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Life President
Oct 28, 2003
Referee for tomorrow night's match is Keith Hill from Hertfordshire. He was the FA's Regional Referees Manager for the East of England but spent a couple of years in Japan on some refereeing mission. He is now back and in his first full season of the resumption of his Football League career.

He has been refereeing since he was fourteen. Promoted to the National List of Assistant referees in 1994 and served for a further three seasons as a SG assistant referee before being promoted to the Referees List in 1998. His career appointments include refereeing a semi-final of the FA Trophy, and being appointed as 4th Official on the 2002 Game of Unity in Kabul.

He is in his 15th season and was, in my opinion, way past his best (which wasn't very good anyway). I'm sure his previous position had much to do with his extended run on the list as better officials seem to have been culled during this time. I did sometimes wonder if he benefited from positive discrimination.

This will be his 20th League and Cup match in charge of Southend. By and large, we have done quite well with him in charge winning far more than losing. His matches have generally been littered with pickiness, inconsistency and plenty of cards, some justified. He was more than capable of whistling any football match to death. It appears, however, that he is taken a more laid back approach - after 6 years without a cardless match, he had two in a row this season ! In fact his 14 matches thus far have only seen 44 yellows and a red. Decidedly average.

His last Southend match was the home draw with Rotherham towards the end of last season (2 yellows each) and previously the home win against Oxford 2010/11. Three yellows apiece and a red for them.

Before that it was the 1-0 home defeat (penalty) by Oldham the season before that. Before that the rearranged match against Scunthorpe; and just previous to that a couple of weeks earlier when he called off the same match seconds before the scheduled kick off.

He also did Yeovil away that season.

"Highlights" of his Southend matches: the home defeat by Kingstonian in the Cup (Roget off), home win over Darlington (Searle off), the more recent away defeat at Palace (one of his more ok games) and the ever so forgetable 0-0 draw at Oxford in the Cup.

Assistants are Stephen Finch from Southampton and Adrian Tranter from Bournemouth. Fourth official is Chris Powell (no, the one from Poole).
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First XI⭐
May 2, 2012
Thanks Mick. I'm looking forward to this one as I know Steve Finch well. We started our refereeing together whilst serving in Cyprus. Funny how both our sporting and military careers took a different direction. He's now a RSM and I'm now a stinking civvy! On the refereeing front he's a Class 3 (he might even be Class 2) and I'm still (and will always remain) a Class 5. Anyway I've let him know that I will be abusing him from the terraces. He says he will give me a wave before KO. I wonder if he will still be my friend after 90 mins!!!

Yorkshire Blue

Super Moderator⭐
Staff member
Oct 27, 2003
Mick - who assigns the referees?

Whoever it is we've clearly annoyed them to get Sheldrake and now Keith Hill in a 4 day period.