Who’s Who

JOHN STURGESS

 

 

John was born in Southampton and attended Harefield  Infant School  and after moving to Thornhill, attended  Thornhill Infant and Junior Schools

He finished his schooling at Merry Oak School

 

He enjoyed playing football as a young lad, and played for the school, scouts team, and in the Under 18 League.

John’s parents would often manage local teams, and John would often be called on by his mother and father to help one of their sides out.

These include Byron Youth Club and Nicholstown, as in the days when John played there were no substitutes, so he was often called in to help make up the numbers; particularly as some of the teams would be struggling sides.

John only played up until he was around 16 years old, owing to an ankle injury. This finally put paid to any thoughts of scoring at The Dell.

But John had another idea, and gave up his playing boots for the whistle.

John started Refereeing in 1967/68 season at the age of 15 years, and did adult football league games.

One might have asked how a 15-year-old could referee adult football, well the answer is simple. No one ask how old he was.

After the length of time since John committed this offence you would think that Hampshire FA wouldn’t punish him with a suspension. Well its best to stay quiet on this one!

 

John started to referee in the City of Southampton Sunday Football League and onto the Southampton Football Associaton League (as it was then) also              the Commercial Houses League and Brewers League before he gained promotion to Level 5 in 1978 and started officiating in the Hampshire League and eventually Wessex League.

 

It was only last year, 2016 when john refereed his last game; well I say last game.

He may still get his boots on now! So John has been an active official for 47 years. With only 3 seasons left to get to 50 years he may still be very tempted.

And what tempts John is usually a late call off from one of his Sunday League referees, leaving him short. So as soon as all other appointments are settled, John picks up his kit and goes out to do one of the games himself.

 

The most memorable game for John during the refereeing career was being the 4th official for England U21 v Hungary U21 on 11th September 1990.

It was also a memorable game for the late Graham Taylor, as he started his England Manager’s career that night with a 3-1 win.

 

John’s dedication to football hasn’t been limited to playing as a young lad, and refereeing.

He has also served as the Sunday Football Appointment secretary for around 15 years, and a committee member of the Southampton Saturday Football league, Southampton Divisional Football League and Hampshire FA Council.

John is a truly dedicated individual who rightly deserves praise for all the work he does for local football, especially serving as an active referee for nearly 50 years.