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Ref already in the know over pitch battles; Ex-soldier in charge of Sunday soccer.

Byline: BY RICHARD DOWN Daily Post Staff

THIS Wirral-based referee stands for no messing when he overseas Sunday football league matches - but you would expect no less from a serving soldier.

Trevor Barrow was an infantry soldier for 29 years in the British Army, and is now an Army careers advisor in Cheshire and Wirral.

The 46-year-old warrant officer said: "The players are always surprised when they find out I am a serving soldier.

"When they do find out, they are actually quite complimentary about it, but I still obviously get the mickey taken out of me something rotten. I've heard 'you and whose army, referee' quite a few times, or 'are you going to shout at me?'"

Married with four children, aged 13 to 23, Officer Barrow joined the army straight from school, enlisting with the King's Own Royal Border Regiment.

He has served all over the world, including in Germany, Cyprus, Northern Ireland, Brunei, Bosnia and Canada.

Rugby was Officer Barrow's primary sporting passion, but he also enjoyed a game of football, describing himself as being of "kick and rush" standard in his playing days.

He said: "I was 40 years old and getting a bit bored, wondering what I should do when I stopped playing competitive sport.

"I was chatting with a friend and he said 'become a football referee'. That's how it happened. I was very critical of referees back then - but I now realise all that was completely unjustified. It is not easy to be a football referee."

Officer Barrow enrolled on a refereeing lessons organised by the army, completing an intensive course in about a week, which would normally take several months in Civvy Street.

The highest profile game he has officiated recently was a charity game between an Army side and a team of stars from TV soaps Hollyoaks and Coronation Street.

For more information about the variety of courses available to soldiers in the British Army, visit www.armyjobs.mod.uk or ask at your local Army careers office.

richardown@dailypost.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

Richard Down; Trevor Barrow, the Army recruiter for Cheshire and Wirral, in his role as a part-time referee

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 5, 2009
Words:361
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