they have a disability or not. We can all contribute to this world.”

It’s an inspiring story and one that should give a further perspective into life out in the middle.

The event is free, open to members and non-members of the Trust and there will be a full pay bar available.

If you are interested in attending, email or tweet the Trust @robinstrust so we can get an idea of numbers.

Related links:

About PGMOL:

UK’s first wheelchair-using referee – video:

Powerchair Referee in Gloucestershire:

National Star College learner Nathan Mattick is Britain’s first wheelchair referee:

Nathan overcomes cerebral palsy to become Britain’s first wheelchair referee:

2 thoughts on “New event: Meet the men in the middle

  1. Just enquiring when new membership cards are sent out??? Renewed in April till 2018 but have not recived card. Keep up good work. See you all next season. John Dickerson

    1. Hello John,

      I’ve asked Tarran to investigate, he’s away at the moment so that might be the cause for the delay. Sorry about this, we’ll be in touch soon.


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