My name is Lewis, I’m 13 years old and a football referee.
At the moment I am what is referred to as a mini whistler as I can’t actually do my full referee course until I am 14. I did my mini league course as soon as I turned 11 and am therefore allowed to referee mini-league games and school games up to age U12 level. I’m only allowed to referee games where the children playing are at least 1 year younger than me. With the experience I will gain at mini-league level the Football Association will allow me to take my full basic referee course at age 13 instead of age 14, although I won’t be allowed to referee full games until I am 14. I will also go into the referee academy as soon as I turn 14 hopefully. Only mini league games that use offside count towards my experience but even if they don’t use offside they are still useful because they help me to learn and gain confidence.
Why refereeing? Quite simply because I prefer to refereeing to playing! My mum used to be a referee when she was a teenager so it runs in the family. Most of my friends want to be the next Messi or the next Ronaldo but not me, I want to be the next Mark Clattenburg!