A SUFFOLK official is celebrating promotion to the National Group of Assistant Referees.
Jon Block, who lives near Bury St Edmunds, is one of 12 officials to be awarded a mid-season promotion.
The 33-year-old, who has been a specialist Assistant Referee since 2016, was a Step 1 Assistant Referee.
He had been officiating on the Vanarama National League and the Premier League 2, which replaced the Under-21 Premier League.
The promotion, which takes place with immediate effect, means he will now be able to receive appointments for EFL League One and Two fixtures.
Jon’s promotion follows on from his consistent performances over the past 12 months at Step 1, plus passing the recent Fitness assessment in early November and a Laws of the Game assessment.
He had his first experience of officiating at Football League level last month when he was an Assistant Referee at the Charlton Athletic versus Sutton United EFL Trophy fixture at The Valley.
Jon (pictured above) said: “It was a fantastic experience to officiate at a ground such as The Valley, and it was a very proud moment for me to walk out on my first EFL appointment that evening.
“After 19 years as an official, from starting at 14 years old, I could say I had finally achieved a long-held ambition of mine to officiate on the EFL.
“My Mum and Dad were watching on from the stands and I know this was a very proud moment for them too, having been with me every step of the way, from that first game at Waveney U9s at Barnards Meadow to The Valley, they have been my biggest support.”
Jon said of his promotion: “I am delighted to achieve promotion to the EFL and continue the next part of my journey.
“However, all this would not be possible without the help and support I have received along the way, particularly from Trevor Pollard, who I started working with back in 2007 when the Referees' Academy was newly formed, and Richard May, who mentored me in my early days on the Lowestoft & District League.”
Meanwhile, Suffolk Referee Chris Pollard was the man in the middle in Monday evening’s televised Emirates FA Cup Second Round tie between AFC Wimbledon and Non-League side Ramsgate.
AFC Wimbledon won 5-0 and will now host Ipswich Town in the third round of this season’s competition in early January.