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While the main focus is on the clubs and teams, let’s not forget that there wouldn’t be a game without the all important third “team”, the officials!

Today we start the first in a series of “getting to know your ref“. The first edition starts with our current Special Merit Award Winner of 2018 and a multi award winner throughout his career.

Ladies and gentlemen….

Dave Sargent

At the Academy of Football, Upton Park
Name Dave Sargent age 51
Home Town Rainham
School & did you play football for them? Britton’s school and of course I played for the school team
Did you ever play Saturday/Sunday football and/or for whom? I played in the Corinthian league (boo!) for Rainham Rangers
Married?/Kids? Married to my lovely wife Tracey for 26 years with 3 sons aged 25, 22 and 14
What do you do for work? Contracts manager for a roofing company 34 years in the roofing game
Affiliated to Essex County FA
Current Level 6 (County Referee)
Are you going for promotion? Too old now!
How long have you been refereeing? I passed in 87 but was still playing then but got the whistle out 15 years ago
Which professional team do you support? The mighty Hammers
Who is your player of the season so far? England’s Declan Rice
Best memory from watching your team (ground or occasion) 2006 FA Cup Final against Liverpool even though we lost at Cardiff
Favourite food Anything that tastes of chocolate and fillet steak
Favourite drink Pepsi max and a beer or 2 but not before refereeing of course!
Batman, Superman or another superhero. Superted
Favourite TV Show (current & all time) Only Fools & Horses
Favourite Sports Person Mike Tyson
Best place you have ever visited (social) London Town
Best place you have ever referee’d Upton Park & Brisbane Road
Of the current current grounds/venues that you are asked to referee at, which is the one you look forward to? Parkside Stadium, Aveley
……and the worst? Too many to mention
Leagues that you currently referee/assist on Ilford Church League, which can be worse than some other leagues, Essex Alliance FL and of course the super Combination.
Honours or rewards as a referee Ref of the year twice in the Combination, twice in the Romford and District League and once in the Essex Alliance but god knows how.
Best things about being a referee Still being involved in the game and being able to have some good banter with some players
Worst things…… When it’s cold and the odd bit of dissent and club Lino’s give you more agg than the players sometimes
Pre-match routine Bar of chocolate & crisps
Any interesting facts that might surprise people? I am going to be a grandad in May and can’t wait
Samsung, Apple or something else? Both as one is a work phone and no I am not a drug dealer!
What would you change in football? Dissent and Lino’s using my flag to get the ball out of the bushes.
Any advice you’d like to pass on to a referee just starting out on their journey. Enjoy it and be strong in your decisions and smile
Best place I have referee’d – Home of the Irons.

I hope you have enjoyed a little light-hearted reading behind one of our leading referees. We are blessed with so many talented officials who choose the Essex Sunday Football Combination and we thank Essex County FA for allowing us to use them.

Dave has enjoyed success with the ESFC, amongst others, and will undoubtedly be in the group to take charge of one of our finals which start next month. Those announcements will come in the next few weeks.

A passionate referee, many describe him as laid back, but ultimately a well-respected referee who knows how to impose his authority in every situation.