Britain’s oldest referee has no plans to devote himself full-time to his hobby at the age of 89

Britain’s oldest referee has no intention of blowing the final whistle for his hobby – at the age of 89. The spunky Frank Foster took charge of over 5,000 games in a career spanning over 40 years. He began refereeing in November 1980 and still officiates three times a week for men’s, women’s and children’s football matches for Sheffield and Hallamshire FA. And he expects to continue handing out red and yellow cards until he turns 90 because he “loves being a referee”. Great-grandfather-of-three Frank said: “I love it. Whether it’s women’s, women’s, men’s or men’s football, I’m the same. I love football, but you have to play it according to the rules. so no diving. “I like to see that people play by the rules and that there is no dissent. “I don’t accept any problem, even from the spectators. “I make them understand the word of respect.” “When I talk to the players before the game starts, I tell them to whistle and all that jazz. “I tell them not to get into altercations and tell them I’m going to settle everything because if you fight back it’s even worse. Frank played football with Bamford FC but had to quit at the start of the 1950s when he injured his knee. He then decided to become a coach and referee and passed his referee exam in 1980 with a mark of 98%. During his 40-year career, he refereed thousands of players over the years, including England player Tony Currie who he said ‘wanted the ball at his feet.’ Frank, from Sheffield, South Yorks, said: ‘I sponsored a team there a few years ago and they played a game where Tony Currie was playing. “I didn’t have to give him a red card or anything. But if the ball was in front of him he wouldn’t run over it, he just wanted the ball at his feet from what I remember . I can’t remember their names now, but I once refereed Chesterfield centre-forward and Barnsley goalkeeper a few years ago.” The Sheffield United fan is considered the oldest referee in the UK and he said people sometimes comment on his age after matches. Frank said: “There were times when I was leaving the pitch and someone will come up to me and ask how old I am. “I ask them how old they think I am, they might say 67 but I’ll always answer right. I don’t even think about my age and I’ll be a referee until I can’t keep up with them.” . “I might eventually need a moped at half time, but I will always continue to do so.” He also reflected on some of his memories as a football coach and referee from the past 40 years, including when he had to tell spectators to leave. Frank said: “I was a referee in a men’s game once and every time I made a call on something one of the players was like ‘oh my god.’ little aside. “But after the second time he said it, I went up to him and said ‘it’s good to know that there are people who are religious playing football.’ “He didn’t say it anymore, it all depends on how you approach it.” He added: “I don’t take anything from the spectators either, I tell them to shut up or I just send them away. “If I have to fire them, then I find out what team they’re supporting and call that team’s manager to fire that guy. Then if he doesn’t leave, I’ll call the game off.” , I sent a guy off and he asked me how far I wanted him to walk. “I told him if he saw a number five bus, then he should get on it.”

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