FORMER official Martin Chapple reached a landmark in his role as a Suffolk FA Referee Observer on Saturday.
Martin, who lives at Rougham, near Bury St Edmunds, observed his 100th match when watching Level 6 referee Connor Knights, who is hoping to be promoted to Level 5.
Connor was officiating the McDonald’s Suffolk Primary Cup Third-Round match between Sporting 87 Reserves and Clare Town Reserves which Clare won 4-3 on penalties after a goalless draw.
Ironically, Martin was one of the founder members of Sporting 87 and was then player-manager for two years before taking up refereeing when he retired in 1989.
Martin, who will be 71 in August, officiated for the next 20 years until he stopped active officiating at the end of the 2007-08 season due to ill health.
He spent a couple of years as a referee mentor before taking on the role of an observer in March 2013.
He said: “I would still be refereeing if I was fit enough to do so. I love football – it’s in my blood.
“I like the inter-action I have with the referees and feel as though my observations help the referees.”
Martin was presented with a glass memento and medal to mark his achievement.
Martin Chapple is pictured with the glass memento and medal he was presented with to mark his 100th match as a Suffolk FA Referee Observer. Main photograph: Martin is pictured with Connor Knights, who was the referee at last Saturday's match