After the MRA President, Graeme Thorley, had opened proceedings, the Middlesex FA Long Service Awards were presented by Middlesex President, Jim Taylor and Chairman of Referees’ Committee, Doug Douglas.
Those honoured for their 20 years (at least) of dedication to refereeing were Steven Conway, Ron Gilchrist, Steve Hart, Gary Hunter, John Lewis, Patrick Mulpeter, Chris Pinn, Mike Richardson and Marvin Thompson. Unfortunately, Will Smeulders could not attend to collect his award.
Jim and Doug then presented certificates to the successful promotion candidates, from level 6 to level 5 and from level 7 to level 6, who were in attendance.
Next Dave Griffin presented mementoes, on behalf of the MRA, to this season’s Middlesex Senior Challenge Cup Officials, Referee Michael Heavey, Assistant Referee Daniel Simpson and 4th Official Steve Hart. Assistant Referee Chris Felton did not attend.
Then Graeme introduced Patrick Barclay for the high point of the evening. We were not disappointed. Patrick spoke sincerely and in an entertaining manner regarding his career and his opinions of the present day game. His anecdotes were entertaining and his opinions forthright and shared by everyone in the room. He opened the floor for questions and eventually his session had to be cut short through time constraints.
The buffet was then served and the raffle draw brought a thoroughly worthwhile evening to an end.
Please click here for a gallery of photos from the event, taken by Chris Benn.