A football official in Middlesbrough believes that verbal and physical refereeing abuse is worse in England than it is overseas.
Liam Smith, 19, is a Level 6 Referee for the North Riding County FA and was picked last summer to officiate in the IBERCUP – an international youth football tournament that featured teams such as FC Porto and Barcelona.
Having now refereed here and abroad, one thing that surprised the young official was how countries compared in their levels of abuse.
A report from the Telegraph highlights that 94% of football referees have experienced verbal abuse and that one in five have been the victim of a physical attack during a game.
In his interview, Liam spoke at length about his experiences officiating in both England and abroad.
Hi there, I’m Sam Fletcher and I have just finished my final year of Sport Journalism at Teesside University. I am due to graduate with a First-Class Honours Degree with an NCTJ Level 3 Diploma in Journalism and 80wpm shorthand.
Sport Journalism, BA (Hons)
After completing a work experience placement with Middlesbrough Football Club, in their media and communications department, I knew that I wanted to work in the industry of sports media. It was that placement which cemented my passion for journalism and the production of content for fans to engage and interact with. As much as the degree has benefitted my journalistic knowledge and skillset, I believe my greatest achievements at university have come through the work I have produced outside the classroom. Some of these include working closely with Spennymoor Town as a commentator, Middlesbrough Football Club as an audio descriptive commentator and the Daily Mirror producing written articles for online publication.
Software & Hardware Proficiencies
I am skilled in Adobe software such as Audition, InDesign and Premiere Pro.
Employment, Work Experience & Volunteering
I have paid employment with Middlesbrough Football Club for providing audio descriptive commentary for partially-sighted supporters. During this past season, I have volunteered with Spennymoor Town as a commentator broadcasting live, online through mixlr. This commentary also features on their highlights packages which can be found via YouTube. I also produced 16 articles for the Mirror Online during a week’s work experience placement in November, all of which were published on their online website. My other work has been featured on Sky News, Tees Valley Sport and the Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation.
I have shown in previous roles that I am passionate about sports broadcasting, particularly commentary and written articles. But despite my degree being Sport Journalism, I am not solely limited to sport. I have also produced content on environmental issues, disability benefits and politics. I believe this highlights my ability to report on a vast range of topics and key issues.
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