With only three teams at the RSPC League 2, the club didn’t bring in a professional umpire although they had Steve Evans waiting to come. The Putra Cup that was to start next week has also been called off, so there was no chance of spreading costs over two tournaments. With no one else willing to do it, I volunteered and ended up umping all the games.
It was only after I volunteered to do it for the club that I remembered that the last player who had volunteered had ended up being openly accused of bias. It was an accusation that was terribly, totally wrong, and as far as I know, the accusers have never rectified this with the 5-goal player. Though he is not a professional umpire (and I know he was not getting paid), I do know that he is a very good umpire, and will have a second career as a professional umpire when his playing career is over, if he so wishes.
So I was kicking myself as I went out there. Why would I do this, and for free? I must be mad, I said to myself. It is only because of a love of the sport that anyone would put themselves in this position. I knew I would not get any thanks for the job, and just hoped the abuse wouldn’t be too bad!
Being alone, of course I missed a few. I hope I didn’t miss too many.
I believe in the new credo, that we let play run more, and blow mainly if there is danger. That’s my version, and I am sticking to it!