Suffolk referee writes book in aid of charity

A LOCAL referee has written a tongue-in-cheek book to raise money for a children’s charity.

‘You’re having a laugh ref’ has been written by Graham Apperley, who is celebrating his 21st season as a referee.

Apperley is a Level 5 referee and takes charge of matches in the Senior Division of the Kingsley Healthcare SIL as well as officiating in the DMR-sponsored Ipswich Sunday League.

The 54-year-old is donating proceeds from the book towards the East Anglia Children’s Hospice in Bixley Road, Ipswich.

He raised sponsorship to get the book printed so that all monies received will go the charity.

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Apperley played for 18 years before taking up the whistle, describing himself as an “uncompromising defender” with Stutton in the Senior Division of the Suffolk and Ipswich League between spells with Capel Plough.

“If I was playing these days I would be sending myself off every other week!” he said.

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The idea for the book came from his friend Tony Mortimer, a Charlton Athletic supporter.

“Tony tells me his Charlton stories and I tell him my refereeing stories in return.

“It was Tony who said to me ‘why don’t you write a book?’ He put the idea into my head, to be fair, and he has been absolutely brilliant.

“He has been my co-pilot all the way through. I have emailed my stories to Tony and he has let me know whether he thinks they are suitable.”

Apperley started putting the book together last June and finished it in mid-December.

“We just missed the Christmas market,” added Apperley, who is selling copies for �5 each.

“I don’t think a referee in this area has ever written a book before, although Ipswich Referees Association are in the process of producing their centenary book.”

Apperley, who said he may write another book to raise money for the hospice in the future, explained the reasons behind his chosen charity.

“I have been fortunate enough to have three daughters, and children hold a special place in my heart.

“I have visited the hospice three or four times, and I find it is very emotional whenever I go up there.

“I just wanted to do something to help the children there. Writing this book is not about me, it is about highlighting the hospice.”

Together with his family, Apperley has already sold 65 copies, and is hoping to sell-out the first print run of 200 copies, which will raise �1,000 for the hospice.

It is hoped that his book could raise considerably more and be sold outside the local area.

Andy Wilding, who is secretary of Ipswich Referees Association and a Suffolk FA board member, has intimated that he would like to sell the book nationwide via the referees’ association.

Copies of the book can be ordered by contacting Graham via email at

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