Suffolk official follows father in becoming a Football League assistant referee
- Credit: Archant
A former Eastern Counties League player is aiming to follow in father’s footsteps, by making his way up the Football League pyramid, as an assistant referee.
Ex-Walsham-le-Willows footballer Chris Pollard, 31, has been added to the League’s assistant referees’ list for next season.
His elevation comes 15 years after his father, former Football League linesman Trevor, officiated in the League Cup final between Leicester City and Tottenham.
An assistant referee in the Skrill Premier last season and ‘man in the middle’ at Conference North and South level, the promotion is Stowmarket-based Chris’ seventh in just six years as a football official.
“I am delighted and I can’t wait for the start of the season, I will be ready for it,” said Chris, who will have to undergo a League fitness test in June.
“You always want to get to as high a level as possible and while I felt confident, I did not think I would be getting this far in six seasons.
“Everyone starts out wanting to be a referee and that is in the back of my mind, but I would like to be in the Premier League as either (referee or assistant). I will just keep enjoying both roles until I am advised by the FA.”
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Stanton-born Chris could be making crucial decisions in front of thousands of fans at venues such as Fratton Park and Kenilworth Road come August, with Portsmouth and newly-promoted Luton respectively, arguably League Two’s best-supported clubs.
Should he perform well, then League One and Championship football could beckon.
“I was assistant referee at three Luton Town home games towards the end of last season, and they had the biggest crowds in the Conference with 10-11,000 people watching,” added Chris, who works as a builder in the family business.
“That was a real buzz, but the sound from the stands just turns into a big noise and I don’t let it affect me, I just concentrate on my job.
“My first few games will be in League Two and if they go well, I will hopefully progress and it would be nice to get a Championship game before Christmas.”