IMAGINE a scenario where you have cooked Easter lunch and you are shown the red card not just once but on three occasions.
It is not because the meal was substandard – but a humorous gesture because you have a husband and two sons who are football referees.
That is the reality for Therese Robertson, 44, of Marsh, Huddersfield.
Her partner, Michael, 44, is a fully-trained official who takes charge of games in the District League, and sons, Luke, 16, and Jacob, 15, both qualified referees, officiate in the Huddersfield Junior League.
Therese said: “The fact they are all referees certainly makes dinnertime conversation good!”
But, speaking about the impact mealtime-talk had on both her and daughter Francesca, 12, she joked: “It can get a bit much sometimes.
“My daughter, for instance, will often laugh and ask if we can leave home.”
Luke, who is studying A-levels at Greenhead College, and Jacob, preparing for his GCSEs at All Saints College in Bradley, both completed the full referee course held at Newsome Sports College last month.
They excelled in the course with Jacob achieving the best marks out of all the candidates, shortly followed by Luke in third.
Luke said since completing the course he had so far officiated in two games and, along with his brother, had been an assistant referee for an under 18s semi-final match played on Leeds Road.
“If things went well I would like to take charge of games at a senior level. I’m enjoying myself at the moment,” added Luke.
“I would certainly recommend other people of my age to go into refereeing. It is also a good way to earn a bit of extra money.”
As well as their whistleblower duties, Jacob and Luke play for Westend Juniors of Salendine Nook.
Jacob, like his sibling, said he enjoyed being a referee. He explained: “It’s going well and if things carry on, hopefully I will continue.”
Therese said her family were aware of the referee shortage in Huddersfield football and the Examiner’s Save The Ref campaign.
“The fact Jacob and Luke have trained to become an official, demonstrates their commitment to the game.
“The jury is still out for them but they are giving it a go which is a good thing.”
Michael said despite now living in Huddersfield, he was brought up in Newcastle – a place where people love football and this passion had probably rubbed off on his family.
“There needs to be more young referees out there than what there is in Huddersfield,” he added.
“If you like football it is a great way to stay involved; you get some good banter and it certainly beats shopping!”
Michael said he started to referee when his son, Luke, first played for Westend and he found there was nobody to take charge of their games.
He then enrolled onto the full referee course and has since officiated in the Huddersfield Junior League for more than four years and takes charge of games in the senior District League.
He said: “I thoroughly enjoy it. When you officiate in junior football you do get a few problems, mainly from parents shouting on the touchlines.
“But, I can honestly say that I have never had any major problems.”
Anyone interested in becoming a referee should contact Neil Simpson, referees’ instructor for the Huddersfield FA on 01422 374916.