Referee Alan's stalwart service rewarded

KNOWN as Uncle Albert on the Ipswich area football circuit, Alan Knock has became famous in his own right over the past 30 years.His appearance may resemble the 'Only Fools and Horses' TV character, but Alan has shown that he has his wits about him to help thousands of footballers to enjoy their weekly game.

Elvin King

KNOWN as Uncle Albert on the Ipswich area football circuit, Alan Knock has became famous in his own right over the past 30 years.

His appearance may resemble the 'Only Fools and Horses' TV character, but Alan has shown that he has his wits about him to help thousands of footballers to enjoy their weekly game.

The 66-year-old recalled his first game. “It was a match involving Chelmondiston Red Lion.


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“Some things never change and there was no referee for the game.

“So I stepped in, and have not looked back.”

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He has no intention of hanging up his whistle - the same one he was given after passing his referees' exam, although it is now a back-up.

Alan estimates that he has officiated at around 1,500 games and confirmed that he is still enjoying his time in the middle.

“Fitness levels are higher now and players are continuing to play for longer,” he added.

And recalling some of the mad moments that have occurred since 1979, he went on: “I was doing a game at Dumbarton Road, Ipswich when I noticed a man running up and down the side line shouting 'referee, referee'.

“After a while I stopped the game and was told that a player had parked his car across the man's drive.

“It is always the referee's fault!”

Most weekends Alan will officiate at two or three games, one on Saturday in the Metaltec SIL, one in the Flare Recruitment League, where he has become a stalwart, and one in the Veterans' League.

He took charge of a Flare game on Sunday - before officiating in a veterans' match later on - and was presented with a silver salver by Bob Friend, chairman of the League, in recognition of his outstanding service to Sunday football.

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