George Byrne England U17s assistant referee Nov 2019

A proud moment for official George

OFFICIAL George Byrne has spoken of his pride following his first international appointment.

SUFFOLK official George Byrne said it was a proud moment to represent his country following his first experience of international football.

George was an assistant referee as England Under-17s, whose side included Louie Barry of Barcelona and Celtic’s Karamoko Dembele, defeated the Czech Republic 2-0 at Solihuill Moors FC on Tuesday.

The 27-year-old from Mildenhall was an assistant along with Ollie Williams (Worcestershire) to referee Josh Smith from Bedfordshire. Ed Duckworth of Lancashire was the fourth official.

George said: “I was absolutely thrilled to be selected. I wasn't expecting it. Walking out representing my country was a proud moment.”

His parents and wife Abi made the trip to Solihull to watch George, who in August 2018 was named Match Official of the Year in the FA and McDonald’s Grassroots Football Awards.

George, who received a pennant with details of the match from the Czech Republic, said of his international experience: “It's definitely one of the highlights of my refereeing career to date.”

He said there may be possible international appointments in the distant future but he was not expecting to be involved in these sorts of games regularly.

George is pictured above on the left of the three officials in black as the teams took part in the national anthems before the match.

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