Referee Sean officiates his 4,000th match

W10652H14''Sean Gibney refereeing 4,000 match at Goring Rec on Saturday SUS-141003-083337002
W10652H14''Sean Gibney refereeing 4,000 match at Goring Rec on Saturday SUS-141003-083337002
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REFEREE Sean Gibney officiated in his 4,000th match earlier this month when he took charge of the Goring Cricket Club versus Real Rustington match.

The game was in the Worthing League Mike Smith Trophy and Gibney, who took up refereeing 28 years ago, has officiated in the Worthing, West Sussex, County, County Youth and Brighton leagues, as well as in Ireland and in Scotland.

On the landmark match, Gibney, 52, said: “I’ve been referee, fourth official and linesman in the 4,000 games and I’m still enjoying it.

“I took charge of my 1,000th game in the Worthing League, my 2,000th in the Brighton League and my 3,000th in the League Of Ireland.

“I’d be happy if I could get up to 5,000 but I always take it one at a time and I’ll just go on as long as I can.

“I’ve met some of the nicest people refereeing games but also some of the most horrible people, too, and not all of them were on the football pitch.”

On how he got in to refereeing, Arsenal fan Gibney said: “I went along to watch my brother play and the referee didn’t turn up and I ended up refereeing it. There was an assessor there, who said I didn’t do too badly and six to eight weeks later, I was fully qualified.”

Gibney was referee of the year in the Worthing League last year. He served on the Sussex FA as a committee member for three years and, from next year, will be the Worthing League referee’s secretary.