A referee from Hemel Hempstead will hang up his boots at the end of the season after more than 40 years of hard graft on football pitches across the county.
Colin Weedon, 66, celebrated his 40-year milestone on March 2, and will hand back his cards for good when the SSML season comes to a close in a couple of months.
Colin took charge of his first match on March, 2 1974 – just two hours after his son Matthew was born – and he says he will cherish the memories he has built up over the years.
“I have had some very happy years,” said Colin. “The old legs aren’t up to what they used to be but I’ve got many happy memories.”
Colin has refereed in numerous leagues over the years, with his highest appointment coming in the Isthmian League.
He has also taken charge of the Herts Charity Cup final, as well as plenty of youth and schools finals – including one in which a young Tommy Smith came off the bench to score an extra-time hat-trick.
Watford legend Smith isn’t the only famous name that Colin has crossed paths with on the pitch – he also lists ex-Wimbledon hardman Vinnie Jones amongst the players who went into his book as a youngster.
“I’ll always remember the time I sent Vinnie Jones off when he was playing for Bedmond Boys at U18 level,” said Colin. “Many years later, when he was visiting home from the USA, he would frequent the snooker club in Grovehill where I worked. He would say: ‘Still sending people off, ref?’ and that’s after all these years.”
Colin’s contribution to football in the county has not gone unnoticed by the Hertfordshire FA.
Nick Perchard, Hertfordshire FA chief executive, said: “It’s fantastic to see someone prepared to give up so much of their time for grassroots football.
“We run an awards programme to honour members of the football family who have dedicated 25, 40 or 50 years to the game.
“Details of how to nominate for one of these long service awards can be found on our website, www.hertfordshirefa.com”