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A former professional football referee has been mentoring young players in the hope it might inspire more people to take up the profession.

Bill Bombroff, 84, from Bristol, worked in the top football leagues in the 1970s, and is concerned local leagues have a shortage of new referees.

Mentee Rocky Morris, 18, said Mr Bombroff "welcomed him into the game".
"You take on every word he tells you because it has come straight from experience," said Mr Morris.

Mr Morris took charge of his first ever adult football match this week

Mr Bombroff mentors young referees at the Downs League in Bristol and is there almost every Saturday.

He started his career as a referee at just 14-years-old, and has recently been given a certificate of acknowledgement by the Referees Association for 70 years of service.
At 15-years-old, he was already refereeing games with international players, later acting as referee and linesman in the old Division One in the 1970s and 1980s.

Mr Bombroff has worked in some of the top football leagues

"There is a desperate shortage of referees coming through the ranks," he said.

"It is vital for grassroots football that we train the next generation, and I have the opportunity to share my experience and help young people develop their skills.

"I just hope they listen to my advice," he added.

Mr Bombroff mentors with the Referees' Association on their development.

Source: BBC News

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