This Saturday Reading referee Ray Emmans will complete his 1000th game on the Hellenic League officiating at Wokingham & Emmbrook v Chalfont Wasps. Joining the league in 1971 his first game was between Thatcham Town and Burnham, ironically the two teams played each other in fixtures this season 46 years on. Rays been loyal to the league over the years, officiating in 14 different counties and at hundreds of different clubs.
Ray has kept a record of all the 2000 plus games he has officiated at, his biggest honours were the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup Final between Wycombe Wanderers and Aylesbury United and the FA X1 v the Isthmian League. In addition to officiating at 1000 matches on the Hellenic League, he completed 300 games in 11seasons on the Isthmian League and another 50 plus on the Football Conference, Southern and Football Combination Leagues. Ray was a founder member and officer of the Allied Counties Under18 Youth League where he’s officiated 500 times.
Now 68 years old Ray is coming to the end of his refereeing career, his commitment working at Reading Football Club Academy means he can’t referee as often as he would like but he still gets through around 40 games a season.
Similarly marking a significant achievement in their refereeing career is Graham Wray. Graham Wray, referee, based in Quainton in Aylesbury, refereed the 2000th match of his career on Saturday 15th April. Graham regularly operates on the Aylesbury District League.
Lisa Benn, Referee Development Officer commented, 'it is always great to recognise the hard work and dedication referees have shown during their career. I would like to thank all those dedicated referees, including Ray and Graham for their continued support and commitment to refereeing. Refereeing can be challenging at times, but extremely rewarding, leaving you with a great sense of achievement.'
If anyone is inspired to follow in Ray’s or Graham, please register your interest in becoming a referee