In 1971, a young Andy Davies (Left in title picture) 16-year-old took up the whistle as part of his Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award scheme, embarking on a journey that would span more than five decades. That teenager, now a seasoned referee with a wealth of experiences, officiated his first game just two days after passing his referee exam. It was a baptism of fire, stepping in as a late replacement for a GFA Senior Amateur Cup game between Tuffley Rovers and The Herd (later Cirencester United). The match ended dramatically with The Herd clinching a 3-2 victory with the last kick of the game.

From these humble beginnings, his refereeing career advanced through the leagues, eventually earning promotions to the Southern Football League and the National League. His dedication and passion for the game saw him involved in numerous memorable matches, including acting as an Assistant Referee at the FA Trophy semi-final and officiating at some of the most iconic grounds in the country, such as Old Trafford.

Reflecting on his career, he shared, “Officiating at Old Trafford was an experience I will never forget.” These moments, among many others, have highlighted a remarkable journey through the world of football officiating.

A significant part of his career was spent within the Hellenic League, where he has been involved for over thirty years. “I’ve seen how the League has grown over the years,” he noted. “In my opinion, it is one of the best leagues in the country to officiate on, with quality football, excellent facilities, and a professionally run league.”

As he steps down from the role, he acknowledges that he will miss the camaraderie with his fellow match officials and the clubs. However, his love for the game remains undiminished. “I will be going to watch several Hellenic League games and look forward to meeting up with some ‘old faces’ next season,” he said.

His journey from a novice referee to a respected official in some of the country’s top leagues is a testament to his dedication and love for football. As he transitions from the pitch to the stands, his legacy and impact on the game will undoubtedly endure.

Title Picture Credit: Brian Rossiter – @brianrossiter1 << Follow on X (AKA Twitter)