Referees’ success in Rathband Trophy victory

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Northumberland Referees have pulled off a golf day victory on the eve of the anniversary that their former colleague was injured on duty in a tournament which bears his name.

Organised by the Northumberland Referees Association and the Morpeth Sunday League, the Referees took on the Rest of the World in the annual David Rathband Trophy, held at Longhirst Hall Golf Club last Sunday.

The event, which has been running for the last seven years, was renamed in the second year after PC David Rathband, a Cramlington Referees Association member, was shot and blinded whist on duty as a traffic officer with Northumbria Police.

Despite having lost his sight, David Rathband played in the tournament in 2011 and won. Monies raised at the event each year are donated to the charity set up by David to help injured emergency services personnel.

Syd Johnson, who has 54 year’s service, President of the Morpeth Sunday League and Vice-president of the Northumberland Football Association and David Martin, Secretary of Northumberland Referees Association, took the role of captains in the event.

David Martin, Northumberland Referees captain, said: “We are delighted with our win as we last won the trophy in 2014.

“It’s imperative to us that we keep this tournament going and that we keep remembering David.

“We know that the money raised each year goes to a good cause and that David would be proud of what we are doing in his name and his memory.”

Dave Allsopp, Trustee of PC David Rathband’s Blue Lamp Foundation, said: “On behalf of The Blue Lamp Foundation, I would like to thank Syd, David and all those who took part in the event and who have been so generous with their time and donations.

“The conditions out on the course for this year’s event were far from perfect, with a strong wind, which caused a few problems for the golfers, but at least the rain managed to hold off until they got to the 19th hole.”