Sheffield’s oldest referee

A 90-year-old great-grandfather from Sheffield who could be one the UK’s oldest football referees has said he has “no intention of stopping”. Frank Foster, from Ecclesfield, said he can still keep up with the physical demands of football games, though his legs get tired. The former car mechanic began refereeing grassroots football in Yorkshire over four decades ago. His secret to continuing into his 90s was knowing “age is just a number”.

Mr Foster, who has four children, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, said his tip for people wanting to follow in his footsteps was to “forget how old you are” and “do what you can as long as you can”. “I just love football and being out in the fresh air and I’ve got no reasons or intentions of stopping,” he said.

He said he still finds the job “reasonably alright” on his body. However, he has seen some major injuries over the years, including breaking his wrist and injuring his knee badly during a game in the 1950s.

He said: “I was looking for a ball but it didn’t come, and in those days we had studs in our football boots – you always started with a full set but never finished with them. “When I turned to get the ball, my leg didn’t turn and that was me done. I had to go for private sessions with the osteopath to get my leg better.”

Mr Foster, who will turn 91 in June, said injuries have not deterred him during his 44 years as a referee. He said if he did have to give up refereeing for any reason he would start coaching football because he “just loves” the sport so much.

source: BBC news

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