The Referee’s Alphabet

The A is for my authority, which many players seem to question
Thinking they’re somehow going to make me change my mind
B is for babies, which a lot of managers cry like after a decision has not gone their way
C is for the continual criticism I receive from the touchline
Get back in your technical area!
D is for the dunderheads who seem to think we have a conspiracy against their particular team
E is for the eerie silence which echoes around the ground when I’ve booked a home team’s player and it’s obvious to everyone that he deserved it
F is the farce into which most games would descend if we weren’t there
The G is for the gnarled face of someone who’s on ninety thousand pound a week and reckoned he should have had a throw in
H is for handball, which has to be intentional, and very rarely is
If only people would study the rules more
I is for innocence, pleaded by many a doe-eyed defender after they’ve just scythed down that tricky winger
J is for ju-jitsu, which I quite intend to display given a dark alley and some of the narky blerts I’ve encountered
K is for the kissing of the badge
How ridiculous that looks 6 months later when they’re at another club
L is for lip reading, at which you don’t have to be an expert to see how odious some people are
M is for the mistakes we sometimes make
Surely a bit of controversy is part of the game’s appeal?
The N, the N is for the numbskull who during the Boxing Day game asks me what else I got for Christmas besides my whistle
“An afternoon with your wife, mate”
The O is for offside, which many forwards tell me they simply could not have been
The P is for the penalty shootout
Great drama and no pressure on me
The Q is the quiet word which I sometimes need to have with some of the more fiery participants
I usually choose the word ‘pleat’
R is for running backwards
A difficult skill which the pundits never seem to appreciate
S is for the suggestion that I should have shown a card of some sort to a player who’s just been awarded a free kick
(Sorry I got all that wrong the S again, OK the S)
The S is the suggestion that I should show a card to an opponent
By a player who’s been awarded a free kick
He himself is more in danger of getting one for that
T is for the twenty-one man brawl
Which is basically an embarrassing scene of pushing and shoving
U is for the umpire which I sometimes wish I’d been instead
You never hear a cricket crowd chanting “who’s the bastard in the hat?”
The V is for vitriol, vilification, vendetta and volley of verbal abuse
Some good bird noises there Paul
W is for Walter Pidgeon
Whose Mr. Gruffydd in “How Green Was My Valley”
I may have started to sound like during this song
“Where was the light I thought to see in your eye?”
He says that to a young Huw, played by Roddy McDowall
The X
The X represents the sarcastic kiss planted on my forehead
By a swarthy Portuguese centre half whom I’ve just dismissed
The Y is for Yate
The kind of town that referees come from
And the Z
Well the Z could be for Zidane, Zico, Zola, Zubizarreta, Zoff
Even Zondervan
But is in fact for the zest with which we approach our work
Without this zest for the game, we wouldn’t become refs
And without refs, well – zero
See also Zatopek, Zeus
Zeal Monachorum
Had a caravan there – static – naturally

Wouldn’t it be fun
If they gave the ref a gun


Please do let me know if you see any live performance videos for this song on YouTube which haven't been listed below. Thanks!

Illustrative slideshow. (04:34)

See Also: