Ipswich Referees Association ready to celebrate centenary

IPSWICH Referees’ Association is 100 years old this year – and a gala evening is planned to celebrate its centenary.

Around 100 members and guests are expected to attend the event on Monday, April 16.

The evening is taking place at the Rosary Conservative Club in Bramford Road, Ipswich, the regular monthly meeting place of the Association.

Guests at the informal gathering, which is being sponsored by Globex Freight Management Ltd of Felixstowe and the DMR Sunday Football League, will include representatives from Suffolk FA, the national RA and local media.

Life member Barry Collings, who was secretary of Suffolk FA from 1980-86 and is now living in Australia, is also hoping to attend.

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All those attending the event will not only enjoy a buffet but also receive a free copy of the centenary booklet – The Ipswich Referees’ Association. A 100-year History.

The centenary booklet was undertaken by Gerald Johnson, who sadly passed away at the start of last September after a long illness.

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David Sale, who is in his 19th season as public relations officer of the Association, said: “A good deal of the credit for the booklet should go to Gerald as the author.

“He worked on it for three years, spending time at Ipswich Records Office and visiting old members, while researching and compiling the history up until the end of July just a month before he passed away.”

Sale has since taken on the project to see it to fruition, and said the booklet – which will be a minimum of 132 pages – will be a fitting legacy to his former colleague’s dedication.

“It will be a tribute to all the hard work and effort he put in while not feeling well, and will be a legacy that will live on forever in his memory.”

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