Wolverhampton Referees Association History 1910-2010.

The new RA England badge.

Wolverhampton RA History 1910-2010.

On Friday 28th May 2010 Wolverhampton Referees Association members past and present joined with guests to celebrate that Associations Centenary.

The 100 year Anniversary was celebrated with a dinner at the Linden House on Tettenhall Road and many of the members present had served Association Football with distinction , locally, nationally and internationally.

Over a century of service to football was celebrated and when you look at the list of members many sadly departed it is the history of how the game has risen to be the Worlds number one game, "The Peoples Game".

Later in 2010 our President Alex Hamil had the honour of representing Wolverhampton RA as the Association was inducted into the City of Wolverhampton "Hall of Sporting Fame".

The Football Association was formed in 1863 at the Freemasons Tavern, Queen Street, London. At these premises on 26th September 1863 members of the Association compiled “13 rules of Association Football” handbook to give Umpires/Referees a standard set of rules for the first time.

In 1893 the Football Association called a meeting in London for Referees. 79 attended and a “Referees Association” was formed. CW Alcock Secretary of the FA was elected President, FJ Wall (FA Secretary 1895-1934) elected Chairman and Arthur Roston Burke the Secretary. The prime purpose of the RA was to “examine Referees by oral methods and to appoint to matches”

William Pickford Vice-President of the RA was in 1885 instrumental in getting the London Referees Association to produce a “Referees Chart” for season 1895/96. This Chart consisted of 17 rules far more substantial than the rules of 1863.

It would appear over the next twenty years or so Referee Associations were formed around the County FA’s and in 1910 Wolverhampton RA was formed as a Sub association of Birmingham Referees Association. AH Oakley and S Kimberley were elected to represent the new Association. Both these men would go on to hold prominent positions in football. Oakley became a Football League Vice President and FA council member and Mr Kimberley President of Walsall FA.

During the Great War football was played at a greatly reduced level and our RA carried on meeting.

with SD Jones who had become a representative in 1913 a principal member.

In 1919 the famous Charles Crump was elected President with SD Jones and SJ Lloyd representatives to Birmingham. In 1921 Jones and Lloyd were replaced by W Bowkley and C Perry.

In 1922 Wolverhampton RA decided to resign from Birmingham Referees Association and affiliate direct to the National Referees Association.

The case was put to the Birmingham committee by our representatives at that time C Perry and A Richards with AJ Caseley as Secretary. It was accepted with regret by the Birmingham committee who acknowledged Wolverhampton was a thriving RA fully qualified to become a direct national member.

The elected officers of the independent Wolverhampton RA were C Crump as President, AH Oalkey the Vice President,. I Phillips as Chairman, TH Harding the Secretary and TG Bryan Treasurer.

Following this Wolverhampton RA made rapid progress in a few years its membership became the third largest in the Midlands. Stalwart members included A Caswell, F Ford, AT Harrison, J Lock, A Richards, and AH Oakley who on the death of Charles Crump became RA President.

In 1925 members of the Wolverhampton RA were with others, members of the committee that founded the JW Hunt Cup Charity Football Competition to raise funds for the Wolverhampton and District Blind Institute.

The first competition committee was elected for the 1926/27 and Arthur David who Refereed the first final was elected Chairman a post he held for forty years,