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Life President
Oct 28, 2003
Festive cards will be distributed on Boxing Day by the youthful looking Gavin Ward from Oxted in Surrey refereeing his second Southend League match of the season.

The previous one was the home game against Shrewsbury (3-0) which was his first return to Roots Hall for a League game since he mishandled the match against Gillingham nearly two years ago. He had returned since for a JPT match, against the same opposition last year, and that went much better; generally JPT games are lower key.

The Shrewsbury game was undoubtedly one of his better ones but, with two penalties that day, he probably feels we've had all the presents we are going to get this year.

This is his fifth season as a League referee. He has refereed 7 home matches. His first three games went pretty much okay. They were the JPT defeat on pens by Dagenham, the 2-1 win against Hartlepool (who had Sam Collins sent off in that match) and, three season's ago, the 2-1 home win against Swindon.

The fourth one was also three seasons ago against Bristol Rovers when he declined to send off the opposing goalkeeper for a handball outside the area. Notwithstanding that decision, it wasn't the best of performances from Mr Ward.

The fifth home match was when he mishandled that Gillingham home game the season before last with an astonishingly inept display producing 9 yellow cards.

Since then he also took charge of our away win at Leyton Orient the Christmas before last.

He was an absolutely first class linesman. Lined in numerous Premiership matches and some full internationals. He is looking to replicate that success in the middle and therefore will probably be disappointed that he has been deservedly overtaken in the pecking order by several younger officials (even if they don't look younger). He had been trying to card his way back into recognition; I don't think it worked and hopefully he is rethinking his strategy.

His card count this season is average for yellows and highish for reds with 61 yellows and 5 red from 20 matches.

The three wise men assisting will be John Busby from Oxford and David Woolford from Andover running the lines, with Colin Lymer from Basingstoke doing the 4th official stuff.

Happy Christmas everyone and to finish with some Glad Tidings, Trevor Kettle has made it back from his overseas posting and will be taking charge in his own inimitable way at AFC Wimbledon !!


You have no authority here, Jackie Weaver⭐
Staff member
Oct 24, 2003
Gavin Ward followed by Trevor Kettle - we must have really upset someone at the Football League!

(had to check the football league website to make sure you weren't joking - sadly, you're not!)


Junior Blues Coordinator⭐
Dec 27, 2007
Glad I'm not going to either of them.....although to be fair, Mr Ward was much improved last time out, and Mr Kettle has also, more recently, been reasonable when we've encountered him.

shots steve

Jul 24, 2010
Have to say, the last three times he has done our games at the Rec. he has been awful, its all about him, he thinks the crowd have paid to watch him ruin the game. Last time out against Northampton was the first time I have seen the ref. booed off by both sets of fans, and be berated by both managers oon the way up the tunnel.


Aug 5, 2010
Having had to eat an extra large helping of humble pie after the Shrews game I am not going to say too much at the moment about Gavin Ward, but to have him and Mr. Kettle on two consecutive game over xmas is enough to put anyone off their xmas pud.