GRASSROOTS football has lost a true gent this week after the passing of former referee Pat Gwynne.
Gwynne was a long-standing referee who had also been involved in local boxing and cricket as well as a host of other sports over a 50-year period.
He was a familiar face at football pitches across the region and was well respected in the game, having been actively involved at both junior and adult level until very recently.
Gwynne was a life member of both the Birmingham County FA and the National Referees Association and he did all he could to improve the game of football for all who played, managed, watched and refereed.
Vice-Chairman of the Leamington Referees Association, James Barnwell, said: “He was a real inspiration and a big support of not just my own refereeing career but of many other referees who took up the whistle and was always ready with advice and wisdom whenever it was needed. I will miss him greatly.”
Leamington Referees Association Chairman Martin Gittins added: “Pat was a huge figure in local football and I remember him refereeing me when I was growing up and then to be a refereeing colleague off his was a great privilege.
“He would always have time for the younger referees and offered advice and help whenever they needed it.
“He was always very supportive of me and my refereeing career and that of many, many others also. Myself, the refereeing family and footballing community as a whole will miss him greatly.”
All local clubs held a minute’s silence before matches over the weekend in Gwynne’s memory.