Teenage referee holding all the cards as he grabs attention of former England player - The Rugby Observer

Teenage referee holding all the cards as he grabs attention of former England player

Rugby Editorial 29th Jun, 2023   0

A TEENAGE referee from Rugby has become the talk of the football world after a viral tweet was picked up by a former England star.

At the end of the football season, the mum of Avon Valley School student Will Stobson, 15, sent a ‘shout out’ tweet to Grassroots Football, the UK’s No1 grassroots football organisation, saying how proud she was of Will’s efforts as a young referee.

Since then the tweet has racked up a staggering 2.4million views, and has been liked almost 25,000 times by people from across the globe.

The tweet was shared with ex-footballer Peter Crouch, and it was discussed on his podcast.

The tweet said: “#Shoutout to my son, a 15 year old ref.

“This season he has been shouted at, sworn at by parents, coaches, and players, but today as he walked off the pitch he got a round of applause from the parents and even though he gave a red card today, the parents from that team said it was the correct decision.

“Couldn’t be prouder of him and just hope today makes him want to continue doing something he loves.”

On his podcast, Peter Crouch said he’d like to find the young referee. A family friend heard this and told Will’s mum, who contacted the show – and now plans are afoot for Will to be involved in an event later this year.

Will, who completed his refereeing course last year and has just finished his first season as a referee, said: “I was in school and got a message from my mum to say I needed to contact her urgently. At first, I thought something was wrong. Then she told me Peter Crouch had been speaking about me and my refereeing and I couldn’t believe it.

“Being a referee is something I’ve really enjoyed. I’ve gained lots of experience and am building my skills and confidence. I am really looking forward to refereeing again next season.”

Avon Valley Headteacher Alison Davies said: “It has been great to learn that Will has been involved in refereeing, and I am amazed that his story has been seen, and shared, by so many people.

“This is a great story of resilience and we are all really proud of what Will has achieved. We wish him all the best for the season ahead.”

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