Honour for top referee Norman

A FORMER top flight referee from Great Yarmouth was recognised for his outstanding contribution to football by the FA this week.

Norman Burtenshaw received a personalised embroidered England international cap at an England FIFA officials meeting in London.

He was honoured alongside fellow refereeing legends Jack Taylor OBE, Gordon Kew and Pat Partridge.

All four were celebrated for contributions that included refereeing in World Cup Finals, World Club Championships, European Cup Finals and FA Cup Finals.

Chairman of the FA Referees’ Committee, David Elleray led the tributes at the occasion attended by their modern-day contemporaries, including 2010 FIFA World Cup final referee, Howard Webb MBE,

Mr Burtenshaw said: “I am truly speechless really. When you finish, you think that’s it. You stand in your front garden when everybody else is kicking off at 3 o’clock, and you’re not there, and you think that’s the end really, but to receive the cap is a big bonus, a huge bonus.

“To go to places like Japan, South Africa and North America to referee out there, and coach young players, it was wonderful.

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“Years ago a referee was a means to an end, but now they are top class professionals and they are a huge asset now. I love watching football and that’s not going to die for me.”

An international referee between 1965 and 1970 and 1971 and 1973 Mr Burtenshaw officiated at the 1971 FA cup final between Arsenal and Liverpool.

Mr Elleray said: “We have a group of referees here who set the standard, not only in this country, but throughout the world.

“It is only right we honour all of them, but particularly our four most senior referees, Jack, Pat, Norman and Gordon. They are iconic referee figures and our current officials were inspired hearing of their achievements and talking to them.”

To find out more about becoming a referee, visit www.TheFA.com/GetIntoFootball.