Posted by sean on May 14, 2007 at 9:43 pm in Bath City, Football, Life In Bath with No Comments


Yesterday afternoon I made my way to a very sodden Twerton Park to cheer on Simon. His work, Sainsbury’s, had hired the pitch for some kind of team building match. As well as lending my support, I also went along to have a kick around pre-match and live the dream by scoring a goal at The Theatre of Dreams – which I did like a pro.

Due to the poor state of the pitch, I ended up taking a few tumbles and getting rather muddy – still, it looked like I have worked hard :o)

There was a cost to pay for my time on the pitch however. The linesman failed to turn up, and the match referee approached me to be his assistant – running up and down the pitch, looking for when a player strayed offside, kicked the ball out of play, or committed a foul.

I was a little scared at first, and thought that 90 minutes of running would cause me to fulfil another “Twerton Park Feat” – vomiting on the pitch. Luckily my fitness wasn’t as poor as I thought, and I managed to survive the game without even breaking a sweat – or getting punched by a player for flagging them offside.

I cannot remember the final score, but it was something ridiculous like 4-4. Simon’s team lost on penalties. Normally I would wish Mr. Goater my commiserations, but as a match official I must stay impartial.

On the way out of Twerton Park I managed to grab a few tufts of turf which had been kicked from the pitch. I’ve planted them in a plant pot in my flat. Sam, a work colleague, said this was very sad and the only time that tuft should be kept is if it’s from Wembley Stadium. I replied saying that I would prefer the turf of Twerton to that of Wembley.

On reflection of my experience, I must say from a physical point of view, it is a lot easier than I imagined – which is probably why you see so many fat referees. From a mental point of view, being a linesman is rather difficult. Not only do you need to watch the ball, but incidents away from the action, looking out for fouls, offsides, etc – all at the same time! One of the most difficult things I found was remembering what team to award a throw to when the ball went out of play.

When I return to Twerton Park next season as a supporter, I will try to be more patient with the linesman and not give him an onslaught of abuse… I am sure that’ll last all of 15 minutes.

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